The Kansas City Chiefs have been threatening in the AFC for a while now. Ever since Andy Reid arrived in 2013, the Chiefs have been a growing force. They have missed the playoffs just once during Reid’s tenure and have developed into one of the most exciting and eye-catching offenses in the NFL. This all came to a head in 2018 when Patrick Mahomes took over the reins and turned into a touchdown-throwing monster. The Chiefs offense led the NFL in points scored and they claimed the #1 seed in the AFC.
Unfortunately, the Chiefs still couldn’t get past the Patriots in the playoffs and their season ended in the AFC championship game. Moving into the 2019 season they are among the favorites for Super Bowl LIV, but in Madden 19 they still have a shot at Super Bowl LIII.
In Franchise Mode the Chiefs have an 85 overall rating, this is fueled by an 89 rated offense and an 83 rated defense. That offensive score shows you just how strong a unit it is and how important it is to the success of the Chiefs. However, it isn’t all rosy for the Chiefs, along with a shot at the Super Bowl comes the need to manage the salary cap and make key personnel decisions that can take this team from contender to a dominant force or basement dweller. Let’s take a look at their salary cap situation first, and then we can see which players to re-sign or let walk.
Kansas City Chiefs Salary Cap
If you start your Franchise Mode in the preseason, as you should, then you’ll have $55.4 million in cap space with 59 players on the roster. You have to cut 6 players, meaning you can open up even more space. There are 20 players who can be released without any cap penalty, including fullback Anthony Sherman who can clear $2 million more in cap space.
But with such a big amount of cap space already available there is no reason to cut players just to open up even more space. This team is in a healthy position with the cap, but there are some personnel decisions that you have to make coming down the road.
Kansas City Chiefs Impending Free Agents
The Chiefs have 22 players in the last year of their contract. Not all of these guys need re-signing and many are easily replaceable. However, there are a couple of players that should be brought back on a big contract extension.
The priority should be edge rusher Dee Ford. The outside linebacker is an 87 overall player with well-rounded pass rushing ability and is the primary edge player for Kansas City. At 27 he has some peak years ahead of him to make a big contract extension more palatable.
The next player you should look at is center Mitch Morse. The Chiefs offensive line is not amazing but at 82 overall Morse is their second-best player up front. He’s 26, making a 4-year extension very sensible as you have other priorities for draft picks.
Both the running back and cornerback positions are about to be decimated as well, meaning a good chunk of that available cap space needs to be put into maintaining the roster at its current level rather than making a splash in free agency. The Chiefs also need to keep some space for season 2 when Tyreek Hill, Chris Jones, and Kendall Fuller will be free agents.
Other key impending free agents: Harrison Butker (K), Orlando Scandrick (CB), Allen Bailey (DE), Chris Conley (WR)
Kansas City Chiefs Roster Needs
The Chiefs have the best offensive skill positions possible. Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce are excellent, but since Kareem Hunt got released the Chiefs could use a new running back. They are pretty easy to get hold of in Madden so that isn’t a worry. The biggest place the offense needs improvement is the offensive line. Only right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is excellent, and while Morse is a solid center, the other positions are in need of improvement. The mid-rounds of the draft are perfect for drafting guards, but you may struggle to find an appropriate left tackle option after the 1st round of the draft.
However, where you should throw your resources is into the defense. This 83 rated unit is in trouble if you can’t keep Dee Ford, but even if you do, there are still plenty of upgrades that are possible. Along the defensive line Chris Jones is excellent but around him there isn’t much. On the edge Justin Houston is starting to feel his age and regress a little. He’s still good but finding a young backup should be an important part of your long-term strategy.
The middle linebacker position is also very poor, while Eric Berry and Kendall Fuller need a lot of help in the secondary. This is where you should look to spend your first-round draft and invest some cap space in free agency. The likes of Jason McCourty can fill a gap at cornerback while you put draft picks into free safety and linebacker. Whatever combination it is you settle on, improving these three positions is the most important thing to do to this roster if you want to finally lead the Chiefs past the Patriots and take them to the Super Bowl.