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

While the Chiefs wait on a potential suspension for Rashee Rice, should they bolster the room with a veteran wide receiver, or have the best candidates already signed elsewhere?
Oct 19, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13).
Oct 19, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13). / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas City Chiefs' wide receiver depth chart already looks quite different than their group of 2023 pass-catchers, but with another alleged incident being added to Rashee Rice's list of offseason troubles and reports that the Chiefs were already preparing to be without Rice for a sizable chunk of the 2024 season, Rice's future is in question. Are any veteran pass-catchers worth signing from the remaining pool of free agents? Joshua Brisco and Jordan Foote of Arrowhead Report on SI.com discuss.

Joshua Brisco: Let's start with the big question: Do the Chiefs actually need to add another wide receiver, or are we overreacting to last year's shortcomings? Even with Rashee Rice likely being suspended for a good portion of the season (and with that arrow trending in the wrong direction), the Chiefs' pass-catching group is better than it was at this time last year. Xavier Worthy enters with more NFL-ready skills than rookie Rice, Hollywood Brown is a clear upgrade over Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Rice is now a matter of availability. However, without Rice (and/or with injuries to the slight duo of Brown and Worthy), Kadarius Toney, Justin Watson, Skyy Moore and Justyn Ross will be competing for playing time. If those guys are competing for a couple of roster spots, that's fine by me. If they have to play half of KC's offensive snaps, it's time to look at other options. I'm intrigued by the possibility of Toney and Moore getting another offseason to develop, but they shouldn't be shoo-ins for significant work before proving they belong on the field.

Jordan Foote: It's easy to look at a wideout trio of Brown, Rice and Worthy and conclude that it's significantly better than whatever Kansas City put on the field in 2023. That also has a ripple effect on players like Toney and Moore, as you mentioned, being moved down a rung or two and competing for reps instead of competing for premium reps. The Rice situations do make the addition of a veteran intriguing, and KC can never have too much depth considering the uncertainty of how much he’ll be available in 2024-25. The Chiefs don't need to bring anyone else in, but they could surely benefit from it.
Of the thin group of remaining free agents, Zay Jones is interesting, although there are serious questions about what he has left in the tank. The same is true for Michael Thomas, who is a good fit in Kansas City and had a bit of a rebound in 2023 but still saw his year end early. Odell Beckham Jr. was my go-to pick, but the Miami Dolphins swooped him up. Who jumps out to you?

Brisco: For what feels like the third offseason in a row, Beckham seemed like a good fit to me too, but Thomas is next on my list. Thomas has dealt with serious injury issues following his incredible first four years in the league, and perhaps he's riding on a bit of reputation from that era, but I could see Thomas making an impact in the middle of the field while Brown and Worthy test defenses everywhere else. Maybe Thomas isn't actually an upgrade over Toney/Moore once they get to training camp, but I'd like to see the battle. May the best receiver win.
Even if Rice wasn't in line to be suspended (and acknowledging the fact that Worthy is still entering Andy Reid's offense as a rookie), I'd be interested in Thomas or a more traditional X-type WR in order to reinforce a lesson learned last season: don't be in positions where you're forced to trust players who haven't earned the workload.

Foote: Usage and skill sets are things to factor in here, too, as you referenced with Thomas. The Chiefs seem to think highly of Worthy's versatility on offense (and Worthy agrees), but at the end of the day, he's still a wiry non-X receiver in an offense with another wiry non-X in Brown and a hybrid or big slot in Rice. No one has proven to be consistently capable of holding down that role — does Kansas City really want Watson to do it in 2024 or risk suppressing Rice's effectiveness by banking on him to fulfill that? Reid offenses haven't always had an orthodox answer to "Solve for X," so it isn't the end of the world. It is a calculated shot in the dark, though.

Read More: KC Chiefs WR Rashee Rice 'Under Investigation' for Alleged Incident at Dallas Nightclub

Joshua Brisco


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

Jordan Foote


Jordan Foote is the deputy editor of Arrowhead Report on SI.com, covering the Kansas City Chiefs. He also hosts the One Royal Way podcast on Kansas City Sports Network. Jordan is a Baker University alumnus, earning his degree in Mass Media. Follow him on X @footenoted.