Chiefs rumors: Richie James is on trade block for Kansas City

Both team and player are looking for a way to get him into a better opportunity for playing time.
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

It might sound backward to hear that the Kansas City Chiefs are looking to trade away a wide receiver before the NFL's trade deadline. The play of the position overall has left everyone wanting in 2023, but when it comes to the specific case of Richie James, there's just nothing for him on the Chiefs with the way the roster is presently constructed.

With the league's trade deadline looming in just over 24 hours, rumors are churning left and right, but the only smoke coming from Kansas City right now comes from ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler, who notes that both the Chiefs and Richie James are "exploring trade possibilities."

Both team and player are looking for a way to get him into a better opportunity for playing time.

The Chiefs first signed Richie James this past spring to a one-year deal in free agency. James enjoyed a bit of a breakout season in 2022 with the New York Giants after spending his first few seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. James had career-highs in catches (57), receiving yards (569), touchdowns (4) for New York when injuries allowed him to take on a greater share of the offensive load.

Coming to K.C., the Chiefs wanted James to provide some experience on offense as a reliable target as well as some juice in the return game where the Chiefs lacked solid options. Unfortunately, James looked fairly mediocre early on (albeit in a very limited sample size) on offense and special teams and the Chiefs have largely turned the corner on the whole thing.

For the Chiefs, Rashee Rice is the primary slot and that's with Mecole Hardman and Skyy Moore waiting in the wings (or playing elsewhere). Montrell Washington and Hardman are the two returners to speak of on the Chiefs roster at this point as well. Now that James is healthy and ready to return, there's simply no place for him to go.

Will they find a trade partner to give James a new home? Will they decide to keep him in case they need him down the road? Would they just cut him in order to create another roster spot? The Chiefs have some decisions to make in the next day.