Chiefs land WR Marquise Brown to bolster receiving corps

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 15: Marquise Brown #2 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the field during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs’ first major free-agent acquisition is a playmaker for Patrick Mahomes.

According to ESPN, the Chiefs are set to sign former Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown to a one-year deal. Per NFL Network, the deal is worth $7 million and can be worth up to $11 million.

Brown confirmed he was joining the Chiefs via an Instagram post, which included a screen grab of Andy Reid's recruitment.

Not long after the news broke, Mahomes made it clear on social media that he was a happy man.

Brown spent the past two seasons with the Cardinals after playing the first three seasons of his career with the Baltimore Ravens. He had 51 catches for 574 yards and four touchdowns over 14 games in 2023. He left the Cardinals’ Week 15 loss to the San Francisco 49ers because of a lingering heel injury and didn’t play the rest of the season.

Brown has been a productive player, especially when he’s played with a healthy quarterback. He had 91 catches for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns in 2021 and had 21 TDs over his three seasons with the Ravens. He was traded to the Cardinals along with a third-round pick for a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The two-time defending Super Bowl champions went into the offseason looking to upgrade their receiving corps. Rookie Rashee Rice became the Chiefs’ No. 1 wide receiver as the 2023 season went on and Travis Kelce remained Patrick Mahomes’ top option. But the Chiefs got underwhelming contributions from players like Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore in 2023.

Despite the lack of a reliable receiving threat behind Kelce and Rice, the Chiefs still won the AFC West easily and then won two road playoff games before beating the 49ers in overtime to win Super Bowl LVIII. Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling played a big role during the playoffs with crucial late-game catches against the Buffalo Bills and Ravens, but he was cut earlier in the offseason.

The deal Brown is reportedly signing with the Chiefs is similar to the deal that JuJu Smith-Schuster signed ahead of the 2022 season. Smith-Schuster signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the Chiefs after playing just five games with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021. Smith-Schuster had 78 catches for 933 yards and three TDs over 14 games before signing a three-year deal with the New England Patriots ahead of the 2023 season.

Brown’s addition shouldn't prohibit the Chiefs from adding another receiver in free agency or through the draft later this spring. The Chiefs have picked a wide receiver in the second round in each of the past two drafts.