Chiefs GM John Dorsey Leaves Door Open for Trading Players, Picks

The phone lines are open for Dorsey to try and improve the Chiefs roster in any way possible

When it comes to building the Kansas City Chiefs roster, general manager John Dorsey leaves no stone unturned.

Whether it's diving deep into the character background of a potential draft pick or analyzing any trade offers they have on the table, Dorsey and his staff do their homework in hopes of building a roster that can compete for championships for years to come. 

Look no further than last year, when Dorsey selected cornerback Marcus Peters with the No. 18 pick despite the questions that had surrounded Peters heading into the draft.

Peters had been dismissed from the team at the University of Washington because of disciplinary reasons, and there was a fair share of due diligence that was needed in order to check off the boxes for a player with that background.

Ultimately, after doing the work and feeling comfortable with the player, Dorsey pulled the trigger on Peters and everyone has now benefitted from that decision.

They did their research and got a player who was in their top 10—at No. 18.

Peters had a phenomenal rookie season and was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year after snagging 8 interceptions—two of which were returned for touchdowns—and defending 26 passes, which was a franchise record.

A look at Marcus Peters through the 2015 season.

Now, heading into this draft, Dorsey is looking for any way to improve the roster, even if that means taking calls about trading players currently on the team.

"I take a lot of different phone calls, and there's a lot of different scenarios that take place," he said.

When you look at the current roster of the Chiefs, two of their superstars—running back Jamaal Charles and linebacker Justin Houston—were both acquired with draft picks that came from trades.

Charles was drafted with the No. 73 pick in the third round of the 2008 draft using a pick that was acquired in the trade that sent defensive end Jared Allen to the Minnesota Vikings. The trade for Allen also included a first-round pick that the team used on offensive lineman Branden Albert, plus a couple of other picks.

Houston was selected with the No. 70 pick in the third round of the 2011 draft, which was acquired from the Cleveland Browns, who moved up in the first round to select defensive lineman Phil Taylor.

These trades have been good to the Chiefs, much like the decision to send two second-rounders to the San Francisco 49ers for quarterback Alex Smith, who has put together the best three-year start in franchise history for a player under center, leading the team to two playoff appearances.

If it's not trading a current player for more draft picks, Dorsey said trading down is another great way to pick up multiple picks.

"If you can acquire additional picks, I think that helps, I think it increases your odds," he said. "I'm always for trying to trade back and getting a few picks. I'll try to work it either way, and I think we do a good job of that. I think we have prepared and laid out a plan again like we always do.

"We've made advanced phone calls right now. We'll continue to make those calls to other teams. We're always open, either way. Come talk to us."

Dorsey said it's a fluid situation when it comes to assessing the value of a trade offer, and that trade charts, which reportedly first began with former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson back in the early 90s, are still used today.

"I think the charts have changed over time because the evaluations of those specific picks have changed," Dorsey said. "So now there are 50 charts out there. So it all depends on who you are dealing with in terms of trades.

"Or you could go old school and say I want that player, I'll give you this, and let's roll. It comes down to two people communicating."


Dorsey's relationships with fellow general managers, personnel guys and evaluators going back more than 30 years in the business help the Chiefs in this regard. Many times he's working on deals with people he's known or might have even worked with at one point or another in his career.

"A personnel guy is always building for the future," Dorsey added. "He's always looking two or three years down the road. Let's make no mistake about that, because if you are to be any good at sustaining any degree of success and you build through that draft, you have to think two or three years down the road."

So while the door is open for any potential trade scenario involving moving down in order to acquire multiple picks, moving up like they did a year ago for receiver Chris Conley, or trading current players, Dorsey is leaving all options on the table and he's relying on his staff to help him work through these decisions.

"Ultimately I'm going to pull the trigger, but I think it's important to listen to everybody," Dorsey said. "At the end of the day, we're going to do what's right for the organization."

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