Since his arrival in 2013 as the new Kansas City General Manager, John Dorsey has had the unenviable task of resurrecting a team that had to shake off the nightmare season of 2012 when the Chiefs finished the season 2-14. The Chiefs were a sorry sight, in complete darkness from the rest of the NFL, but it spelled the beginning of a new dawn over Arrowhead Stadium.
His tenure as GM has so far brought relative success, steering the Chiefs to 2nd place in the AFC West in the last three seasons, but his time at the Chiefs hasn’t been without difficulty.
This is John Dorsey’s first appointment as GM for an NFL team, however his experience has been developed over the years. Since he was drafted in 1984 as a Linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, Dorsey has developed a solid understanding of the game and how a franchise works from the ground up.
Dorsey’s playing days came to an abrupt end due to a problematic knee injury in 1989, but since then he’s never been out of the game. Dorsey became a Scout for the Packers two years later, eventually establishing himself as the Director of College Scouting. He briefly left to become the Director of College Scouting for the Seattle Seahawks but was soon back with the Packers in his previous roll.
Dorsey is no slouch when it comes to drafting top players, having drafted Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews during his time at the Packers. But during his time at the Chiefs, many are questioning the recent decisions he and his coaching staff have made in the last few Drafts, most notably cutting QB Kevin Hogan and 3rd round draft pick KeiVarae Russell in this years Draft. Add into the mix the inability to thrash out a extension with Eric Berry, and you could be forgiven for questioning Dorsey’s ability to manage the franchise, but is it justified?
Mid way through the 2016 preseason, the Chiefs cap space was approximately 500k in the red, but after a bit of manoeuvring and renegotiation of contracts, in less than 4 weeks the Chiefs find themselves being amongst the top 10 teams in the NFL with the most cap space, estimated to be around $11m. At the moment we don’t know what this money is for, but some would hazard a guess that work is currently underway to either sign Dontari Poe or Eric Berry to contract extensions at the end of the 2016 season. But is there something happening in the short term which could benefit the Chiefs to push for titles this season? Is there a grand plan playing out in front of our very eyes?
It does seem inconceivable that a GM would cut his losses on a 3rd round draft pick, effectively admitting he got it wrong, but Dorsey’s character is not one that feeds off his own ego. There is a goal in the minds of Dorsey and Reid, that they can get the Chiefs to a Super Bowl, no matter what it takes, no matter the cost, and Dorsey will make the difficult decisions that will benefit the team if that’s what has to be done. Regardless of what people say or the questions that are raised, one thing is for sure, the Chiefs fans back Dorsey and his methods wholeheartedly, and they believe in the “grand plan”.
Since Dorsey’s arrival he has been instrumental in securing long term deals for Derrick Johnson, Justin Houston and Travis Kelce (who was also drafted during the Dorsey era), but not only that, he’s weathered the storm that arose when the Chiefs selected Tyreek Hill from the 2016 Draft, and we know how well that’s played out so far. The selection of Hill has paid dividends, and more, for the Chiefs this season. Add into the mix the capture of Chris Jones and you have a GM that obviously has an eye for talent.
One thing is for sure, during Dorsey’s time with the Chiefs he has helped build a team that has an exciting arsenal at its disposal, great depth in key areas, and a “next man up” philosophy. He has created a team that most opposing teams fear playing against. To do that in less than three seasons needs to be applauded. Long may his reign continue.