4 former Chiefs who are still having trouble finding jobs

Will these former Chiefs find a new NFL home?

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Kansas City Chiefs fans are used to seeing players find success with other teams. The downside to being a Super Bowl contender every year is that it's tougher to keep the same talent in-house. There are still several former Chiefs who haven't signed anywhere in free agency yet.

Why haven't these former Chiefs found new teams yet? The reasons could range from offseason drama to simply not being worth bringing in as an option. Let's take a look at four former Chiefs who haven't found a new NFL home yet.

Mecole Hardman

The 2023 NFL season was a wild one for Mecole Hardman. He signed with the Jets in the offseason and then was traded back to Kansas City ahead of the trade deadline where he made minimal impact during the regular season.

During the playoffs, Hardman had a critical goal-line fumble in the divisional round against Buffalo but the Chiefs ended up winning that game. Hardman made up for that costly fumble in the Super Bowl when he caught the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to give KC its third Super Bowl win in five years.

With such a historic play, you'd think teams would be banging down the door to sign Hardman, right? Well, not exactly.

You see, Hardman was accused of being a disgruntled former Jet and gave teams the Jets' game plans. While Hardman has done what he can to clear his name from these accusations, this could easily deter teams from signing him. The three-time Super Bowl champ is only 26 years old but hasn't proven to be much of a high-end wide receiver in recent years, which could be another reason teams are avoiding him.

The drama mixed with the lack of production on the field could lead to Hardman having to wait a bit before he finds a new NFL home.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

After the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill, they needed to add wide receivers to their roster. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was one of the receivers brought in that offseason and he frustrated Chiefs fans during his time in Kansas City. Well, let me rephrase that: Fans were frustrated with his regular-season performances during his two years in KC.

The postseason was when MVS truly shined, making clutch catches against the Bengals in the 2023 AFC Championship Game and the Ravens in the 2024 AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs released MVS this offseason to save money and he's still waiting to find a new home in free agency.

The Jets could be a potential landing spot for MVS due to his previous relationship with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. If he doesn't end up there, perhaps a team takes a flyer on him as we inch closer to preseason but right now, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still waiting to find where he'll be taking his next snaps.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

With the final pick of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs went in a non-traditional role selecting a running back. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was coming off one hell of a season at LSU in 2019 where he rushed for 1,415 yards and had 453 receiving yards and won a National Championship.

Sadly, CEH never had the same impact in Kansas City as he did during his college years. His best year came during his rookie season when he rushed for over 800 yards. He'd never come close to those numbers again and his yards declined every season.

Now Edwards-Helaire is a free agent and while it's possible a team picks him up and gives him a one-year prove-it deal, we've seen that even the best running backs aren't as valued in free agency. Edwards-Helaire hasn't been one of the better running backs in the league so it could be trickier for him to find a new home.

Donovan Smith

Last offseason, the Chiefs found themselves needing to fill both tackle positions, as Orlando Brown Jr. had signed with the Bengals and Andrew Wylie had departed for Washington. Jawaan Taylor was the first signing by KC to fill their tackle spots but then they later signed Donovan Smith on a one-year prove it deal.

Smith was coming off a down year with the Bucs in 2022 and didn't fare much better in KC during the 2023 season. PFF ranked him 61st out of an eligible 81 tackles last year.

That being said, teams might be willing to pay Smith if they become desperate for a left tackle between now and the start of the season. That being said, with two down years under his belt, it's not shocking to see teams steering clear of Smith as of now.