KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Chiefs signed Andy Reid and Brett Veach to contract extensions Monday that will provide added stability by keeping together the most successful coach/general manager combination in franchise history well into the future.
The Chiefs declined to announce the terms of the extensions, though it's unlikely Reid or Veach was going anywhere. They have built a juggernaut together, reaching back-to-back AFC championship games and delivering the Chiefs their first Super Bowl title in 50 years last season. And at 8-1, they are in good position to defend the title.
"If you think about the journey we've been on the last eight years, we hired Andy and we were coming off several very difficult seasons, and the turnaround with Andy was almost immediate," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said. "And to his credit he's done nothing but get better, and obviously that crescendoed with the Super Bowl victory this past February."
Reid, who recently passed Curly Lambeau for fifth on the NFL wins list with 230, is in the midst of his eighth season in Kansas City after a long tenure in Philadelphia. He took over a team that was 2-14 upon his arrival and built a consistent winner, one that has reached new heights under Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Veach was a big reason the Chiefs landed Mahomes. He argued vociferously to draft him as a member of then-GM John Dorsey's front office, then took over the general manager's job when Dorsey was fired three years ago.
"When the Chiefs came to Kansas City back in 1963, they were fortunate to have what would be a Hall of Fame coach and also would be a Hall of Fame quarterback, and I think we're in a similar position today," said Hunt, referring to Hank Stram and Len Dawson, the duo that led the franchise to its first championship in 1970.
"The value of a great head coach in the NFL cannot be overstated. I think in a lot of ways, it's similar to the value of a great quarterback," Hunt continued. "When you have the two of them together, you can have a lot of success."
Indeed, the signing of Reid and Veach follows the signing of Mahomes to the richest deal for a player in NFL history. He inked a contract this past summer that could be worth a half-billion dollars over the course of 10 years.
The Chiefs' ability to sign Mahomes to a such a lucrative deal while also signing defensive tackle Chris Jones and defensive end Frank Clark to long-term contracts — and luring such pricey free agents as safety Tyrann Mathieu to Kansas City — speaks to the job Veach has done in managing the salary cap. One of Dorsey's biggest shortcomings was doling out bloated contracts that kept the Chiefs from being a consistent winner, but Veach has been able to make the numbers work.
"One thing that's been a revelation for all of us is how aggressive Brett is, and he's aggressive in a conservative way," Hunt said. "His decision making when he's being aggressive is very well thought out, and I think that's paid dividends for us, whether it's making trades or figuring out a way to get Patrick and Chris done for us this summer."
Despite their age difference — the 62-year-old Reid is old enough to be the 42-year-old Veach's father — the duo has worked quite seamlessly for nearly two decades. Reid hired Veach as an intern in 2004, then promoted him to a coaching assistant and scout before his protégé followed him to Kansas City. Once there, Veach spent two years as a front-office analyst, then two more as the co-director of player personnel, before rising to the general manager's job.
Veach's ability to build a roster suited to Reid's coaching philosophy and style has allowed the coach to focus entirely on the locker room rather than juggle the many hats he wore with the Eagles. And that in turn has helped the Chiefs to back-to-back 12-win regular seasons and four consecutive AFC West championships.
"I don't know if I'd use the word luck. I certainly feel fortunate most days to know we have Andy Reid and Brett Veach leading the football side of our operation, and I would throw Mark Donovan in there, our president," Hunt said. "We have a great leader in each of our positions, and the three of them work really well together, and that is an unusual place to be."