Chiefs Connected to Familiar Faces After Missing Out on WR Zay Jones

The Chiefs couldn't seal the deal with free agent wide receiver Zay Jones. Could a reunion with a familiar face be next?
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (11).
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (11). / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas City Chiefs, once again, have questions at the wide receiver position. Free agent wide receiver Zay Jones visited KC before signing with the Arizona Cardinals, and now the Chiefs' next move becomes an intriguing one.

The Chiefs were apparently interested in adding Jones, but the two sides couldn't seal the deal. It's mid-May, so the free agent pool is shallow. KC was reportedly "appealing to Odell Beckham" before he signed with the Miami Dolphins. Rashee Rice's status is murky after an assault allegation still publicly lacking in details. The Chiefs' interest in adding another wide receiver seems established, but who could they reasonably acquire?

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN suggested two familiar names after Jones landed in Arizona.

"This puts [the] Chiefs in an interesting spot," Fowler tweeted. "Sides [KC and Jones] had mutual interest coming off his visit to KC but Arizona put it over the top. Would have been a good fit there. Former Chiefs Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman are still available."

Could a reunion with Valdes-Scantling or Hardman be the solution to KC's remaining WR questions?

Hardman caught the game-winning touchdown to seal Super Bowl LVIII in February, but for the second consecutive offseason, the Chiefs have not made retaining Hardman a priority. Hardman's potential as a multi-faceted receiver has been debated throughout his NFL career, and KC added similarly sized speedsters Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and Xavier Worthy this offseason, making Hardman a bit of a redundant fit.

Valdes-Scantling was much-maligned in 2023, having issues both tracking and catching the ball throughout the regular season before having his second-consecutive solid postseason run with KC, culminating in a go-ahead touchdown in Super Bowl LVII. The Chiefs parted ways with Valdes-Scantling in late February, creating $12 million in 2024 salary cap space. Valdes-Scantling may not be interested in returning to a team that cut him less than three months ago, but his market clearly never established throughout the peak of free agency.

Stylistically, Valdes-Scantling makes more sense for the current Chiefs pass-catcher group than Hardman. Brown and Worthy should be upgrades on many of the things Hardman did, but Valdes-Scantling could still be a feasible improvement over the likes of Justin Watson and Justyn Ross.

If Valdes-Scantling wants to return to KC, if the Chiefs want him back, and if he'd be willing to compete for a smaller role on a smaller paycheck, a reunion would make sense. Those are a lot of "ifs," though, and at this point, KC may prefer to give their current group of receivers the first crack at a larger role during their offseason programs. If the Chiefs are uncomfortable with their pass-catchers by the time they arrive in St. Joseph, Mo., for training camp, perhaps Valdes-Scantling or Hardman get the call.

Read More: With Rashee Rice's Future Unknown, Should the Chiefs Sign a Veteran Wide Receiver?

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Joshua Brisco


Joshua Brisco is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Arrowhead Report on, covering the Kansas City Chiefs. Follow @jbbrisco.