How the Chiefs improved both their wide receiver room and salary cap

To no one's surprise, Valdes-Scantling's time in Kansas City came to an end on February 28 and that's where things get interesting.

Dallas Cowboys v Arizona Cardinals
Dallas Cowboys v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Kansas City's primary downfield threat last season, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, came to the Chiefs the day after Tyreek Hill was traded to the Dolphins. A three-year, $30 million contract was the cost for the hope that the 6'4" Valdes-Scantling would realize his potential by stepping out of the shadows of former teammate Davante Adams.

Valdes-Scantling received ample opportunity in Kansas City, but the results were erratic at best. While his legacy should first reflect his marvelous performance in the 2023 AFC Championship Game (6 receptions for 116 yards and a score), and the sensational game-sealing catch in the 2024 AFC Championship Game at Baltimore, he will also be remembered for frustrating drops that ultimately cost the Chiefs in multiple regular season games.

Fun fact: During his tenure in Kansas City, MVS scored as many touchdowns in 7 postseason games (3) as he did in 33 regular season games.

To no one's surprise, Valdes-Scantling's time in Kansas City came to an end on February 28. The Chiefs saved $12 million on their 2024 salary cap with the move. And that's where things get interesting.

The Chiefs somehow improved their wide receiver room and saved space against the cap with just a couple of moves.

Late Thursday night, the official announcement was made that the Chiefs had inked former Cardinals and Ravens wideout Marquise "Hollywood" Brown to a one-year deal. Brown replaces Valdes-Scantling as the "chief" downfield threat in the lineup and should flourish when combined with all-everything quarterback Patrick Mahomes. As the benefactor of 100+ targets in each of the last four seasons, Brown will demand the attention of opposing defenses, and this should help open up other facets of the Chiefs' offense.

Brown's contract is a one-year deal for $7 million—a bargain, by any standard—with bonuses that could escalate the deal to as much as $11 million. Compounded with the cap savings that KC recouped by releasing Valdes-Scantling, that means the Chiefs' salary cap room actually grew with the upgrade.

Brown could have taken bigger dollars elsewhere. Calvin Ridley signed with the Titans for 4 years and $92 million. Gabe Davis and Darnell Mooney each signed a multi-year deal averaging more than Brown's one-year deal. This seems to indicate that Brown prioritizes winning.

The Chiefs still have another move or two to make in their wide receiver room, but things are looking much brighter moving forward.