8 late-season storylines that will shape the Chiefs' future

Even some of the smaller moves the Chiefs coaches decide to make in the next few weeks could yield significant returns or insights down the road for the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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Neil Farrell earns some playing time

Shortly before the regular season began this year for the Chiefs, general manager Brett Veach found another low-risk prospect to import at a position of need when he traded with the Las Vegas Raiders for defensive tackle Neil Farrell.

On the surface, the deal for Farrell is a minor one. It was only a sixth-round choice on the part of Kansas City, and Farrell was just now coming into his second season as a pro. That meant K.C. was getting three more seasons of cost-controlled talent at a very thin position for the Chiefs. It falls right in line with similar bets made by Veach at this stage—whether FA signings (Reggie Ragland) or trades (Kadarius Toney, Cam Erving).

So far this year, however, Farrell has yet to play a single down for the Chiefs. He's sat as a healthy scratch on the team's inactive list week after week after week despite the team having an obvious need in the middle. Consider Mike Pennel as a 32-year-old signed as a street free agent in October to the practice squad and was playing a dozen reps along the d-line two months later.

How is Farrell not earning even a few snaps in a defensive line rotation to this point? Even more, the Chiefs already let sixth-rounder Keondre Coburn get claimed by two other teams because they wouldn't make room for him on the active roster. For some reason, the younger guys aren't earning the trust of coaches up front.

Given what Veach has proven he can do with a late-round pick, it'd be nice if Farrell could give the team some return on its investment.