KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs ended their offseason program on June 14. Here's a look at how they fared:
Offseason goals: The timing of the Alex Smith trade to Washington is an indication of how eager the Chiefs were to transition to Patrick Mahomes as their starting quarterback. The Chiefs agreed to the Smith trade before the Super Bowl, or 1½ months before the trading period began. They also wanted to get younger and more physical on defense.
How they fared: Average
Move I liked: The move from Smith to Mahomes could have waited for another year, but the timing is right in 2018. Mahomes looks like he's ready to be the starter, and the Chiefs have surrounded him with a tremendous cast of receivers and backs. The Chiefs were also able to obtain a high-quality cornerback in Kendall Fuller plus a draft pick by trading Smith this year as opposed to letting him walk when his contract was set to expire in 2019.
Move I didn't like: The Chiefs have many good young players on offense, but not so much on defense, particularly after trading cornerback Marcus Peters. But their biggest free-agency splurge was for a wide receiver, Sammy Watkins. Watkins might turn out to be a good signing. He turned 25 last week, and his presence might help the Chiefs get better on offense. But he won't fix a defense that needed some immediate help. The Chiefs didn't ignore their defense. They signed linebacker Anthony Hitchens and cornerback David Amerson and traded for another corner, Fuller. They also drafted defensive players with their first five picks. But they didn't add the immediate impact player on defense they so badly needed.
Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: Will the Chiefs play decent defense on a consistent basis? They struggled much of last season on defense and discarded two of their best defensive players, cornerback Peters and linebacker Derrick Johnson. The Chiefs should be able to score with the talent they have on offense, but they might have to score a lot every week to cover for their defense.
Quotable: "Alex is going to go down as one of my all-time favorite guys, players and human beings and everything else. The things he did here, he set all these records here. But life in the National Football League is [that] change takes place. We're fortunate to have [Mahomes] as the change. Not every team can say that. ... We're very optimistic about it. It's an exciting time." -- Chiefs coach Andy Reid on the change at quarterback
Salary-cap space: $7,500,993, according to the NFL Players Association.
2018 draft picks: LB Breeland Speaks (second round, Mississippi), DL Derrick Nnadi (third round, Florida State), LB Dorian O'Daniel (third round, Clemson), S Armani Watts (fourth round, Texas A&M), CB Tremon Smith (sixth round, Central Arkansas), G Kahlil McKenzie (sixth round, Tennessee).
Undrafted rookie free agents signed: LB Raymond Davison, DB Step Durham, OL Ryan Hunter, OL Tejan Koroma, DL Dee Liner, QB Chase Litton,WR Blake Mack, WR Elijah Marks, LB Rob McCray, RB J.D. Moore, OL Jimmy Murray, LB Ben Niemann, WR Byron Pringle, DB Malik Reaves, WR Jordan Smallwood, CB Arrion Springs, DB D'Montre Wade, RB Darrel Williams.
Unrestricted free agents signed: S Robert Golden,QB Chad Henne, LB Anthony Hitchens,QB Matt McGloin,WR Sammy Watkins, RB Damien Williams, RB Kerwynn Williams.
Restricted free agents signed: NT Xavier Williams.
Players acquired via trade: CB Kendall Fuller (from Washington).