To maintain the pace, the minimum requirement for the next Chiefs general manager will be an approximate 67 percent success rate.
Not on the signings, draft picks and every other daily decision that lands in a general manager’s account.
That’s 67 percent of games won.
A copy of the Chiefs’ 43-21 record in the regular season over the past four years gets packed up in John Dorsey’s briefcase as he cleans out his office and departs for his next venture. A nice resume entry to be sure.
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Consider that since Dorsey was introduced in January 2013, eight days after Andy Reid was introduced as head coach, only the Patriots (50), Broncos (46) and Seahawks (45) have won more regular-season games. Those also are the last four Super Bowl winners.
So, it’s accurate to say the Chiefs did many things well during the Dorsey administration. Until he, or owner Clark Hunt, Reid or anyone with knowledge of the agreement to “part ways” — as the Chiefs described it — share a reason, the firing will remain a mystery.
Dorsey’s successor will have a big sweatshirt to fill. Many personnel decisions were team calls, but the GM gets the credit and blame for the booms and busts. Here’s something of a final Dorsey scoreboard.
What went right
▪ Alex Smith: He may never lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl, but the signing of the 49ers quarterback in 2013 and contract extension one year later brought stability to the critical position that had seen seven different starters over the previous five seasons.
▪ Drafts: The Chiefs never seem to be darlings of national post-draft analysis, but the first four drafts under Dorsey and Reid produced four Pro Bowlers: Marcus Peters, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and D.J. Alexander. Only Peters was selected in the first round. The Chiefs took plenty of heat for drafting Hill, who had been dismissed from Oklahoma State after his freshman season for a domestic-violence arrest. There have been no signs of trouble in Hill’s pro career.
▪ Patrick Mahomes: He hasn’t taken an NFL snap and he remains unsigned, but the Chiefs took a gamble in this year’s draft by trading next year’s first-round pick to move ahead 17 spots and land Mahomes, the strong-armed quarterback from Texas Tech. Time will tell if he’s the next big thing, but just making the move showed a daring the organization had been unwilling to take for decades.
▪ Defense: Not every signing went smoothly, we’ll get to that in a moment, but the Chiefs have wonderfully blended players from previous regimes with recent acquisitions to create one of the NFL’s top units, which should improve with presumably healthy Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson to start the season.
What went wrong
▪ Signing decisions: The Chiefs started negotiations too late on players like Houston and Eric Berry, and overpaid for others like Dwayne Bowe, creating salary cap problems that tend to be an annual occurrence for the organization and likely led to the latest big decision — releasing popular wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Last month, the Chiefs fired their director of pro scouting and director of football administration, who works on contracts and the salary cap.
▪ Future salary cap: This gets a little tricky for the new GM. The Chiefs have cap commitments of $179,844,000 for 2018 and a projected cap of $178 million. Smith and Houston each carry $20.6 million cap hits next year. Dorsey’s successor will need a calculator and negotiating skills with some key veterans, or begin a retooling process.