3 moves Chiefs can make to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster at half the price
The Kansas City Chiefs watched Joejo Smith-Schuster leave for the New England Patriots in free agency. Here are three moves the team makes to take their place.
The NFL year officially kicks off on Wednesday, March 15th at 4:00 PM ET. But since Monday, free agent teams can negotiate contracts. As is the case every year, there is a huge turnover in terms of listings. Even the Kansas City Chiefs.
Last season, the Chiefs were fine at the wide receiver position, even after trading away from Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. JuJu Smith-Schuster signed with the Chiefs prior to the Hill trade, and was the leading receiver throughout the regular season, but was slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022 season. While Smith-Schuster had expressed interest in returning, there was a risk that he would leave, as he was One of the best receivers available in free agency.
On Wednesday, Smith-Schuster officially became a former Chiefs, agreeing to terms of a three-year, $33 million contract with the New England Patriots.
As the Chiefs proved last season, even with a loss of talent up front, they can find ways to replace them. After all, they still have quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelsey on the roster. Given that Smith-Schuster is left with an $11 million salary per season, there are three cheaper options the Chiefs could explore this season and still have a chance to compete for the Super Bowl.
3 Moves Chiefs Can Make To Replace JuJu Smith-Schuster At Half Price #3: Sign Darius Slayton
Looking at the top of the free agency plate for wide receivers, they’re going to be a little pricey. It is said that Odell Beckham Jr. He is looking for $20 million annually in his next contract. Then there’s Detroit Lions wide DJ Chark, whose Spotrac projects a market value of $9.5 million per season.
One receiver who could be a solid targeting option for Kansas City is Darius Slayton.
The New York Giants seem ready to overhaul their wide receiver corps, considering it was an area of weakness last season. They’ve already committed to bringing back Sterling Sheppard and Isaya Hudgens for next season, while Wandell Robinson, who was their second round pick last year, is on the depth chart. It’s unknown if Slayton will return, considering he was on the trading block this past season.
Last season, Slayton caught 46 of 71 targets for 724 yards and two touchdowns over 16 games (11 starts).
Slayton was a draft pick by General Manager Dave Gittleman. While he has shown real promise to be one of the Giants’ top passing options, it’s unknown if the team will bring him back for 2023 and beyond. After all, the Giants could use their first-round pick on a receiver, not to mention they traded to the Las Vegas Raiders for tight end Darren Waller. With Spotrac listing Slayton as having a market value of $3.5 million per year, he could be a solid option for Chiefs to bring in.