Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs has three on their roster for the 2023 season who don’t deserve it

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The Kansas City Chiefs should be anticipating a lot of drama around the choices they must make as Cut Day approaches, in my opinion.

The 53-man roster places for the top players, including Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, L’Jarius Sneed, and a host of others, are unquestionably guaranteed, but the depth has mostly been decided throughout training camp and the preseason.

That doesn’t always imply that all of the athletes who wind up making the 53-man roster merit their spots. You might even say that a few players are essentially backing into roster spots for the 2023 season. These three players in particular stand out as being not entirely deserving of a roster position while yet being near-locks to escape being released.

 

  1. Tershawn Wharton, DL

The Chris Jones situation has rightfully been the greatest storyline for the Chiefs during training camp and the preseason. However, with veteran offseason signing Charles Omenihu expected to miss the first six games of the season due to a suspension and the all-world defensive tackle on pace to survive through the start of the regular season, there is a need to bolster the defensive front.

Tershawn Wharton will most likely make the 53-man roster as a result. However, that isn’t necessarily justified by his early career performance and his limited ability while recovering from an ACL injury in the preseason.

After the 2020 draft, Wharton was signed as a UDFA and spent the first five games of the season playing more than 100 snaps before tearing the aforementioned ACL. The issue is that he hasn’t been productive.

Wharton, who was mostly deployed as a pass-rusher this season despite being small as a tackle but large on the edge, only had five pressures and one sack in the 140 total snaps he played.

The preseason rise of Danny Shelton, though, is the main factor that would make him qualify as undeserved. The seasoned defensive tackle was an undeniable star for Kansas City and most likely earned a spot on the 53-man roster. However, with Jones refusing to sign and Omenihu ineligible to make the roster, Wharton will survive cut day and possibly have an opportunity to increase job security when he must likely play early in the season due to both absences.

 

  1. Mike Edwards, S

The Chiefs were forced to address the safety room behind Justin Reid, who is the only guaranteed starter in the group they brought in for camp when Juan Thornhill left in free agency this offseason.

Bryan Cook, a second-round pick in 2022, has unquestionably earned the starting position opposite Reid, and rookie Chamarri Conner, a fourth-round pick, was one of the Chiefs’ preseason standouts. The 90-man roster’s depth at the position is then filled out by a number of UDFA signings, leaving seasoned players Mike Edwards and Deon Bush behind that trio.

Edwards will almost certainly make the rotation because the Chiefs are likely to maintain five safeties on the 53-man roster when the cut day arrives. But based on recent performances from the former Buccaneers safety, it’s hard to say that he merits that position.

Bush might be subject to the same criticism in that case, but the former Bears defensive back actually shone in coverage for the Chiefs last season and might once again be a strong situational and depth piece for Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. On the other hand, Edwards has recently displayed some deterioration in his overall performance. More importantly, he didn’t really excel in any one aspect of the position last year; rather, everything was either ordinary or worse.

Edwards’ experience is probably sufficient to make him a part of the Chiefs’ safety room, which they want to have deep but not too deep. However, when you consider his body of work, his contribution most certainly doesn’t make him a lock on the 53-man roster.

 

  1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB

Remember when LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs as the last choice in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft? He was meant to elevate the Patrick Mahomes-led offense to new heights. Of course, even the Chiefs have made mistakes, and this was probably one of them.

If you need more proof that Andy Reid and the coaching staff have lost faith in CEH at this point, consider the fact that his workload has decreased each year he has been in the NFL to the point where he saw fewer than 100 touches in 10 games last season. This is also problematic because he has missed at least three games each season. With NFL playoff betting, he’s tipped to reach great numbers in the coming new season.

When Edwards-Helaire does make the roster, he will already be far down the depth chart behind Jerick McKinnon and Isiah Pacheco. La’Mical Perine’s preseason performance may also move the former Jet ahead of him. However, the Chiefs have a long-standing policy of rotating their running backs while keeping four on the 53-man roster. Deneric Prince’s lack of performance in preseason play suggests that CEH will be unaffected on a cut day.

However, nothing in his three professional seasons to date or in the current preseason justifies him being a lock to make the roster. Being a previous first-round pick, speculation that he might be dealt is likely the only way he avoids making the 53-man roster. The fact that the team looks to be deliberately attempting to move him speaks to how undeserving he is of a last-roster position, though that is certainly feasible.

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author

Ralph Garcia

CEO NGSC Sports

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