There were the Cleveland Browns of the 1950s, the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, the San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s, the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, and the New England Patriots of the 2000s and 2010s.
Next up? The Kansas City Chiefs of the 2020s. They got an early start when quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the league MVP in 2018 and when they won their first Super Bowl in half a century at the conclusion of the 2019 season, although it’s worth noting that they didn’t actually capture that Vince Lombardi Trophy until February of 2020. So let’s just call them the Chiefs of the 2020s — the NFL’s newest dynasty.
If the Chiefs can beat Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday (which Kansas City is favored to do), they would become the first NFL repeat champion since Brady’s Patriots did so 16 years ago. But they’ve already made three consecutive AFC Championship Games, and there’s little reason to believe they won’t be favored to win Super Bowl LVI when the 2021 season gets underway in September.
What’s scary if you’re the rest of the league is this:
- Mahomes is just 25 and under contract through 2031
- Tyreek Hill is 26 and has two years remaining on his deal
- Star defensive lineman Chris Jones is 26 and under contract for three more seasons
- All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu is 28 and has another year to go on his current deal
- Left tackle Eric Fisher is 30 and has another year to go as well
- Top edge defender Frank Clark is 27 and isn’t slated to hit free agency until 2024
- Top back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a 21-year-old rookie
The most senior members of Kansas City’s core are right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and tight end Travis Kelce, both of whom are 31. Kelce is coming off the best year of his career, and tackles frequently excel deep into their 30s. Kelce is also under contract through 2025, although Schwartz is scheduled to hit the open market next offseason.
The key is the Chiefs have very little in-house business to take care of this offseason. Re-signing center Austin Reiter should be a priority as he approaches free agency, and they can probably afford to let veteran Sammy Watkins walk considering the emergence Mecole Hardman in support of Hill and Kelce.
By the time they have to address contracts belonging to Mathieu, Fisher, Schwartz, guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, and defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi next offseason, the pandemic should be behind us, and expected new television contracts should cause the salary cap to trend sharply upward.
In other words, they might never have to dump any key players, which is a rarity when you’ve signed your franchise quarterback to a lucrative long-term deal.
In fact, with Duvernay-Tardif and Damien Williams expected to return next year after opting out due to COVID-19 in 2020, Kansas City could be even better on paper with Fisher and Schwartz also returning to health in 2021 (both are expected to miss the Super Bowl).
The Chiefs aren’t going anywhere. The newest dynasty has arrived.