Five players the Chiefs must make room for in 2023

Potential doesn't win championships.

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Matt Bushman

Say what you will about Blake Bell. Point out the quarterback sneaks with him, his blocking prowess, and his veteran presence. All that together does not give him a ceiling higher than TE3 in Kansas City. If the Chiefs want more receiving versatility with similar blocking, Matt Bushman is the guy to keep.

The 27-year-old has yet to log an NFL snap after a season-ending injury last season and a delay in starting his post-collegiate career. All that does not remove Bushman's talent on the field, especially his hands, which earned him the nickname "Honey Hands" at BYU. 

But, let's be honest, Bushman will not be called upon much in the passing game. It is good to have the depth that you can rely on as receivers, sure, but Bushman's real value can come on special teams. He and kicker Harrison Butker are tied for the most special teams snaps this preseason, with 22 apiece. Bushman's versatility and athleticism make him a valuable asset on special teams.

His ability to excel in coverage and make open-field tackles adds an extra dimension to his game. With his reliable hands and knack for finding open lanes, Bushman has the potential to make significant contributions in the return game as well. The only thing he hasn't played in this preseason is field goal blocking. The Chiefs coaches are giving Bushman every opportunity to make the 53-man roster, and he is making a good case. 

I would take Bushman over Bell if the Chiefs only carried three tight ends, but even if they carried four, another team is less likely to pick up Bell between initial cuts and before the Chiefs put a player on IR. A player like cornerback Nic Jones or wide receiver Kadarius Toney, barring a setback, could start the season on IR. If the Chiefs have any inkling of keeping Bushman, he needs to start the season on the 53-man roster.