The Kansas City Chiefs already have the league’s best offense, but adding A.J. Green to it would be both smart insurance and fun as hell to watch.
How do the Kansas City Chiefs improve on league-bests in points (35.3), yards (425.6) and yards per reception (8.8)?
You give league NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes a seven-time pro-bowler in A.J. Green.
For a team that was ranked 31st in total defense in the 2018 season, using more cap space and draft capital on offensive weapons might seem a little, well, crazy.
However, when taking a little closer look, it really does not seem as bonkers as one may think.
Tyreek Hill’s future in Kansas City is a huge question mark at this point and due to cap implications, Sammy Watkins could be cut after the season. The current wide receiver situation beyond those two is extremely limited. Chris Conley has moved on to Jacksonville. Demarcus Robinson, while showing flashes, hasn’t produced to the point where there is confidence he would be able to step into a major starting role. After that, there is a bunch of veteran journeymen or unproven players with limited upside.
Of course, Green is proven and has shown his talent throughout his eight-year career.
With 602 career receptions, Green is 13th among active players in the NFL. He has averaged 14.8 yards per reception and only gone under 1,000 yards receiving two times in his career, one of which came in 2016 when he only played 10 games and still came only 36 yards short. Green’s eye-popping numbers have all been achieved while playing with Andy Dalton as his quarterback. That is not a knock on Dalton, but Green has never played with a quarterback with the talent of Mahomes.
The contract between the Bengals and Green runs out after the 2019 season where he then becomes an unrestricted free agent. That, accompanied with the fact that he has had a slight run in with the injury bug lately could make his asking price very reasonable.
The Chiefs have two picks in the second round of both the 2019 and 2020 draft, giving them ample draft capital to make moves. Cap space isn’t an issue either, as the trade of Ford, along with the releases of Justin Houston Eric Berry leave Kansas City with $22.82 million.
So, what would Green cost?
Just this offseason, we saw Antonio Brown go for third and fifth-round choices to the Oakland Raiders. Days later, Odell Beckham Jr. was dealt for first and third-round selections to the Cleveland Browns. Considering Greenis the same age as Brown, slightly less productive but not a character concern, his price is more comparable to him.
The thought here is that Green would fetch a second-round choice, perhaps with a third-day pick thrown in as well. Even if Kansas City were to relinquish that capital, it would retain plenty of ammunition to either move up in the draft for defensive help or simply add a bevy of rookies to the roster.
One of the critical aspects involved in the trade would be what and if the Chiefs could sign Green to a new contract. The trade would also allow a depleted Bengals roster to get younger and build through the draft.
The window of Mahomes playing on his rookie contract is growing smaller by the day. While the defense is under a full rebuild, strong moves must be made to make a run at the Super Bowl. Implementing Green into an offense already booming with talent is such a move. It’s the kind of play that could lead the Chiefs to another AFC west title and a run at the Super Bowl.