The Kansas City Chiefs won’t replace Tyreek Hill, but they added a deep threat in former Green Bay Packers receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
One day after trading away the most electric deep threat the NFL has seen in years in Tyreek Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs brought in another burner.
On Thursday, Kansas City signed former Green Bay Packers receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year deal worth up to $36 million with incentives. However, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic and confirmed by yours truly, the real money is more like two years and $18 million.
For the Chiefs, Valdes-Scantling compliments their other weapons well. Kansas City has a future first-ballot Hall of Famer at tight end in Travis Kelce who can work underneath and the seams. The newly-acquired Juju Smith-Schuster is more of a possession receiver who can occasionally get deep. Mecole Hardman is more of a gadget player around the line of scrimmage who can also get deep on post routes and run crosses. Valdes-Scantling brings a true go-ball threat alongside Hardman, who is also, much like Smith-Schuster, a vicious blocker in the run game.
With Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, Valdes-Scantling isn’t losing much while leaving Aaron Rodgers behind at Lambeau Field. He should continue to see not only targets but quality ones, giving him the opportunity to make plays in a variety of different formations and packages.
While some certainly see Valdes-Scantling as the replacement for Hill, that’s not reality. Instead, it’s more about reinforcing the middle of the depth chart, with the Chiefs also losing Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson in free agency. Looking at this signing through said lens, the former Packers wideout isn’t being expected to notch 1,000 yards but rather turn his targets into more than what Robinson and Pringle gave.
Last season, Robinson had 25 targets for 264 yards and three scores across 17 games. Pringle had a career year with 60 targets for 568 yards and five scores, also in 17 games. In Green Bay, Valdes-Scantling went for 55 targets and 430 yards with three touchdowns, albeit in 11 games. The year prior, he had 690 receiving yards on a. a league-best 20.9 yards per reception.
After trading Hill, Kansas City is trying to stock its roster with more depth spanning the entire roster. Valdes-Scantling helps achieve that objective, but to become a great value and play all three years of that deal with the Chiefs, he’ll have to realize his full potential.