Grading the Chiefs moves in free agency so far this year

The report card is in!

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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It's been a busy start to free agency for Brett Veach and the Kansas City Chiefs and why wouldn't it be? The Chiefs just became the first team since the 2003/2004 Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowls and are looking to be the first team ever to win three straight Super Bowls.

With that in mind, the Chiefs did something uncharacteristic by re-signing Chris Jones to a massive five-year contract that will pay him $95 in guaranteed money. In the past, it feels like this would have been the offseason where the Chiefs parted ways with Jones since he's approaching 30 and wanted a boat load of cash. Yet, when push came to shove, they got a deal done and are keeping Jones in Kansas City for what could be the rest of his career.

The Chiefs also re-signed Drue Tranquill, James Winchester, Deon Bush, Nazeeh Johnson, Cole Christiansen, Mike Caliendo, Jack Cochrane, and Malik Herring. New names coming to Kansas City, as of this writing, are punter Matt Araiza and tight end Irv Smith Jr.

Let's grade every signing so far.

Matt Araiza: B+

As soon as the Chiefs signed Matt Araiza to a cheap one-year deal, it was obvious that Tommy Townsend wasn't coming back. Araiza has yet to play in the NFL because he was accused of rape following his sixth-round selection by the Buffalo Bills in 2022, but the charges were dropped in late 2023. His nickname coming out of college was "Punt God" and the Chiefs lost their star punter so they found a talented bargain to replace Townsend.

Deon Bush: B

Fans won't get too excited about players like Bush re-signing but he's been a nice special teams piece for the Chiefs. He only appeared in six games last year, however, after appearing in 16 in 2022.

Mike Caliendo: A-

With Nick Allegretti off to our nation's capital to play for the Commanders, can Mike Caliendo become the new solid backup option for the Chiefs?

Cole Christiansen: B

Christiansen is mostly just a special teams contributor and only appeared in five games last year.

Jack Cochrane: B+

With Willie Gay off to New Orleans, Jack Cochrane might be able to work his way up the linebacker depth chart. He appeared in all 17 regular season games in 2023 and finished the season with 28 tackles.

Malik Herring: A-

The Chiefs signed Malik Herring as an undrafted free agent in 2022 who worked his way into rotational reps in 2023. If Charles Omenihu's injury keeps him out for longer than expected and/or Felix Anudike-Uzomah can't take the next step, Herring could end up being a nice option for the defense to have.

Nazeeh Johnson: A-

A seventh-round pick in 2022, Nazeeh Johnson played in 11 games as a rookie but then missed the entirety of the 2023 season due to injury. He had a really solid chance of getting a fair amount of playing time before the injury so bringing him back was a no-brainer.

Chris Jones: A

One of the biggest pieces for the Chiefs during their three Super Bowl victories is back to help the team try and three-peat. Maybe this deal goes down as a poor decision but right now, it keeps a major playmaker in Kansas City.

Irv Smith Jr.: C

The Bengals signed Irv Smith Jr. to be their starting tight end in 2023 and he was downright bad. The Chiefs are signing him to be a third-string option. It's hard to give this anything other than an average grade.

Drue Tranquill: A

A fan favorite from the 2023 season, the Chiefs not only brought Tranquill back on a three-year deal but he was a bargain.

James Winchester: A

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The GOAT returns!

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