Despite only winning one Super Bowl, the Chiefs have managed to build a rich history with several players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But some players have received more recognition than they should have. Every franchise has had their fair share of underrated players, as well as overrated players.
As the offseason continues, we will look at some of the overrated players in franchise history.
The criteria used to determine the players for this slideshow are listed below:
- A head coach gave the player more attention than necessary.
- A player received more Pro Bowl honors than All-Pro honors.
- A certain player received heavy popularity among fans.
- A player's numbers significantly dropped from previous seasons.
- The statistics a player earned vs. how many years they played.
Brodie Croyle seemed to have some fan support in Kansas City. However, nobody gave Croyle a bigger vote of confidence than former Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards.
When the Chiefs parted ways with Trent Green, Damon Huard was Croyle's competition. Eventually, Croyle was named the starter as Edwards wanted him as the team's leader. Unfortunately, poor performances and injuries prevented Croyle from reaching the status Edwards claimed he could attain. Croyle never won a football game as a starter, even with the talent the Chiefs had when Croyle was given the chance to start a game in 2010.
Rushing for 1,000 yards was considered a big accomplishment in the 1970’s because of the way the game was played and teams only had 14 games to play. Podolak ran for 749 yards and got over 1,000 yards of total offense while contributing in the receiving department.
He rushed for over 700 yards in three of four seasons, but he was never able to get over 600 yards in his last four years with the Chiefs.
This was a difficult decision to make and both sides can be debated as Larry Johnson could have easily been the Chiefs all-time rushing leader had he not missed 13 games in 2007 and 2008 to an injury and a team suspension.
Johnson put up back-to-back 1,700 yard seasons, which is rare in the NFL. It appeared Johnson was ready to do whatever it took to give the Chiefs a Super Bowl run, as he had the ability to bulldoze his way through any defense in 2005 and 2006. In 2008, Johnson bounced back and led the AFC in rushing after Week 4.
But Johnson showed his true colors in 2009 when he put up a career low in rushing with a 2.9 yard-per-carry average and no touchdowns all season. After multiple off-the-field distractions, general manager Scott Pioli and former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley let him go. Jamaal Charles took over with the same offensive line Johnson played with and rushed for over 1,000 yards.
Perhaps this is the evidence we need to come to the conclusion that Johnson is overrated when he was consistently successful with Willie Roaf and Will Shields.
Following his tenure with the Chiefs, Johnson has not been able to land a steady job in the league.
Art Still was a four-time Pro Bowler—not for his ability to to collect sacks, since he did not have as much—but for being able play well against the run early in his career. But as a second overall selection in the 1978 NFL Draft, Still did not become the defensive end the Chiefs portrayed him as.
Still only came up with 42.5 sacks in 10 seasons with the Chiefs, getting double-digit sacks only twice in his career. Those are disappointing numbers in a 10-season span for a player drafted high.
Like Still, Hicks played for the Chiefs for a long period of time and put up unimpressive high numbers.
Hicks ranks fourth all-time in franchise history in sacks behind Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith and Tamba Hali. However, the gap between Hali and Hicks will only continue to grow.
Hicks earned 44.5 sacks in nine seasons when Jared Allen took down opposing quarterbacks 43 times in just four years. Hicks averaged 4.9 sacks per season.
In 2006, the Chiefs drafted Hali as a defensive end and declared Hali as the new starter, pushing Hicks as a backup and eventually out of Kansas City. Hicks went on to sign a contract with the New York Jets, but was never given the chance to start.
Everyone knew Ty Law as one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history after his amazing run with the New England Patriots. Law went on to play for Edwards in New York and led the league in interceptions during the 2005 season.
Following his release, Law reunited with Edwards in Kansas City, signing a five-year deal worth $30 million. Unfortunately, Law's career began declining while with the Chiefs and he could not play as well as he did before. He was cut after two seasons when he amassed eight interceptions including two in the playoffs.
Despite not putting up the numbers Chiefs fans had hoped, he was still considered a player who was reliable until fans realized his time was up. Law went on to play one more season with the Jets and one season with the Denver Broncos. Coincidentally, his last career interception came in 2009 against the Chiefs.