KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — The Kansas City Chiefs have some important decisions to make after a Super Bowl-winning season in 2022.
As the NFL Combine begins on-field drills on Thursday, the clock is ticking on the Chiefs’ pending free agents.
Here are some key dates to watch for the offseason.
March 7: Franchise/Transition tag deadline
The Chiefs have a number of key players up for free agency, including offensive tackle Orlando Brown, wide receivers Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back Jerick McKinnon.
General manager Brett Veach said Brown played on the franchise tag in 2022 and suggested that’s an option for next season as well while they work out a long-term contract.
If Brown plays on the franchise tag again, he would be paid $18.244 million.
March 15: New League Year
The start of the new league year means free agency is wide open, and trading begins.
Teams must also exercise options for 2023 on all players who have option clauses in their 2022 contracts. Clubs must also submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts to retain a right of first refusal/compensation.
A restricted free agent is a player with three accrued seasons whose contract has expired. The player may be subject to a qualifying offer from his previous team. The Chiefs have two of those in punter Tommy Townsend and defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton.
An exclusive restricted free agent is a player with no more than two accrued seasons whose contract has expired. The Chiefs have three of those on their roster in tight end, Jody Fortson, quarterback Shane Buechele and offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho.
April 27-29: NFL Draft
The annual selection of first-year players into the NFL comes to Kansas City’s Union Station and begins on Thursday, April 27, and through Saturday, April 30.
The Chiefs have the last pick in the first round at 31st overall and currently have nine picks on deck, with more to come with compensatory picks.
After rookies are drafted, they will go through rookie minicamp on May 5-8 or May 12-15 to get them acquainted with how teams operate during the season.
The NFL schedule release is expected to be around that timeframe as well, which will tell when OTAs and training camp are, as well as the regular season schedule for each team.