Chiefs, Brown agree to 1-year deal, add depth at WR

In this Nov. 26, 2023, file photo, Marquise Brown makes a catch for the Cardinals during a game against the Rams in Glendale, Ariz. (Associated Press)
In this Nov. 26, 2023, file photo, Marquise Brown makes a catch for the Cardinals during a game against the Rams in Glendale, Ariz. (Associated Press)

KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Chiefs and Marquise Brown have agreed on a one-year deal that could be worth up to $11 million, a person familiar with the contract said Thursday night, giving quarterback Patrick Mahomes the upgrade at wide receiver the team had been searching for since the Super Bowl.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been signed.

The Chiefs beat the 49ers for their second straight Lombardi Trophy last month despite one of the least productive wide receiver groups in the NFL. Second-round draft pick Rashee Rice developed into a serviceable option in the passing game, but the Chiefs otherwise were left to rely on journeymen and stopgaps as they chased another title.

Brown could be the perfect complement to Rice in a new-look passing attack that includes recently signed tight end Irv Smith Jr., who was brought aboard one a one-year deal to play alongside star tight end Travis Kelce.

“Blessed Beyond Measures,” Brown posted on X.

Brown’s best season came three years ago for Baltimore, when he caught 91 passes for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns. He was traded to Arizona the following year, where he caught 118 passes for 1,283 yards and seven TDs in 26 games.

His biggest problem has been staying healthy. He dealt with a heel problem last year and last played a full season in 2020.

The Chiefs had been focused on keeping their own players in the fold in the offseason, signing All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones to a mammoth five-year deal that includes $95 million in the first three years; bringing back linebacker Drue Tranquill on a three-year, $19 million deal; and signing Tershawn Wharton earlier Thursday to a one-year contract.

But the Chiefs knew they needed to go outside the organization to upgrade their wide receiver room, especially given the fact they will pick low in each round of the draft. And it was clear Brown was one of their targets -- Tranquill was even posting at him on social media this week, and Mahomes posted a smiling emoji when word of the deal became public.

The Chiefs might not be done, either. They restructured Mahomes’ contract earlier this week to free up more than $21 million under the salary cap, and that could give them flexibility to chase more help for their offense.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Richie James along with Hardman are free agents, while Kadarius Toney could be fighting for his job after a dismal year filled with dropped passes and mental mistakes. That leaves Brown and Rice to headline a wide receiver corps that otherwise includes Justin Watson and Skyy Moore, who has had his own share of drops.

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