In what is perhaps a testament to Kansas City Chiefs GM Brett Veach, the Chiefs retained just 11 players throughout the last three Super Bowl runs.
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers for the second time in a thrilling 25-22 overtime victory. The Chiefs did so with a roster that went through a high rate of turnover. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was on a rookie deal the first time the Chiefs bested the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
This year, Mahomes became the first player in NFL history to win the Super Bowl with the league’s highest cap hit. Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs in the summer of 2020, which has required the Chiefs to restructure their roster in massive ways.
The Kansas City Chiefs kept a solid core throughout all three Super Bowls
Aside from the main key piece in QB Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs maintained a few solid core players to contribute to sustained success. One key player they’ve retained is star tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce’s Super Bowl run this year has further strengthened the argument that he is one of the best tight ends of all time.
He’s proven to be a key piece in how the Kansas City Chiefs and head coach Andy Reid operate their offense, serving as a trustworthy safety blanket for Mahomes to look to in dire situations such as this intense scramble and diving catch in the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens.
KELCE WITH A DIVING CATCH #KCvsBAL
— Status Sports ✪ (@TheStatusSports) January 28, 2024
This season Kelce passed San Francisco 49ers legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice for the most postseason catches of all time. His postseason numbers after the conclusion of this postseason sit at 1,903 receiving yards and 19 receiving touchdowns on 165 receptions. He is second in yardage and touchdown receptions to Rice.
Another key piece that has been with the Chiefs throughout their last three Super Bowls is defensive tackle Chris Jones. Jones has been instrumental in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme with his ability to disrupt offenses in all facets of the game.
Although it will only go in the stat book as a QB hurry, Jones made a potentially game-saving pass rush in Super Bowl LVIII. He forced 49ers QB Brock Purdy to throw an incomplete pass when WR Brandon Aiyuk was wide open in the end zone.
Chris Jones unblocked with Aiyuk wide open pic.twitter.com/tEL1YChAEz
— Guy Haberman (@GuyHaberman) February 12, 2024
Jones was also a big part of the reason the Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl in 2022. His performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game was a huge factor in the Bengals’ inability to beat the Chiefs for the fourth time in a row.
The Chiefs don’t win SB LVII without Chris Jones because they don’t GET to SB LVII without Chris Jones.
He was the best player in the AFCC vs the Bengals and made the play of the game that kept the Bengals from driving down and scoring with less than a minute remaining. pic.twitter.com/TMBuWQtDQA
— 🗣🎙‼️ (@LanceTHESPOKEN) August 23, 2023
Jones, who is in talks to be one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL, has a contract looming large this offseason. In an article from USA Today, he explains that this might have been his last game with the Chiefs.
“I know there’s a possibility this could be my last game with the Chiefs. You just take it all in,” Jones said Wednesday in the lead-up to the 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers. “I’ll let the offseason do its thing. I don’t really focus on it. I’m not too worried about it. After everything is settled and the dust clears, we’ll see where we’re at.”
The other players to remain with the Chiefs organization for all three Super Bowls are as follows:
- Nick Allegretti (G)
- Blake Bell (TE)
- Harrison Butker (K)
- James Winchester (LS)
- Austin Reiter (C)
- Derrick Nnandi (DT)
- Jody Fortson (TE)
- Mecole Hardman (WR) (Left and came back)
The Kansas City Chiefs moved on from star WR Tyreek Hill and won back-to-back Super Bowls
In a trade many thought would “expose” the Kansas City Chiefs and QB Patrick Mahomes, star WR Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins exchanged five draft picks for Hill: 2022 first, second and fourth-round picks on top of 2023 fourth and sixth-round picks.
Hill was essential to the Chiefs’ first win over the 49ers in the 2019 Super Bowl as he caught a pass from Mahomes on 3rd and 15 to extend a late Chiefs drive.
“Do we have time to run Wasp?” 🎯
4 years ago today, the Chiefs scored 21 unanswered points to comeback against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV 🏹
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) February 2, 2024
The turning moment in Super Bowl LIV? 🐝
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) February 4, 2024
As essential as Hill was, a couple of players they got in the trade have turned out to have essential roles in the most recent Super Bowl win over the 49ers. Cornerback Trent McDuffie contributed to the shutdown of the 49ers’ star pass-catchers. Many think that McDuffie may have been the MVP outside of Mahomes.
Trent McDuffie was the best player on the field last night pic.twitter.com/wFnm9DquAj
— Kendell Hollowell (@KHollowell_) February 12, 2024
Unreal rep by Trent McDuffie vs. Deebo on a cheat motion. pic.twitter.com/utKoiMnWQI
— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) February 12, 2024
What a play. The guts from Spags to blitz. The disguise and timing from McDuffie. Super Bowl saving play by the Chiefs pic.twitter.com/MNRtkSSy4B
— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) February 12, 2024
Another player the Chiefs acquired from the draft picks they received in the Tyreek Hill trade was rookie WR Rashee Rice. Rice became the Chiefs’ most powerful offensive weapon in the receiving game outside of Travis Kelce. Rice set the rookie record for postseason receptions with 26.
The Chiefs may have to undergo more restructuring if they want to win their third straight Super Bowl, but GM Brett Veach has proven it is possible, especially with Patrick Mahomes at the helm.
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