The designation of Rashee Rice as the pivotal roster decision for the Chiefs.

Rashee Rice’s turbulent offseason has been extensively covered, and there’s widespread anticipation that the Kansas City Chiefs’ second-year wide receiver will face a suspension at the beginning of the 2024 NFL season due to his alleged involvement in a multi-vehicle crash in Dallas, Texas. If Rice indeed gets suspended for a significant period, how might the Chiefs adjust?

Gilberto Manzano of analyzed the “biggest roster decisions” for every AFC team, highlighting Rice and his potential suspension as the catalyst for the Chiefs’ next significant move.

The primary decision: How will they address a potential suspension for Rashee Rice?
Rice played a pivotal role during his rookie season, contributing to the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory last year. However, his availability for the start of the 2024 season is in question due to the pending suspension related to his alleged involvement in a car accident last month. [Editor’s note: The crash occurred on March 30.] Should Rice be absent from the team for an extended period, the Chiefs will rely on rookie wide receiver Xavier Worthy to make an immediate impact, while Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will need to quickly adapt to his new team.

This presents an intriguing dilemma because it’s unclear what decision the Chiefs can actually make. Rice’s car accident happened nearly a month before the 2024 NFL Draft, but after the high-profile moves of free agency. By that point, Kansas City had already seen several wide receiver options sign with other teams, such as Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Jones, and Tyler Boyd.

Essentially, the Chiefs have likely already made their significant decision: They won’t be making major additions unless they execute a bold trade for an established wide receiver seeking a new team. Such a move wouldn’t primarily hinge on Rice’s potential suspension length. Players like Tee Higgins or DK Metcalf would represent long-term investments beyond Rice’s suspension period.

The Chiefs could explore signing players like Michael Thomas, Hunter Renfrow, or Mecole Hardman, but these signings wouldn’t directly replace Rice. Instead, they’d compete for roles regardless of Rice’s status. The time for immediate-impact wide receiver decisions has passed for the Chiefs. They’re giving increased opportunities to their existing options while potentially adding role-player pass-catchers closer to training camp. However, the team is undoubtedly preparing to be without Rice for a significant portion of the season, barring any unexpected developments from the league office.