KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — The Kansas City Chiefs have an opportunity to sign a receiver they’ve had their eyes on for some time.
The Arizona Cardinals released their star receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday after months-long rumors of trade talks.
Hopkins listed Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs as one of the teams/quarterbacks he wanted to play with, as well as the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles.
If the Chiefs wanted to make that happen, extending defensive tackle Chris Jones’ contract is the first priority.
The Chiefs currently have around $2.8 million in cap space.
The Cardinals will pay Hopkins $22.6 million this year, and has no guaranteed money owed to him as a result of his contract.
The Chiefs were reportedly close to signing the soon-to-be 31-year-old receiver before the draft, but his contract value was too high for the organization.
Jones is owed $20 million this season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year. Extending Jones to a new contract before the season could free up some cap space by moving some money from his base salary ($19.5 million this year) into bonus money or somewhere else throughout his new contract.
Restructuring Mahomes’ contract could help lighten the load as well, especially with the comments he made this week about valuing legacy over money.
While the Chiefs have a full wide receiver room already that includes several talented players nearing the end of their rookie contracts, signing Hopkins to a one or two-year deal while he is in his prime could make the offense that much stronger.
But Kansas City just won a Super Bowl with Travis Kelce as the number-one receiver and with JuJu Smith-Schuster as the next-best option. Hopkins’s deal, if it gets done, could look similar to JuJu’s.
With Mahomes and Kelce at the helm of the offense, big-name receivers are never needed but are always a nice bonus for the Kansas City Chiefs.