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Arrowheadlines: Kendall Fuller was a critical piece in Alex Smith deal

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The latest

Andy Reid lauds Alex Smith, thrilled to have Kendall Fuller with Kansas City Chiefs | The Denver Post

In nine years as an NFL head coach, Andy Reid has seen enough offseason deals to know that they rarely result in a “win’ for both parties. But that’s how he characterized the late January trade that sent former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a third-round draft pick and, most notably, cornerback Kendall Fuller.

Why the KC Chiefs won't switch to 4-3 defense in 2018 | The Kansas City Star

"There’s so much flexibility in the 3-4," Reid said.

Reid added that the Chiefs aren't a "true" 3-4 team, because defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's scheme already calls for more of the gap-shooting that is used in the 4-3 defense. But Reid does like the way the two stand-up edge rushers over the tackles in a 3-4 cause problems for offensive linemen, who don't know whether those defenders will rush or drop into coverage.

Andy Reid against Laurent Duvernay-Tardif M.D. jersey change | The Kansas City Star

"I don't think they can do that anyway," Reid said Tuesday during the coaches breakfast at the NFL's annual meeting. "I’m not big on the other additions to the jerseys."

KC Chiefs, Andy Reid quotes on free agents, NFL meeting | The Kansas City Star

“He's got a tremendous upside," Reid said of Fuller. "He’s just tapping into that. He ended up developing into the best inside pass defender in the league, and now he has an opportunity to step outside and do that also and add that to his repertoire. We’ll use him on the outside but on the inside, too, in nickel situations.”

Jay Gruden: Alex Smith is an upgrade at quarterback | Yahoo! Sports

Cousins has a better career passer rating (93.7 to 87.4), yards per game (261.4 to 204.4), completion percentage (65.5 to 62.4), touchdown percentage (4.7 to 4.0) and yards per attempt (7.7 to 6.9) than Smith. To say you “definitely” improved based on Smith’s credentials fails to pass any sort of scrutiny.

Here's why one expert believes Saquon Barkley will be a first-round fantasy football pick | Centre Daily Times

No matter where Barkley lands, though, Dolan said he's an athlete whom fantasy players should jump on early. Rookies have led the NFL in rushing the last two seasons — Elliott in 2016 and the Kansas City Chiefs' Kareem Hunt in 2017 — and Barkley's receiving ability makes him even more valuable for fantasy purposes.

Suh signing makes Rams big winners of NFL free agency, according to 'Madden' | Sporting News

Kansas City Chiefs

Trading away Marcus Peters hurts, but the Chiefs managed to fill his position with an above-average replacement, and they upgraded at several other spots.

Moving from Alex Smith (86 Overall) to Patrick Mahomes (76 Overall) at quarterback is risky because of the unknown, but Mahomes has a much stronger arm and is a better athlete. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (82 Overall) could see a resurgence if he can take advantage of downfield opportunities. Kendall Fuller (84 Overall) steps in at corner, as does Anthony Hitchens (83 Overall) at linebacker.

The league

NFL rulebook: League passes rule to prevent helmet-to-helmet hits | SB Nation

The exact verbiage and application of the rule won’t be finalized until the next NFL owners meeting in May. It won’t mirror college football’s targeting rule exactly, but it’s a concerted effort to change the way football is played at all levels.

NFL teams unanimously approve simplified catch rule | NFL.com

The new rules defining a catch include:

1. Control of the ball.

2. Two feet down or another body part.

3. A football move such as:

» A third step;

» Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain;

» Or the ability to perform such an act.

Johnny Manziel -- I'll play in CFL if NFL not interested | ESPN

Johnny Manziel, who threw to receivers at Texas A&M's pro day on Tuesday, says he'll play in the CFL if he's not able to get another chance in the NFL.

Josh McDaniels changed his mind when Kraft, Belichick clarified his role | Boston Globe

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure what the future was. I just hadn’t had any clarity on that,’’ McDaniels said Monday, speaking publicly for the first time since his decision. “So, where did I fit in? Were there any plans? I just didn’t have much clarity on what my role was here moving forward.’’

Price tag for Rams and Chargers' stadium nears $3 billion, prompting NFL rule change | LA Times

The cost of Stan Kroenke's stadium in Inglewood is climbing, and his fellow NFL owners made an adjustment for that Tuesday at the league's annual meetings.

Owners approved raising the debt waiver to $4.963 billion for the first phase of the project, which includes the football stadium where the Rams and Chargers will play, the neighboring 6,000-seat performance venue, the 200,000 square feet of office space for NFL Media, the parking lots surrounding the stadium, and the cost of the entire 300-acre parcel.

Jon Gruden ‘surprised’ Colin Kaepernick is out of NFL, thinks QB ‘probably’ will be back | The Washington Post

At this time in 2017, it was beginning to become apparent that there wasn’t much interest among NFL teams in Colin Kaepernick, who had hit the open market at the start of that free agency period. A full year out the league later, it seems more unlikely than ever that the former 49ers quarterback will land on a roster, but don’t tell that to the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

KC Chiefs TE Travis Kelce talks Patrick Mahomes, Eric Berry and his brother winning the Super Bowl

“It is still very awkward,” Kelce admitted. “I’ve only known Alex (Smith) to be the guy in charge. Every offseason, I know I have that security blanket of his passion for the game and trying to up his game every single year to just who he is as a guy, as a brother, as a teammate, and not having that is a little awkward.”

KC Chiefs updates from the head coaches breakfast in Orlando

All 32 head coaches, including Andy Reid and familiar names like Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy, are available in a roundtable, breakfast setting. Reid is usually a popular name even for those reporters outside of Kansas City, as he possesses many ties that extend to other teams’ coaching personnel