How the Chiefs Built the 2020 Roster: The Offense & Special Teams

ConnerChristopherson

Week 1 is in the books, and the Kansas City Chiefs' offense looked as dangerous as ever.

There are plenty of reasons to think that the Chiefs' 2020 offense could be their best unit yet, and that is because of some new additions stepping in beside some familiar faces.

Where have the 55 players on the Chiefs active roster come from to help defend the title? In this two-part series, we will examine every player on offense, defense, and special teams and how they entered the NFL, made their way to the 2020 Chiefs roster and what their role should be for the 2020 season.

Click here for part one: How the Chiefs Built the 2020 Defense

Now for an in-depth look at how the Chiefs' offense (and special teams) were constructed.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Eric Fisher, #72

Drafted: 2013 Draft, 1:01 by the Kansas City Chiefs

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: Third year of a four-year/$48 million contract extension with a salary cap hit of $14.98 million in 2020.

Player Summary: With the departure of Dustin Colquitt, Eric Fisher is now tied with Antony Sherman as the longest-tenured Chief. While Fisher isn’t the best left tackle in the league, he holds up against most competition and only struggles against elite speed rushers. The Chiefs were undefeated last year after Fisher came back from injury, and while that isn’t all a credit to him, it does show that Mahomes can be Mahomes when he has ample protection.

Mike Remmers, #75

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2012 by the Denver Broncos.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on March 23, 2020 by the Chiefs.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $887k in 2020. Remmers is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Remmers is one part of the “build depth at offensive line” plan that it seemed Brett Veach had this offseason. In 2019 there was a distinct lack of backup offensive lineman on the Chiefs who had tackle experience, and Remmers provides that experience in 2020. Remmers will probably be the first offensive lineman to play if there is an injury at tackle or guard this year.

Kelechi Osemele, #70

Drafted: 2012 Draft, 2:60 by the Baltimore Ravens.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on July 27, 2020 by the Chiefs.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $1.19 million in 2020. Osemele is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Osemele fits the pattern of a Brett Veach free agent signing. Veach loves to sign players who had a track record in the past of either being a high-round pick or being an elite player and seeing if that juice is still there. Osemele was a former All-Pro lineman who had a terrible time on the Jets last year, during which he fought tooth-and-nail with the Jets' front office about getting shoulder surgery. Osemele did get the surgery, and the Jets moved on because of it. If Osemele returns to his former glory, then the Chiefs will make out like bandits and have a Pro Bowl-level guard on the inside for dirt cheap.

Austin Reiter, #62

Drafted: 2015 Draft, 7:222 by the Washington Football Team.

Path to Chiefs: Claimed off waivers on September 3, 2018, by the Chiefs. Re-signed with the Chiefs on a two-year deal in the 2019 offseason.

Contract: Second year of a two-year/$4.55 million contract extension with a salary cap hit of $3.76 million in 2020. Reiter is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Reiter hasn’t been a world-beater at center so far in his Chiefs career, but he gets the job done for a relatively cheap price. Reiter is a solid pass protector but has struggled run blocking when asked. That skillset is definitely better suited for a team like the Chiefs who look to pass more than run most of the time, so he’s a solid value fit for the Chiefs. Expect to see more of the same from Reiter in 2020, which isn’t exactly a bad thing.

Andrew Wylie, #77

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2017 by the Indianapolis Colts.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on December 20, 2017, by the Chiefs. Promoted to the active roster on January 8, 2018.

Contract: Signed on a one-year ERFA tender with a salary cap hit of $750k in 2020. Wylie is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Wylie has been a nice scouting success story for the Chiefs. While he has largely started over the past year due to injuries, the fact that Wylie is starting, and looking serviceable, is a testament to him and Brett Veach as Wylie is a former undrafted free agent from 2018. Much like Reiter, Wylie is better at pass protection than run blocking, but that skill-set fits in well with the Chiefs, so his spot on the offensive line is justified.

Mitchell Schwartz, #71

Drafted: 2012 Draft, 2:37 by the Cleveland Browns.

Path to Chiefs: Signed a five-year/$33 million contract in 2016 free agency.

Contract: Second year of a three-year/$27.26 million contract with a salary cap hit of $10.8 million in 2020.

Player Summary: Mitchell Schwartz might be the best offensive lineman in the league. Schwartz made his case in the 2019 postseason where he only allowed one hurry on 140 pass-blocking snaps. That is an all-time great postseason. There is really not much more to say about how great Schwartz has been for the Chiefs since signing with the team in 2016 other than... how has this man not been to the Pro Bowl?

Nick Allegretti, #73

Drafted: 2019 Draft, 7:216 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: Second year of four-year/$3.126 million rookie contract with a salary cap hit of $712k in 2020.

Player Summary: Allegretti hasn’t had the chance to show much so far in his career. He projects to be a solid backup in the interior at guard or center with upside for more if he gets the chance. So far he hasn’t gotten that chance, so he will have to wait.

Daniel Kilgore, #67

Drafted: 2011 Draft, 5:163 by the San Francisco 49ers.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on August 27th, 2020 by the Chiefs.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $750k in 2020. Kilgore is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Kilgore is a depth piece on the interior of the line with experience at center if he is needed there. Kilgore was signed after Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out of the 2020 season and he slides in as veteran depth on the offensive line.

Yasir Durant, #79

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2020 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Signed as Undrafted Free Agent by Chiefs.

Contract: First year of a three-year/$2.295 million UDFA rookie contract with a salary cap hit of $613k in 2020.

Player Summary: Durant is a feel-good story, as the Mizzou alum made the active roster for the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent this year. Durant is a tackle prospect who will just provide depth this year at tackle and might move to the practice squad if Martinas Rankin returns from injury.

WIDE RECEIVER

Tyreek Hill, #10

Drafted: 2016 Draft, 5:165 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: Second year of a four-year/$56.47 million contract with a salary cap hit of $17.74 million in 2020.

Player Summary: Hill is back and is as good as ever. A sticking point for Hill this year will be to avoid injury as he has had his fair share of injuries the past few seasons that have hampered his production and playing time. If Hill can stay healthy, he is one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the league and is a threat for a big play at any second due to his world-class speed.

Sammy Watkins, #14

Drafted: 2014 Draft, 1:4 by the Buffalo Bills.

Path to Chiefs: Signed a three-year/$48 million contract in 2018 free agency.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $9 million in 2020. Watkins can earn up to $16 million total if he meets all his incentives for 2020. Watkins is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Watkins loved the Chiefs and Andy Reid so much he took a straight-up $7 million pay cut in 2020, and potentially a full $7 million pay cut (if he doesn’t hit his incentives), to stay with the Chiefs in 2020. There was no conceivable wide receiver the Chiefs could have brought in to be as good or better than Watkins in 2020, so Watkins coming back is a big deal to this offense. Injuries have been a problem for Sammy his entire career, but if he can stay relatively healthy he will be a huge boon to the Chiefs offense.

Demarcus Robinson, #11

Drafted: 2016 Draft, 4:126 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $1.048 million in 2020. Robinson is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Robinson’s market was not as strong as many believed it would be and the Chiefs are the beneficiary. For the low price of only $1 million, the Chiefs got Robinson back, which is overall good news. In a year where continuity is king, getting Robinson back is not a bad thing by any means.

Mecole Hardman, #17

Drafted: 2019 Draft, 2:63 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: Second year of a four-year/$5 million rookie contract with a salary cap hit of $1.135 million in 2020.

Player Summary: Hardman is entering year two with the Chiefs to a lot of buzz, but the jury is still out on whether he will be featured more in 2020 or not. The talent is there, as Hardman is one of the fastest guys in the league and has great acceleration to pair with it, but for some reason, he is having trouble seeing the field early in his career. It’s up in the air whether Hardman will earn more playing time as 2020 goes on and it’s something to follow.

Byron Pringle, #13

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2018 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Signed as Undrafted Free Agent by Chiefs.

Contract: Third year of a three-year/$1.51 million UDFA contract with a salary cap hit of $675k in 2020. Pringle is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: The undrafted free agent out of Kansas State has a lot of potential. Pringle has shown this potential in a few preseasons recently. With this stacked receiving corps, however, it is hard seeing a world where Pringle gets meaningful snaps unless there are injuries in front of him. If there are injuries though, Pringle is possibly the best fifth wide receiver in the league, so the Chiefs are in good hands.

Marcus Kemp, #19

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2017 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Signed as Undrafted Free Agent by Chiefs. Re-signed with Chiefs on August 19, 2020.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $675k in 2020. Kemp is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Kemp making the final roster is somewhat of a surprise, as his knee injury last year was very nasty and he was not brought back until training camp was fully underway. Kemp is a great special teamer and fine depth piece at wide receiver, so he’s a good role player for the Chiefs.

TIGHT END

Travis Kelce, #87

Drafted: 2013 Draft, 3:63 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: First year of a six-year/$77.47 million contract with a salary cap hit of $11.2 million in 2020.

Player Summary: The best tight end in the NFL is heading into the 2020 season with a fresh new contract. There isn’t much to say about Kelce at this point that hasn’t already been said. He is the lynchpin of the offense, and as long as he is healthy, the offense will hum.

Nick Keizer, #48

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2018 by the Baltimore Ravens.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on May 31, 2019 by the Chiefs.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $610k in 2020. Keizer is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Keizer has been a player that had some training camp buzz last year before heading to the practice squad. This year he earned a roster spot and seems to be the team's TE2 as of now. It will be seen if Keizer can hold this role and what he can do with it.

Ricky Seals-Jones, #83

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2017 by the Arizona Cardinals.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on April 9th, 2020 by the Chiefs.

Contract: Signed on a one year deal with a salary cap hit of $925k in 2020. Seals-Jones is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Seals-Jones was a solid TE2 for the Browns last year, turning in a solid performance as a pass-catcher behind the starter David Njoku. The Chiefs brought him in for cheap to try and see if they could get more production out of the tight end behind Kelce, but whether this venture works out remains to be seen. Seals-Jones is athletically very gifted and looks the part, but the question remains if he can play the part.

Deon Yelder, #82

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2018 by the New Orleans Saints.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on April 4, 2018, by the Chiefs.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $750k in 2020. Yelder is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Yelder is returning in 2020 as the team's fourth tight end. Yelder was fine on the field in 2019 and his spot on the 2020 roster is probably mostly for his special teams play.

RUNNING BACK

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, #25

Drafted: 2020 Draft, 1:32 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: First year of a four-year/$10.8 million rookie contract with a salary cap hit of $1.97 million in 2020.

Player Summary: Edwards-Helaire is in line for a workhorse-type year for the Chiefs. The first-round pick has great agility, soft hands, a nasty spin move, and a great attitude. Edwards-Helaire has already displayed his talent by rushing for 138 yards and a score in Week 1 of the NFL season, and that only displayed some of his talents. The sky is the limit for Edwards-Helaire in the Chiefs' offense, and the only inhibitor will be how fast he learns the playbook and his pass-blocking.

Darrel Williams, #31

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2018 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Signed as Undrafted Free Agent by Chiefs.

Contract: Third year of a three-year/$1.77 million UDFA contract with a salary cap hit of $775k in 2020. Williams is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Williams solid-if-unspectacular backup running back. He does his job, does it well, and knows the offense. Considering Edwards-Helaire’s weakness are his inexperience in the offense and pass protection, Darrel is a perfect compliment for CEH. Darrel also will be a great mentor to CEH due to their past connection as both were in the backfield at LSU in college.

Darwin Thompson, #34

Drafted: 2019 Draft, 6:214 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: Second year of four-year/$3.14 million rookie contract with a salary cap hit of $716k in 2020.

Player Summary: Thompson earned the third running back spot in his second year. While the hype for Darwin never materialized in 2019, he is still a fine depth piece at running back and should be a worthy contributor on special teams. Darwin is also capable of sharing the workload if injuries happen in front of him.

Anthony Sherman, #42

Drafted: 2011 Draft, 5:136 by the Arizona Cardinals.

Path to Chiefs: Chiefs traded Javier Arenas for Anthony Sherman on May 1, 2013.

Contract: Signed on a one-year deal with a salary cap hit of $887k in 2020. Sherman is a free agent after the season.

Player Summary: Anthony “The Sausage” Sherman, the other longest-tenured Chief other than Eric Fisher, is back yet again. Sherman is the ultimate role player, excelling at any small task the Chiefs give him whether it’s a short-yardage carry, the occasional screen, or playing on special teams. The fan-favorite is set to be used in his normal role in 2020.

QUARTERBACK

Patrick Mahomes, #15

Drafted: 2017 Draft, 1:10 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Drafted by Chiefs.

Contract: First year of a 12-year/$450 million contract with a salary cap hit of $5.35 million in 2020.

Player Summary: QB1 is back, and maybe better than ever. With a half a billion-dollar contract in tow, Mahomes is back for his third year starting. If Mahomes can avoid the injury bug that plagued his 2019 season, it is very easy to see a season like 2018 in store because the scary thing is... he can get even better.

Chad Henne, #4

Drafted: 2008 Draft, 2:57 by the Miami Dolphins.

Path to Chiefs: Signed on March 16, 2018, with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Contract: First year of a two-year/$3.25 million contract with a salary cap hit of $1.625 million in 2020.

Player Summary: Chad Henne seems to be the Chiefs' backup of choice for Mahomes. The reasons are probably not entirely for on-the-field play, but for what he brings on the mental side of the game. Mahomes has credited Henne in the past for his cerebral approach to the game and that aspect of his roster spot cannot be underappreciated.

KICKER

Harrison Butker, #7

Drafted: 2017 Draft, 7:233 by the Carolina Panthers.

Path to Chiefs: Chiefs signed Butker off of the Panthers practice squad on September 26, 2017.

Contract: Second year of a six-year/$20.92 million contract with a salary cap hit of $3.195 million in 2020.

Player Summary: With many teams across the league dealing with kicking woes, having a great kicker locked down long-term is a blessing. Butker was sixth in the league in field goal percentage while also having the most field goal attempts in the league last year. Buttkicker.com is back for another elite year in 2020.

PUNTER

Tommy Townsend, #5

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2020 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Path to Chiefs: Signed as Undrafted Free Agent by Chiefs.

Contract: First year of a three-year/$2.293 million UDFA contract with a salary cap hit of $613k in 2020.

Player Summary: For the first time in 15 years, the Chiefs have a new punter. Replacing the legend Dustin Colquitt is a tough task, and it remains to be seen if the long-haired rookie Tommy Townsend is up for the task.

LONG SNAPPER

James Winchester, #41

Drafted: Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2013 by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Path to Chiefs: Signed by the Kansas City Chiefs on March 13, 2015.

Contract: Fourth year of five-year/$4.6 million contract with a salary cap hit of $1.02 million in 2020.

Player Summary: In his career with the Chiefs, it’s hard to say if James Winchester’s name has ever come up in a negative context. That is the sign of a great long snapper. 

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