Why (and how) the Chiefs should cash in their chips for a three-peat

Feb 15, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; A detail view of the three Vince Lombardi trophies on stage
Feb 15, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; A detail view of the three Vince Lombardi trophies on stage / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are the champions of the NFL for the second consecutive year and the third time in the past five years. It's the type of run that fans usually don't even dream about for their favorite team. Yet the Chiefs now find themselves in the midst of a run of success that only a handful of other teams in NFL history can match. They are already in a truly elite class. However, they now have a chance to do something that no other team in NFL history has been able to pull off, a three-peat.

If the Chiefs don't win another Super Bowl in my lifetime, it will still be impossible to view this era of Chiefs football as anything other than an amazing success. Of course, we would like to see them competing for Super Bowls every season for the remainder of Patrick Mahomes career, but it's impossible to know exactly what the future will bring. I truly believe that Mahomes will continue to find success even after Andy Reid and Travis Kelce retire, but nothing is written in stone.

That's where my desire for the Chiefs to go all in on a three-peat begins, but it's also more than just that. Do I want them to continue to win Super Bowls for the next decade? Sure, but I also selfishly want them to win next year so that we, as Chiefs fans, have the satisfaction of knowing that our team did something that no other team, not even the great New England Patriots was able to do. The Chiefs dynasty coming right on the heels of the Patriots dynasty that spanned the better part of two decades and netted six Super Bowls puts the Chiefs in a pretty big shadow, but the NFL's first three-peat would set them apart.

The Kansas City Chiefs' latest Super Bowl win made them a true dynasty and now they should do whatever it takes to become the NFL's first team to three-peat.

I also want this for Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, Andy Reid, and Steve Spagnuolo. If they are all part of a fourth Super Bowl win and the NFL's first-ever three-peat they all get to share in the legacy of that accomplishment. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the only two central figures of the Patriots dynasty while all the other guys came and went. Yes, the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will have more chapters to write, but the clock for the other central characters of this chapter of the story is ticking and I want this accomplishment for all of them.

Don't get me wrong, all of the players and coaches that have played a part in this dynasty so far have already earned their place in NFL history. I just want them all to share in the satisfaction of the NFL's first three-peat. There is naturally going to be a new era when Kelce and Reid retire. We don't know if that transition will be seamless even if K.C.'s cap situation is in perfect shape, so why not commit to trying to let all these guys share in NFL immortality while they are all still in their prime? I'd trade an extra year or two of having to go young and having more of a true restart when that happens in return for getting this group a fourth Super Bowl and the NFL's very first three-peat.

I don't think it will take a massive mortgaging of the Chiefs' future to get this done either, but I know not everyone will love this idea and the key players involved would also have to be willing to do this. Here's the basis of what I would propose: First, the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes would re-work his deal. I'm not just talking about converting some of his roster bonus to a signing bonus to prorate it over future years. I'm talking about a full re-work that could even potentially raise his APR to be in line with the other recent top quarterback deals but would dramatically drop his $58 million dollar cap hit for next season.

If the Chiefs and Mahomes can get that done, it allows them to do everything else they need. Yes, they might make a couple of other cuts (Marquez Valdes-Scantling) or re-work a couple of other deals, but the potential cap space they could clear with a Mahomes re-work is the real key.

Step two is franchise tagging L'Jarius Sneed. I know some fans will say we should tag Jones, but I'll get to him in a second. Sneed is already 27, in his prime, and would be one of the clear top two corners in free agency this year (along with Chicago's Jaylon Johnson). If he hits the open market it could get too pricey for Kansas City. His cap hit on the tag would be manageable at a little over $18 million.

The franchise tag will also incentivize Sneed to work out a longer deal. Corners don't typically get paid when they are nearing 30 years old and even just one year on the tag makes his dreams of a long-term huge money deal less likely. Plus, he has a bit of an injury history. It may seem cruel, but KC could play hardball and say, take this three year fully guaranteed deal that puts you in the top 5-10 corners in salary or play on the tag for one year while we go for the three-peat and then see if you can get someone to pay you more next year at age 28 (if we don't tag you again). A three year deal would put Sneed's deal up before they need to pay Trent McDuffie.

With Sneed tagged, the last major piece is Chris Jones. We've seen that Jones' agents are an issue. This could get tricky, but tagging Jones locks in too big of a cap number while they work on a longer deal so the Chiefs are likely going to have to let him test free agency and see if someone is willing to give Jones (who will turn 30 this summer) a huge money long-term deal. My guess is that despite his elite play, nobody is going to give him $30 million a year for three or four years at his age.

If someone gives Jones a long-term deal at that price tag, then the Chiefs probably lose him. However, if his agents can't get him some world-shattering deal, the Chiefs could come back and offer him something like a three-year deal with most of the guaranteed money in the first two years so they could move on after two seasons if his play drops off. With how dominant Jones was again this year, I would be fine being committed to Jones for the next two seasons. K.C. would have to pay him pretty big money to make it happen and they'd need to play on Jones's clear desire to be part of the history of this dynasty and a potential three-peat if their offer is a few million short of another team's deal.

I'd even try to clear enough space and structure the contracts so that they could keep Sneed and Jones and still make a solid addition at wide receiver. I'm not talking about a top-of-the-market deal to someone like Mike Evans, but maybe someone like Hollywood Brown who could replace Valdez-Scantling as the field stretcher for this offense. That probably would mean they'd have to bring back Donovan Smith to compete with Wanya Morris at left tackle because there wouldn't be money to upgrade there too, but Mahomes has proven he can win without elite left tackle play.

The downside of keeping the band together for a shot at NFL history is that it could limit the deals KC can offer to guys like Creed Humphrey, Nick Bolton, and Trey Smith when their rookie deals are up a year from now. So when you fast forward to the time when Reid and Kelce decide to retire and Sneed's and Jones' new deals are up, the cupboards could be even more bare. Again, I'm willing to have more of a true starting over with a younger group when that day comes. If I'm being honest, I actually think it could be fun and exciting to follow up the "dynasty era" with a younger group and a new coach.

So what do you think Chiefs fans? Are you with me in wanting to see the Chiefs go all in to let this group try to make NFL history, even if it means things are a little tight financially for a few seasons afterwards? Would you rather they just make smart fiscal moves to keep things consistent financially so that there is less of a rebuilding phase after this run?

I'm not scared of a rebuilding phase. The Chiefs won a Super Bowl in their "reloading" year after they traded Tyreek Hill away. Then they won another Super Bowl in their "down" year when it didn't seem like they had enough pieces around Mahomes on offense. Maybe that just shows that they don't have to keep guys like Jones and Sneed to make the three-peat happen, but I'd personally like to see them try.

The more players this dynasty keeps in place for multiple Super Bowls, the more this team is remembered as exactly that, and not just Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and Travis Kelce. I think that makes it even more special and would differentiate them from some of the other dynasties we've seen. Either way, how amazing is it that we get to debate how our favorite team should go about chasing NFL immortality?