Chiefs Set Record for Talent Turnover
NFL Offseason - The Kansas City Chiefs are going to look very different in 2022. Wide receiver Byron Pringle is in Chicago now. Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson is in Las Vegas. Backup running back Darrel Williams is a free agent and won't sign back with the Chiefs. Most important is the departure of Tyreek Hill, one of the top receivers in the NFL, who was traded to Miami after the Chiefs decided they couldn't agree to his contract extension demands.
As players go out, so too do other players come in. The Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster away from Pittsburgh to play in the slot. They added speedster Marquez Valdes-Scantling from Green Bay. Ronald Jones comes over from Tampa Bay to fill Williams' role behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
So how much net talent have the Chiefs really lost here? Based on Football Outsiders numbers, the answer is "an awful lot." According to our DYAR metric, the 2022 Chiefs suffer from a bigger net loss of offensive weapons than any other team in the last 20 years.
By offensive weapons here, I'm including wide receivers, tight ends and running backs. Obviously, the Chiefs are stable at the most important position with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes' skills (and Andy Reid's scheme) play strongly into why the Chiefs have lost so much net DYAR. Byron Pringle would probably not look as valuable with some other quarterback throwing to him. Nonetheless, it's a fact that offenses that have lost a similar amount of DYAR in years past have almost all declined in the following season.
This is related to one of the variables we use in our team offense projections, which measures the net DYAR coming in and out of a roster in a given offseason. This is similar to a variable we've discussed in the past that changes our defensive projections based on net AV over replacement change on the roster. Only DYAR numbers above zero count for this variable. The Chiefs, as of now, will have the strongest net DYAR loss variable for any team since 2001.
Here's a look at the biggest net DYAR losses since 2001. You'll notice that almost all of these teams declined on offense in the year listed. Some of them only declined slightly, like the 2015 Saints. Some of them collapsed, like the 2004 49ers. One of these teams did improve on offense, the 2006 Colts. In fact, two of these teams won the Super Bowl, both the 2006 Colts and the 2018 Patriots. Still, the comparison isn't a positive indicator for the Chiefs. There are a lot of top offenses here that were still good the next year, but not quite as good.
Net DYAR losses are based on DYAR in the year immediately before. Players with offseason and preseason injuries are included. Players returning from injury (six or fewer games played) count with estimated DYAR based on their last healthy year.
|Biggest Net DYAR Loss, 2001-2022|
|Rk||DVOA||Rk||Players Out||Players In|
|2022||KC||-734||18.1%||3||--||--||T.Hill (359), D.Williams (273), B.Pringle (202), D.Robinson (13)||R.Jones (85), J.Smith-Schuster (est. 28)|
|2014||DEN||-713||34.2%||1||20.3%||3||E.Decker (381), K.Moreno (363)||E.Sanders (37)|
|2013||NE||-686||31.1%||1||16.5%||4||W.Welker (272), D.Woodhead (250), B.Lloyd (156), A.Hernandez (55)||D.Amendola (46)|
|2015||NO||-677||10.1%||8||9.8%||8||K.Stills (285), P.Thomas (185), J.Graham (124), T.Cadet (57), N.Toon (53)||C.J.Spiller (28)|
|2018||NE||-666||27.9%||1||14.7%||5||D.Lewis (363), B.Cooks (264), D.Amendola (138), M.Gillislee (47)||C.Patterson (77), J.Edelman (est. 68)|
|2006||IND||-577||25.1%||3||29.4%||1||E.James (527), T.Walters (51)||NONE|
|2004||SF||-536||7.8%||11||-22.0%||29||T.Owens (162), G.Hearst (157), T.Streets (147), J.Weaver (70)||NONE|
|2009||NYG||-522||19.3%||1||8.8%||12||D.Ward (359), P.Burress (91), A.Toomer (72)||NONE|
|2017||WAS||-520||15.5%||5||-3.8%||20||P.Garcon (262), D.Jackson (241), M.Jones (128)||T.Pryor (112)|
|2013||STL||-479||-4.1%||19||-9.7%||22||B.Gibson (232), S.Jackson (219), D.Amendola (46)||J.Cook (17)|
|2017||BUF||-477||10.5%||10||-11.1%||26||M.Gillislee (256), R.Woods (117), S.Watkins (48), J.Hunter (46)||NONE|
Originally, this list also had the 2022 Arizona Cardinals on it, but the Cardinals re-signed A.J. Green on Thursday which takes them off the bottom of the list.
I'm sure you've noticed that Marquez Valdes-Scantling is not listed for the 2022 Chiefs in the table above. MVS actually had negative receiving DYAR last season, despite having the NFL MVP throwing him the ball. He was better in 2020, with 112 receiving DYAR, but that was the only year of his career where MVS had more than 8 receiving DYAR.
Obviously, we can argue here about whether "DYAR in the previous season" is properly valuing these players. There's a good argument that Patrick Mahomes made Byron Pringle and losing Pringle really isn't losing "202 DYAR" worth of offensive weaponry. You might want to argue that MVS is worth more than zero. But then you also have to consider that Demarcus Robinson had higher DYAR in 2018, 2019, and 2020 than he did in 2021. If we were doing this variable based on "career DYAR" rather than "last year's DYAR, " Pringle would be worth less but Robinson more. And even if we didn't count Pringle at all, the Chiefs would still rank in this top 10.
I also think there's a good argument that rushing DYAR is more easily replaceable than receiving DYAR. Right now, the projection system uses total net DYAR change but I'm going to be testing it out using just receiving value. If you restrict the analysis to receiving DYAR, the Chiefs still have the biggest net loss of any team since 2001. This next list has no teams whose offense improved and includes collapses such as the 2005 Vikings and 2021 Texans. (Yes, of course those teams also had quarterback changes/injuries on top of the receiving losses.)
|Biggest Net Receiving DYAR Loss, 2001-2022|
|Rk||DVOA||Rk||Players Out||Players In|
|2022||KC||-679||18.1%||3||--||--||T.Hill (313), B.Pringle (202), D.Williams (179), D.Robinson (13)||J.Smith-Schuster (est. 28), R.Jones (6)|
|2015||NO||-602||10.1%||8||9.8%||8||K.Stills (285), J.Graham (124), P.Thomas (111), T.Cadet (57), N.Toon (52)||C.J.Spiller (28)|
|2013||NE||-567||31.1%||1||16.5%||4||W.Welker (254), B.Lloyd (156), D.Woodhead (149), A.Hernandez (50)||D.Amendola (41)|
|2014||DEN||-551||34.2%||1||20.3%||3||E.Decker (381), K.Moreno (192)||E.Sanders (22)|
|2005||MIN||-451||17.0%||6||-13.9%||26||R.Moss (315), O.Smith (174), K.Campbell (104)||J.Kleinsasser (est. 122), K.Robinson (19)|
|2002||GB||-440||8.5%||6||3.1%||14||B.Schroeder (282), A.Freeman (100), C.Bradford (86), D.Levens (12)||T.Glenn (40)|
|2017||WAS||-437||15.5%||5||-3.8%||20||P.Garcon (262), D.Jackson (241), M.Jones (45)||T.Pryor (112)|
|2018||NE||-434||27.9%||1||14.7%||5||B.Cooks (258), D.Amendola (138), D.Lewis (90)||J.Edelman (est. 43), C.Patterson (17)|
|2011||BAL||-431||5.7%||12||3.1%||13||D.Mason (221), T.Heap (118), T.J.Houshmandzadeh (93), L.McClain (2)||R.Williams (2)|
|2021||HOU||-430||2.7%||13||-22.0%||30||W.Fuller (326), R.Cobb (107), D.Fells (90), D.Johnson (30)||D.Amendola (62), R.Burkhead (42), C.Conley (18), M.Ingram (1)|
|2006||NE||-425||18.0%||7||14.7%||4||D.Branch (266), D.Givens (102), T.Dwight (86), A.Davis (16)||R.Caldwell (44)|
Anyway, none of this means that the Kansas City Chiefs will be worse on offense in 2022, but it is a strong negative indicator that the Chiefs will need to overcome next year.