Snaps Lost: Kansas City Chiefs
The “Snaps Lost” series is a detailed look at the playing time void created by players that have left each team this offseason, whether they were traded, cut, left in free agency, or retired.
Because each unit plays a different number of snaps over the course of the year, we have created the “Full Time Equivalent” metric. FTE is the total number of missing snaps divided by the number of plays the team ran on that side of the ball. This is an equivalent measure of how many full time players (100% snap count) the team would need to add on to make up for their offseason losses, even though very few players actually play a full snap count.
For example, if a team had 1,100 snaps on offense and then lost seven players who combined to play 2,200 snaps, their FTE would be 2.0 (2,200/1,100). This ensures that a team who lost a high volume of players only has a high FTE if those players racked up some significant playing time. FTE can only fall between zero (no players left the team) and 11 (fire everyone!) for each side of the ball.
Each team will have a ranking following their FTE, with the first-ranked team in each category (offense, defense, and total) representing the team with the smallest portion of their playing time in need of replacement.
A few caveats before getting into the good stuff:
-Suspensions and injuries that may limit 2015 snap counts are not considered.
-Biggest Losses are purely in terms of snap count, not necessarily in terms of impact.
-All snap counts are Regular Season only.
Kansas City Chiefs
Overall FTE Lost: 6.24, 23rd
FTE Lost: 4.92, 31st
Biggest Losses: Rodney Hudson (1,031), Ryan Harris (980), Mike McGlynn (825), Dwayne Bowe (812), Anthony Fasano (678)
Summary – Losing close to half of their offensive playing time, the Chiefs were hit particularly hard on the line, where three starters all found new homes since last season. Kansas City will be better off without having McGlynn (-32.6) on the field, but the same can’t be said for the other two. After an excellent 2014, Hudson went to Oakland to become one of the highest paid centers in the game, while Harris took his 980 snaps to the Broncos, who are also in desperate need of help on the line. The dead money on Bowe’s contract finally fell to a level where they could cut the overpriced wideout, who now makes a bit less in Cleveland. Fasano will be 31 this season and put forth a rather poor (-14.6) final season with the Chiefs he signed with Tennessee this offseason.
Replacement Plan – Eric Kush, a sixth round pick in 2013, is penciled in at center to replace Hudson, but don’t be surprised if rookie second rounder Mitch Morse takes some snaps with the first team as well. They’ve upgraded on McGlynn by trading a fifth round pick for veteran Ben Grubbs, and they get him on a much more manageable contract than the Saints ever did. At right tackle, Donald Stephenson hasn’t shown a whole lot but is young enough that he could have improved since his last significant time in 2013 (623 snaps, -11.9).
Some questioned the money on Jeremy Maclin’s deal to come to Kansas City, but there’s little doubt they’re receiving a better player than they lost and one that won’t struggle to take on a starter’s role in the offense. Third year tight end Travis Kelce looked like a superstar at times last year and should consume most of Fasano’s playing time, but they’ll someone to fill in on two tight end sets. Demetrius Harris and Richard Gordon combined for less than 100 snaps last year while the team added Ryan Taylor in free agency and James O’Shaughnessy in the draft, so the spot behind Kelce is wide open.
FTE Lost: 1.32, 4th
Biggest Losses: Chris Owens (500), Kurt Coleman (396), Vance Walker (238)
Summary – For as much as they lost on the offensive side of the ball, the defense remains mostly intact. The loss of Owens frees up the nickel corner position, but with a -7.4 2015 grade, this is far from a crippling loss. Coleman played surprisingly well in limited duty considering his past performance and now finds himself a member of the Panthers. Walker’s +6.8 run defense grade was an impressive feat on just 97 snaps against the run, and the 28-year-old lineman was scooped up by the Broncos this offseason.
Replacement Plan – The Chiefs spent their first-round pick on cornerback Marcus Peters which should negate the loss of Owens even if he doesn’t score an every-down role. Coleman was only ever the team’s third safety, and if Ron Parker doesn’t have to spend as much time at cornerback (over 40% of his snaps last year he lined up across from a receiver), he’ll cover Coleman’s time to a degree. Mike DeVito wound up on Injured Reserve just 28 snaps into the 2014 season and should replace Walker with ease.