Chiefs surprisingly decide to retain elite talent

Kadarius Toney #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Travis Kelce #87, Jerrick McKinnon #1 and Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs after a five-yard touchdown reception against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 4th quarter in Super Bowl LVII in-state.  Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
(Photo by Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

For the second straight off-season, the Kansas City Chiefs have lost a big-time offensive playmaker.

Last offseason, they surprised everyone by trading wide receiver Tyreek Hill, perhaps the NFL’s premier speed threat, to the Miami Dolphins, and this offseason, they signed wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster to the New England Patriots. saw.

The reigning Super Bowl champs were also in danger of leaving behind Jerrick McKinnon, but on Tuesday they managed to re-sign him.

At first glance, one might think that McKinnon didn’t play such a big role in his championship season, considering that he ran for just 291 yards and never made the Pro Bowl.

But he led the Chiefs with nine receiving touchdowns while adding 512 yards through the air, and he became one of a handful of players since 2016 to score at least eight receiving touchdowns in a six-game stretch. .

During the Patrick Mahomes era, the Chiefs were never known as a team that liked to run the football, let alone a team that did a lot of damage on the field.

They finished just 25th in rushing attempts in 2022, while throwing the fifth-most passes and notching more passing yards and touchdowns than any other team.

But even in the NFL nowadays, it is clear that a team must have an adequate running attack to set up its passing game.

McKinnon didn’t start any games in 2022 as Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire split Kansas City’s starting duties, but he helped pick up the slack in Hill’s absence.

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