As of now, only one of the Kansas City Chiefs' top six cornerbacks from last season has a contract with the team for 2018. Steven Nelson is the only one to survive the roster purge, at least to this point.
Current Cap Space: $20.07 million
The Kansas City Chiefs are officially moving on to the Patrick Mahomes era, which is going to give the team some flexibility in free agency. The Chiefs' current cap number is dependent on the pending trade of quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins.
Albert Wilson was a dangerous, speedy receiver for the Chiefs in 2017 and has flashed that ability in previous years. As much as Alex Smith was improved this past season for the Chiefs, the bulk of the targets were going to his two biggest weapons, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Wilson saw the ball come his way just 56 times over the year, even though he caught a greater percentage of them than Hill did, and he broke almost double the number of tackles after the catch (15 compared to eight from Hill).
Kansas City Chiefs ($3M over the cap)
FAs: OL Zach Fulton, LB Derrick Johnson, DL Bennie Logan, S Ron Parker, WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas, WR Albert Wilson
Advice: They've already been active, with QB Alex Smith and CB Marcus Peters set to be traded. Most holes can probably be addressed during the draft, though one more veteran corner, say Prince Amukamara or Morris Claiborne, would help.
The NFL game is all about mismatches, and typically the biggest mismatches come in the slot or at the tight end position. Tight ends find themselves matched up with linebackers and increasingly more often now the safety position.
Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce is 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, and can run. He’s too big for slot corners and too fast for most linebackers and safeties. The problem in defending him is how versatile Kansas City can be with him. They can motion and move him to get the matchup they like. Kelce ran 512 routes last year, per Pro Football Focus stats, and almost half (252) were in the slot. He caught 42 passes and scored three times as a slot receiver.
In Kansas City last season, quarterback Alex Smith led the NFL with a 104.7 passer rating and running back Kareem Hunt topped the league in rushing with 1,327 yards.
"Just watching the Kansas City offense, they utilized an athletic quarterback," Trubisky said. "A lot of things they do in their offense fit my strengths, and we also have a lot of pieces within our offense that will create explosive plays that the Kansas City Chiefs ran.”
The Chiefs had the 23rd overall pick in the draft, and many thought they’d target a receiver with the pick. ESPN’s Mel Kiper had them taking USC receiver Marqise Lee. Kansas City Star reporter Terez A. Paylor’s final mock draft had the Chiefs taking Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks.
They’d both be way off.
We’re not against using a mid- or late-round pick on a developmental lineman, but we’re lobbying for Ballard to invest in a couple of free agents who can step in and start immediately.
Possibilities: G Andrew Norwell (Carolina), T Nate Solder (New England, G Josh Kline (Tennessee), G Zach Fulton (Kansas City).
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: DE Neil Smith (1988-1996). The 104.5 career sacks (85.5 of which came in K.C.) are nice. But let's be honest, we all remember the sack celebration in which he mimicked George Brett's home-run swing. And I'm a huge George Brett mark, so there you go.
Around the league
Pro Football Talk cited “a source with knowledge of the situation” in confirming that “the question was asked” about Guice’s sexuality. It remains unclear which team posed the question, but the NFL is likely to investigate the matter, as it did in 2016, when Ohio State’s Eli Apple, who went on to become a first-round pick by the Giants, said he was asked the same question by a Falcons staffer.
The former NFL quarterback sold his stake in 31 Denver-area Papa John’s locations two days before the NFL and the pizza chain ended their sponsorship agreement late last month. Manning, who spent four years playing for the Broncos before retiring after the 2015 season, bought the stores in 2012 as part of a six-year joint venture with Papa John’s International, Papa John’s spokesman Peter Collins told Denver’s Fox affiliate.
Despite appealing to Goodell for leniency, Jones will have to pay a significant portion of the league’s legal fees, which paid for lawyers to defend six owners that Jones had threatened to sue.
Michael Bennett to the Eagles. Alex Smith to Washington. Alec Ogletree to the Giants. Bill Barnwell evaluates every big move of the offseason.
The move wasn't made with the intention of clearing space for a long-term deal for Le'Veon Bell, though. The running back who was hit with the exclusive-rights tag is still looking at playing the 2018 season for a salary of $14.554 million. The only difference is now, Pittsburgh has just enough space to pay that salary for Bell.
Sure, they've had a place on pro football landscape's for years, even if the Cleveland Browns proved that Moneyball looks much better on paper ... or in baseball. Yet with technology evolving and the league poised to take another step with the release of in-game tracking of every player to all 32 teams this year, there will be more data than ever to analyze.
"They're doing that because they feel so highly about him and what he's meant to the organization," Silver reported on NFL Total Access. "They want to give him a jump on free agency. I'm told htat if the market is not great, they are open to bringing him back at a lower salary. They haven't closed the door on Richard Sherman returning, but I do think it's unlikely."
The latest trade marks a busy few weeks for Rams general manager Les Snead. L.A. also agreed to acquire corner Marcus Peters from the Kansas City Chiefs and will ship pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots released the veteran tight end on Wednesday, hours after the Seattle Seahawks agreed to trade his older brother, Michael, to the Philadelphia Eagles. Bennett is ranked No. 74 in NFL.com's Top 101 Free Agents of 2018.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The general consensus I’ve seen among Chiefs fans on Twitter and in the comments here is that it would be good if the Chiefs could retain Wilson. A vocal segment, at least in my mentions, believes that he could blossom into a very good player with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. A larger, but just as vocal, group believes that Wilson was a clutch performer for the Chiefs last season and a bigger part of the offense than most realize.
What a week it’s been. Friday, we launched the AP Chiefs Draft Show. On Saturday, my co-host and I headed to Indianapolis for the weekend to watch the defensive line and linebacker groups at the NFL Combine. It was well worth the trip. We were able to get an in-person view of the front-seven class and came away with some good intel.