With the upcoming season nearly four months away, the Chiefs have yet to fill arguably their most urgent need heading into the offseason, which lies at Wide Receiver. John Dorsey was groomed by an organization in Green Bay that spends and distributes its money wisely, and although the man at the helm of the Chiefs organization has given fans no reason to doubt his decision making, one has to question the teams excessive spending on a position group that has been rather underwhelming from a production standpoint. CBSSports.com shed light on each franchises spending habits at the leagues flashiest position, shown below.
The most shocking thing about Kansas City’s spending isn’t that the money spent fails to match up with the production on the field. It’s that after nearly an entire offseason that offered up many opportunities to cut loose a bad contract at WR and add an inexpensive rookie, John Dorsey and Andy Reid sat on their hands and watched silently as the market for wide receivers dwindled before their eyes.
Is criticizing a regime that turned a 2-14 team into a serious contender in a matter of one year a bit harsh? Possibly. But, the Chiefs are now expected to improve and contended heavily in the AFC.
Kansas City ranking no. 8 in spending on WR’s raises many topics of discussion. Not only is the upcoming year a “make-or-break” season for Dwayne Bowe, who possesses a hefty yearly salary at approximately $11 million per year, but it leaves the front office with a number of importance decisions to make on receivers with rather expensive price tags (ex. Donnie Avery). If the Chiefs WR corp fails to produce, the effects will be felt, even possibly mid-season. All of this can be avoided
Dwayne Bowe’s Lack of Production:
Dwayne Bowe’s lack of production in 2013 for the most part was due to the fact that the Chiefs lacked an effective number two wide receiver, putting all of the defensive attention solely on no.82. But with no major changes to the WR corp, Andy Reid will need to force the issue and consistently get Bowe involved in the Chiefs offense.
Throughout the first eight games of last season, Bowe was targeted a mere 44 times. Although Reid eventually implemented certain plays and schemes specifically designed to get Bowe involved, teams will catch on to the simplicity of lining up Bowe in the slot and dishing the pigskin to him on very short, intermediate routes. No. 82’s experience and success throughout his career outside indicate that he’s better suited in that role.
Bowe isn’t to blame for his lack of production, though. One can only do so much with all the defensive attention on him, and others will need to step up in order for Bowe’s play to improve. Enter, De’Anthony Thomas.
De’Anthony Thomas’ Involvement:
The Chiefs offense has the potential to be incredibly dangerous in the future with the combination of Jamaal Charles, De’Anthony Thomas and Knile Davis all capable of carrying the rock, and changing the game in one play. Thomas’ value to the Chiefs lies in his capability to line up in the slot and in the backfield, and his ability to take advantage of mismatches he’ll get with the majority of the attention put on Charles and Bowe.
If Thomas can make the slightest impact offensively in year one, defenses will be forced to account for him. If “DAT” is used correctly, the Chiefs may find their answer to the lack of offensive production at playmaking positions from their fourth round pick.
AJ Jenkins’ Opportunities:
AJ Jenkins possesses big play ability, which was put on display in limited opportunity late last season. If he can find himself in more of a defined role this season, the opportunities in Andy Reid’s “catch-and-run” offense are endless.
Reid’s fondness for quick, speedy wide receivers is well know, which explains reports indicating that “Big Red” is very high on Jenkins. His presence vertically and on crossing routes alone may be enough to free up Dwayne Bowe outside, and open up the running lames for Charles and Davis.
If the Chiefs can provide Jenkins with a defined role in the offense, he’s destined to succeed.
He has the skills, has had the time to develop, and is in the perfect offense. Now, the only thing keeping him from emerging as the Chiefs number two wide receiver is opportunity.
Kansas City’s overspending at wide receiver is a problem, and will continue to be a problem until the production at that position increases. As for this year, the Chiefs wide receiver play relies on whether or not the staff can implement a plan to develop their playmakers internally, and get them ready to make an impact come week one. The potential is there with players such as Jenkins, Thomas, Hemingway, and even Frankie Hammond Jr. on the roster. Now, that potential simply needs to be turned into production.