Coming off an impressive Super Bowl LIV win and celebration, the Kansas City Chiefs are poised for a bright future with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. Unsurprisingly, talk about the Chiefs becoming a dynasty has already begun.
Optimism among players and fans is understandable. Mahomes has already won the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP in his career and he’ll only be 25 next season. Pair it with some of the young talent on both sides of the ball and the pieces are seemingly in place to contend.
Winning one title is incredibly challenging. It takes a season of stars staying healthy, limiting mistakes and plenty of luck along the way. As the history of recent Super Bowl champions shows, lifting the Lombardi Trophy once more is nearly impossible – outside of the New England Patriots, of course.
The skinny: While the Chiefs are seemingly in a great position to make another trip to the Super Bowl in 2020, plenty of factors and history are working against them.
Even if the Chiefs run it back with the same squad next season, a difficult task given the moves they must take this offseason, making it back to Super Bowl LV will be a far more significant challenge than anything they’ve faced before. Given the moves they’ll have to make this offseason, things are only going to become more difficult for the Chiefs’ attempt to become a dynasty.
Money Mahomes: While the Chiefs still have their star quarterback under contract for two more seasons, three if you count using the franchise tag in 2022, his price tag is only going to go up. As a result, it’s no surprise that the Chiefs want to get a record-breaking extension done this offseason.
The Chiefs enter the offseason with roughly $14 million in cap space and the figure will drop when Mahomes signs his new deal. Given some of this team’s upcoming free agents, that creates a bit of a problem.
Chris Jones cashes in: For as impressive as Mahomes played while leading Kansas City’s comeback, Jones’ performance in the fourth quarter was equally pivotal to winning Super Bowl LIV. The 25-year-old interior defensive lineman is one of the best in the NFL and he’s going to get paid like an elite player this offseason.
This is where the dilemma is. The Chiefs could determine they can’t afford to pay Jones and Mahomes, opting to trade their star pass rusher for a 2020 second-round pick and a future fourth-round pick. At the very least, it would allow the front office with more resources to replace Jones and strengthen other spots on the roster with cheap, young talent.
Paying Jones and Mahomes, along with all of the other talent on this team, isn’t ultimately realistic. It creates an obvious scenario where Kansas City’s defense could lose one of its most impactful players, which further hurts its chances of winning another Super Bowl and becoming a dynasty.
Long-term commitments: The Chiefs’ cap situation is also about maintaining enough space to keep several other key contributors in the years to come. It’s a problem teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers faced, tough decisions will need to be made.
Even with the new money that could eventually come from a 17-game season in a new collective-bargaining agreement and increased revenue from bigger media deals, there isn’t enough to keep everyone.
The bottom line: The Chiefs will remain a perennial contender with Andy Reid and Mahomes. Depending on them to become a dynasty is a stretch.
They will face far greater challenges and better competition in 2020 than they encountered this past season, it’s the nature of being a champion.
It’s certainly not impossible for the Chiefs to take the Patriots place as the NFL’s newest dynasty. But the salary cap and rising costs for top quarterbacks have made it so winning multiple titles is incredibly rare.
Before we even consider whether or not the Chiefs are at the start of a dynasty, let’s see if they can make it back to another Super Bowl.
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