Wide receiver market brings up mixed feelings for Kansas City Chiefs fans

On the one hand, it'd be great to employ Justin Jefferson. On the other hand....
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

If you're feeling multiple things all at once—even conflictual feelings—after having read the latest NFL news, you're not alone. It likely means you're a Chiefs fan.

Of course, we're cheating with that assumption because this is, first and foremost, a Chiefs site. That said, the team's present financial position mixed with the talent level at wide receiver makes it interesting to take in news of the league's latest contract extensions.

For the sake of review, the Minnesota Vikings finally eliminated any questions about Justin Jefferson's future with the team by reaching a four-year contract extension worth up to $140 million—good for a $35M average annual value. This comes on the heels of Jaylen Waddle's new contract with the Miami Dolphins and Amon-Ra St. Brown's' deal with the Detroit Lions.

On the one hand, it'd be great to employ Justin Jefferson. On the other hand....

At this point, Tyreek Hill and his mega-deal worth $30 million per season is not even in the top four at his position. Yikes! And of course, having witnessed new deals for the likes of his teammate, A.J. Brown, and more, Hill is reportedly interested in having his own contract updated. Yes, more money for the league's top receivers.

When hearing the levels of these deals, it's common to experience at least some level of relief that our favorite team—at least around here—isn't saddled with such a deal. The Chiefs haven't lost a Super Bowl since trading Tyreek Hill two years ago, and the resulting five draft picks from Miami helped set the stage for a deep defense and the most balanced rosters in recent Chiefs history.

At this point, Jefferson will average $35 million on his new deal while the Chiefs are on the hook for roughly $21 million to their wideouts for the coming season—and that's if you give them 7 on the active roster. That's a serious amount of savings, giving them the chance to lock up or stock up elsewhere.

Then again, there's a reason why those players cost so much. The production is elite. And that vacuum is what fans feel now when looking through the options for Patrick Mahomes. After Travis Kelce at tight end, the truth is that there's a lower ceiling than ever among Mahomes's pass catchers.

The Chiefs invested a first-round choice in Xavier Worthy at No. 28 overall—even trading up to get him—and they convinced Marquise Brown to sign a single-year deal in free agency. Those two will certainly expand the offensive potential in '24 but nothing is certain on this roster given Worthy's inexperience, Kelce's age, and Brown's short stint.

To pay these exorbitant, top-of-the-market prices would complicate the Chiefs' long-term financials in other areas, creating real hurdles for other contract extensions coming into view. At the same time, if the Chiefs could count on a Ja'Marr Chase type of leader to command attention from defenses, the offensive fear imposed in Mahomes's earliest seasons would be nice to have around again.