The Kansas City Chiefs' Offseason Has Been Absolutely Baffling

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In a surprise move, the Chiefs fired general manager John Dorsey yesterday. The decision is odd enough on its own, considering Kansas City had made the playoffs in three of Dorsey’s four seasons, to say nothing of the late-June timing of it all. But that’s not even the weirdest part. Dorsey’s firing is the capstone of what has become a bizarro offseason in KC.

A quick recap:

  • Director of football operations Chris Ballard left to become the GM of the Colts. (January)
  • Running back Jamaal Charles was released. (February)
  • After playing last season on the franchise tag, safety Eric Berry signed a long-term deal with $29.8 million guaranteed. (March)
  • Chiefs sent the Bills two first-round picks and a third-rounder to move up 17 spots to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. (April)
  • Salary cap guru Trip MacCracken and director of pro scouting Will Lewis were fired. (May)
  • Director of college scouting Marvin Adams left to become a national scout with the Bills. (May)
  • Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was released; Maclin told reporters he found out via voicemail. (June)
  • Head coach Andy Reid got a contract extension. (June)

A team that runs through all of the above in a single offseason is likely not planning to shitcan its GM just one month before training camp, especially after spending that same offseason engaged in talks toward a contract extension with that same GM. What gives?


Nothing definitive has been reported, but a few theories have cropped up. Dorsey spent most of his professional career in the Packers’ scouting department, and some months back his name was floated as a possible future replacement for Packers GM Ted Thompson, though a subsequent report has indicated that may not be the case. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star reported that Reid will not be getting full control like he had in Philadelphia. Mellinger also has a hunch that Reid—who had been hired a week before Dorsey back in 2013—didn’t necessarily give Dorsey a shove, but that he and others on the football ops side may have revealed enough to nudge owner Clark Hunt into making the call. Another Star reporter, Terez A. Paylor, reported the scuttlebutt that some sort of breakdown in contract extension talks—Dorsey had one year left on his deal—may have forced the issue.

The Chiefs hope to find Dorsey’s replacement before training camp, but the timing leaves them with few options. One in-house candidate has already emerged:


Whoever gets the gig will inherit a situation that includes the eventual transition from quarterback Alex Smith to Mahomes, little financial flexibility under the cap, and no 2018 first-round draft pick. Everything seems to be just fine.