Talk about rubbing salt in old wounds! In the spirit of NFL free agency beginning next week, ESPN’s NFL Nation put out an article aimed at determining each franchise’s best and worst signing since 2018.

For the Kansas City Chiefs, that insulting honor was bestowed upon former four-year starter and defensive team leader Anthony Hitchens — which feels extremely harsh. After all, he did help KC win a Super Bowl in 2019! Starting all three games during that playoff run.

“He wasn’t a bust, but Hitchens rarely had the impact the Chiefs hoped for in his four seasons with them after he signed a five-year, $45 million deal,” Kansas City correspondent Adam Teicher wrote. “He frequently came out of the game on third downs.”

Teicher did admit that Hitchens’ play “picked up dramatically after [the Chiefs] invested draft picks in Willie Gay in 2020 and Nick Bolton a year later.”

Ex-Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens Might Be Getting a Bad Rap

KC has had far less impactful signings than Hitchens, but Teicher is taking financials into account. A dud like Le’Veon Bell only cost the Chiefs a little over $700K, for example, and this front office has been a lot more successful than other teams around the league — meaning the choices are limited.

Still, Hitchens probably doesn’t deserve a title like this in all honesty. Was he spectacular? No, but he was your average NFL linebacker for four seasons and the Chiefs made the AFC Championship each of the years he was on the team.

He was also relatively durable, starting 14 or more games in every campaign, with 381 total tackles as a Chief and 17 for a loss. He also forced two fumbles, with one interception, two sacks and 12 QB hits according to Pro Football Reference.

On top of that, Hitchens was a solid mentor to Gay and Bolton — who have turned into above average linebackers in 2023. The latter is especially good, and in the end, Bolton’s emergence allowed the Chiefs to part ways with the veteran last February.

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Chiefs Super Bowl Champ Disrespected as ‘Worst Signing Since 2018’

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