The action is happening in the AFC West during 2022.
Things got started with the Denver Broncos trading for Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson.
It would intensify with the Los Angeles Chargers trading for defensive star Khalil Mack.
The Las Vegas Raiders would also go all-in to win in 2022 by trading for star receiver Davante Adams.
However, the Kansas City Chiefs have been downgrading their roster in 2022.
The trades and releases Kansas City made have fans thinking a rebuilding mode is happening.
Chiefs clearly in rebuilding mode https://t.co/JBtOogJ5pY
— Slim (@SlimmyTaylor) March 23, 2022
But that isn’t true at all.
What the Chiefs are doing is building around Mahomes.
Hill Trade Frees Up Cap Space And Gave Team Multiple Draft Picks
Losing Hill took away one of Mahomes’ biggest weapons on offense.
However, the trade allows the Chiefs to draft a new weapon for their quarterback.
It also gives them the cap space needed to acquire any additional weapons he might need.
The team might have seen the Green Bay situation with their cap space and wanted to get ahead of a dangerous situation.
Cap space can hurt a team that tries to put together an all-star team for a Super Bowl run.
The Chiefs saved around $18 million by trading Hill, making the move smart for the team.
The Tyreek Hill trade will clear $18.035 million in cap space for the Chiefs. Hill's contract has $2.65 million in dead money. The Chiefs started today with $1,782,035, per the NFLPA public salary cap report. This would put them at $19.817 million in cap space.
— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) March 23, 2022
That money can be used for draft picks they sign or players they get in free agency.
Chiefs Already Found Their Replacement For Mathieu
After releasing Mathieu, the Chiefs wasted no time signing Justin Reid in free agency.
While his talent isn’t the level of Mathieu’s, he’s still a solid safety for the team.
However, some fans still believe the team will bring Mathieu back.
This cannot be further from the truth.
It wouldn’t make sense for Kansas City to sign both Mathieu and Reed to contracts.
So it’s clear that Reed will take Mathieu’s spot in Kansas City.
It also means that this isn’t a rebuild, as the team seems to have things planned out by replacing players.
One other player addition could be why the Chiefs would trade Hill to the Dolphins.
Chiefs Signed Former Steelers Number One Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster
Right before the Hill trade, the chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a contract.
He was a former number one receiver in Pittsburgh.
However, he never played like a number one after the Steelers released Antonio Brown.
JuJu Smith-Schuster career 100-yard games:
WITH Antonio Brown in lineup: 10
WITHOUT Antonio Brown: 2 pic.twitter.com/3LJv6VGj3v
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 26, 2020
Yet the Chiefs are clearly taking a chance on what could see Smith-Schuster returning as a number one receiver again.
While putting him as a number one to replace Hill could backfire, the team will take the risk.
They had a plan after examining their needs.
They freed cap space by releasing Mathieu and trading Hill.
The Hill trade also got them several draft picks.
They also had replacements for the player they lost.
In the end, the Chiefs aren’t rebuilding; they are just carefully replacing players they feel aren’t a fit anymore.