The 4 most underrated moves of the Kansas City Chiefs offseason

It can be easy to forget about some of the quieter moves the Chiefs have made either in free agency or the draft.
Kansas City Chiefs OTA Offseason Workouts
Kansas City Chiefs OTA Offseason Workouts / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs have made plenty of headlines this offseason, both of the desirable kind or not. They've toured the White House and have gotten arrested. They've traded away emerging stars and have re-signed their best defender. They've brought back familiar faces and imported new ones. They've taken major swings in the draft and missed out on free agents.

Through it all, it can be easy to forget about some of the quieter moves the Chiefs have made either in free agency or the draft. Let's take a look back at some of the more underrated moves that we should be thankful for.

Retaining assistant coaches

One of the most overlooked moves of this offseason for the Chiefs is the fact that Clark Hunt and company found a way to keep the Chiefs' leadership almost completely intact from last year. While the team retained Andy Reid with a nice new contract extension, it's also notable that they managed to keep his staff around him as the team chases historic greatness.

Defensive line coach Joe Cullen had overtures from other teams and could have had a potential promotion to the coordinator level but he decided to stay. The 49ers were reportedly interested in poaching Steve Spagnuolo away from K.C. but the Chiefs convinced him to stick around.

What's amazing about this current run of sustained success for the Chiefs is how much of their leadership has remained on board in an NFL where losing teams come and steal anything and everything away from the winners annually. That signals that most teams aren't sure where to credit the Chiefs, but it also allows for KC to have a remarkably stable organization.

Keeping things Tranquill

The Chiefs entered the offseason with two defensive players stealing all the headlines. That left one important re-signing in the shadows of it all, despite the importance of bringing back linebacker Drue Tranquill..

Once the front office (finally) took care of defensive tackle Chris Jones this offseason with a massive new contract extension, the Chiefs took their sweet time with cornerback L'Jarius Sneed before trading him to the Tennessee Titans for a future third-round selection. Yet in the midst of all that, an important player from the second level was also retained, and the Chiefs will be glad they did for years to come.

No one quite expected Tranquill to be such a big hit for the Chiefs defense last year, but he was a perfect fit for what Steve Spagnuolo wants to do. Tranquill's ability to play so well in coverage yet not embarrass himself against the run allows the Chiefs to lean on him in multiple ways. His experience and intelligence allow him to handle leadership duties there, and his presence gives Spags another chess piece to deploy as he sees fit.

The Chiefs rarely reward veteran players like this—offering up a multi-year deal after signing a player for a single season—but Tranquill was such a dynamic exception that everyone in Chiefs Kingdom was so glad to see him back.

Bringing LRZ to the table

If there's one thing the Kansas City Chiefs will be more fluent in than any other team in the NFL this season, especially early, it's the change(s) in special teams play (e.g. kickoffs).

The Chiefs responded in kind to league-wide changes by signing Louis Rees-Zammit, which tells you everything you need to know about how they view him. He's an answer to a new question, a potential solution to a new problem that will unfold in real-time in meaningful situations in front of all of us at once. The fact that the Chiefs had him in mind and have backed him with such confidence is a great sign going forward.

The game of football is all about maintaining edges, however slight, and Rees-Zammit's presence represents that possibility in myriad ways. He's reportedly a sponge while bringing obvious athletic gifts to the table. A full run with the roster in training camp could yield surprising results in more than just one area—e.g. the backfield as well as special teams.

Think back to the Super Bowl when the 49ers players didn't even recognize the overtime rules while the Chiefs' preparation helped them claim a second consecutive title. The Chiefs will once again be ahead of the learning curve here because of the diligence of Dave Toub and the chemistry with a front office meeting coaches' demands.

Drafting gifts

In the bottom of the fourth round, the Chiefs were taking nearly consecutive selections and decided upon a tight end from TCU with the first of them. Then after a single pick was made, they finally shrugged and accepted the free gift waiting for them all along: Washington State safety Jaden Hicks.

No one would have pressed the Chiefs to take a safety there with other needs on the board. They already had Justin Reid, Bryan Cook, Chamarri Conner, Nazeeh Johnson, and Deon Bush on the books along with further promising players to come either through the draft or rookie free agency. But the Chiefs also could not deny that too much of a good thing is a problem worth having.

Hicks is pro-ready as a box safety with the versatility and experience to play all over the secondary. He's also still 21 years old and should be a natural fit to take over for Justin Reid when his contract expires in '25.