The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC, but Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers also highlighted some of the biggest roles on the roster. If Kansas City wants to hoist the Lombardi Trophy gain, several big moves will need to be made this offseason.
It certainly doesn’t help the Chiefs that some of their best players, including L’Jarius Sneed and Chris Jones, are eligible for unrestricted free agency. For the sake of this exercise, we’re excluding them from our list but they will be the first players Kansas City’s front office prioritizes this spring.
Related: Kansas City Chiefs draft picks 2024
Let’s dive into our Chiefs free agent targets for 2024.
Tyron Smith, OT, Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl LVIII was a reminder of what many already knew. Championship-caliber teams shouldn’t be relying on Donovan Smith at left tackle. He was awful in 2022 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, drawing 12 penalties and grading as one of the worst left tackles in the NFL. In Kansas City, he drew 9 penalties during the regular season and again was rated by Pro Football Focus as one of the worst left tackles in football.
Tyron Smith is the solution to the Chiefs’ problems. He is entering his age-33 season and the eight-time Pro Bowl selection has struggled to stay healthy at times. However, Kansas City needs a high-end offensive tackle protecting Mahomes. Just last year, Smith earned second-team All-Pro honors, allowing the fourth-fewest pressures (21) and the third-fewest QB hits (1) while rating as the best pass-blocking tackle in 2023.
Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears
Kansas City can’t afford to get into a bidding war with other NFL teams for the best wide receivers available in free agency. Fortunately, they don’t have to. Mahomes will attract talent and the Chiefs’ offense is the perfect spot for a wide receiver coming off a down season to rebuild his value.
- Darnell Mooney advanced stats: 5.65 average cushion (23rd in NFL), 13.4 yards per reception, 12 deep targets in 2024
Mooney, entering his age-27 season, broke out in 2021 with 1,055 receiving yards, emerging as an outstanding deep threat in the Chicago Bears offense. While his production plummeted in the last two seasons, he still excels at creating separation downfield. Kansas City needs a deep threat with strong hands and Mooney – 96.9 percent catch rate in 2023 – would perfectly fill that void in the Chiefs’ offense.
Maurice Hurst, defensive tackle, Cleveland Browns
There is no replacing Chris Jones, which is precisely why the Chiefs are going to do everything in their power to re-sign him. However, the All-Pro defensive tackle is arguably the best free agent available in 2024 and after winning Super Bowls in Kansas City, he’s ready to get paid.
Because the Chiefs have to make cap-friendly moves, we’re targeting potential bargain finds. Kansas City is going to need more interior pass-rushing help if Jones departs and while Maurice Hurst carries massive medical red flags, the talent speaks for itself.
In 173 pass-rushing snaps for the Cleveland Browns, Hurst shined. He recorded 18 pressures, finishing 20th in PFF’s pass-rush win rate (14.1 percent). To put that number into perspective, Hurst’s pass-rush win rate was tied with Vita Vea and just behind Pro Bowl defensive tackle Justin Madubuike. The 6-foot-2 defensive tackle hasn’t played more than 13 games in a season since 2019, but his production is worth rolling the dice on a one-year deal for the Chiefs.
Noah Fant, TE, Seattle Seahawks
At first glance, Noah Fant might not look like the player a Super Bowl contender would want to sign in free agency. Once the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-4 tight end hasn’t delivered great production in stops with the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. However, there’s another reason to like Fant’s fit in Kansas City.
Fant lit up the NFL Scouting Combine with his athleticism and he still has it entering his prime years. This past season, Fant had the second-highest target separation (2.35) among tight ends, he ranked third in yards per reception (12.9) and had the fourth-highest catch rate (94.1 percent) at his position.
Adding Fant is just as much about providing Mahomes with more offensive weapons as it is potentially finding a long-term successor for Travis Kelce. The future Hall of Famer proved he lost a step in 2023 and with the All-Pro turning 35 in October, it’s possible he takes another slight step back next season. Adding Fant adds another special athlete to the field and he’ll be used heavily by a team that has grown to like 2TE sets.