Super Bowl Champion Chiefs Dive Into Voluntary Workouts Amid An Offseason Full Of Distractions

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes watches a drill during the NFL football team's organized team activities Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes watches a drill during the NFL football team's organized team activities Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is hoping for a much quieter rest of the offseason now that the defending Super Bowl champions have reconvened for a series of voluntary workouts, culminating with their mandatory minicamp in the middle of next month.

Whether it's been the unresolved Dallas car crash involving wide receiver Rashee Rice, the polarizing comments delivered by kicker Harrison Butker or the wild schedule foisted upon Kansas City by the NFL that has it playing every day of the week but Tuesday, there has been no shortage of headlines involving the Chiefs since their title triumph in February.

“Obviously, we don't want those things obviously to happen,” Reid said, primarily alluding to Rice's legal trouble, “but things do happen and you learn from it. And you end it. That is what's important.”

The case involving Rice, one of the breakout stars of last season, has been the biggest headache for Kansas City.

The 24-year-old faces one count of aggravated assault, one count of collision involving serious bodily injury and six counts of collision involving injury after he was accused of driving at speeds approaching 120 mph before a crash. The wreck in a speeding Lamborghini, which Rice has admitted to driving, involved six vehicles and resulted in multiple injuries.

One of his friends, Theodore Knox, was driving a Corvette involved in the wreck and faces the same charges. Both are accused of leaving the scene without providing information or determining whether anyone needed medical attention.

Earlier this week, Dallas police said a separate situation apparently involving Rice had been resolved when a man signed an affidavit of non-prosecution over an incident at a downtown nightclub. The wide receiver reportedly had been accused of assaulting the man, though Rice was never identified by Dallas police in a report of the incident provided to The Associated Press.

In the meantime, Rice continues to practice with the Chiefs during their voluntary workout program.

“We'll just let the situation play its way out,” Reid said.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was asked what advice he could provide Rice going forward, particularly with a legal case — and likely NFL suspension — hanging over his head and the start of the season less than four months away.

“It's trying to do whatever we can to teach him how to learn from his mistakes,” Mahomes replied. “Obviously, that was a big mistake. Learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again, and do the best you can to be the best you can be for society and those around you. ... We're going to do what we can to get him on the right path to be a great football player, obviously, but we want him to be a great person, too.”

Mahomes also said that while he doesn't necessarily agree with the comments that Butker made in his recent commencement address at Benedictine College, the Chiefs' star quarterback supports the kicker's right to make them.

Among other things, Butker said most women receiving degrees were probably more excited about getting married and having kids; argued some Catholic leaders were “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America;" referred to a “deadly sin sort of pride that has a month dedicated to it” in an oblique reference to Pride month; and took aim at President Joe Biden’s policies, including his condemnation of the Supreme Court’s reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

“We're not always going to agree,” Mahomes said, “and there are certain things he said that I don't necessarily agree with.”

Mahomes doesn't believe Butker's comments will be a problem in the locker room, though. Nor does he think that Rice's legal trouble will cause any sort of rift as the Chiefs chase their third straight Super Bowl title and fourth in six years.

“When you get in the locker room, it's a safe space where everyone can be themselves,” Mahomes said. "It's always good to have people here — people in Kansas City, competing — and then being as smart as we can when we're not in the building.

“I think guys understand we need to step up as a team and an organization," Mahomes added, “but we need to go out there to prove it for other people to believe it as well.”

The Chiefs would certainly do well to bond quickly. The NFL has presented them with a brutal schedule.

Along with playing on every day of the week but Tuesday — including Christmas for the second year in a row — the Chiefs will be done with their bye after Week 6 and later have a stretch in which they play three games in an 11-day span.

“Our schedule has gotten crazier and crazier every single year. We know we're going to have a lot of primetime games. We've built up a lot of equity to be in those games," Mahomes said, before adding with a wry smile: "I know I'm going to try to be better on Christmas, because last Christmas was not great."