29. Kansas City Chiefs: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Offseason needs: Cornerback, safety, defensive tackle, center
Kansas City’s pass coverage, especially on deep throws, was abysmal last season. That’s why Baker remains a regular pick for the Chiefs. He’s not the fastest cornerback, but he knows how to stick with receivers. Keep an eye on Alabama safety Deionte Thompson, too. He could be an Eric Berry replacement.
Defensive End (Projected Tag Price: $18.7 Million)
Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs
Ford had 13 sacks last season, tied for seventh in the league, and led the league in forced fumbles (seven). He also led all edge defenders in pass rushing pressures last season (77) and was third among all pass rushers, after Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox. There’s a fair argument that he and Kansas City’s other elite pass rusher, defensive tackle Chris Jones, were the main reasons the team’s defense wasn’t historically bad. Admittedly, Ford was in a dream pass-rushing scenario, playing for a team who put up points early and often, which allowed Ford to focus on rushing the passer as opposing offenses abandoned the run and were forced to throw the ball. Kansas City isn’t in a position to let Ford go, but it might be wise to tag him and see whether he can produce similar numbers in 2019.
When the 2019 free agency cycle begins in March, many players who are set to hit the open market will be linked to the Chicago Bears because of their connection to coaches currently on the coaching staff in the Windy City. Given head coach Matt Nagy’s connections to the Kansas City Chiefs, many members of that organization who hit the open market would make sense to land in Chicago with the Bears.
It’s a given, after all, that there are a host of troubling ways in which advantage is reproduced. But the Currys, Mahomes, and Belichicks also illustrate that there are organic, constructive, healthful ways in which parents may pass advantages on to their children. And impassioned champions seeking to equalize educational opportunity will do well to at least acknowledge that complicated reality.
Around the league
The Dallas Cowboys elected to not pick up an option on Williams, a scenario that makes the sixth-year pro an unrestricted free agent when the league’s new calendar year kicks off on March 16, the team announced Monday. ESPN first reported the news.
Allen wrote, “Hey Ramsey ... Am I still trash?” under his signature on the photo, which showed Allen celebrating a touchdown during a 24-21 win last November over the Jaguars. Through a Bills spokesperson, Allen confirmed Monday that he signed the photo and said he added the jab at Ramsey at the request of a fan.
So what happened? As Chris Simms explained on Monday’s PFT Live, New England’s interest in Beckham ultimately caused the Giants to think twice. Basically, if the Patriots saw something in Beckham that would have caused them to give up significant trade compensation and to cough up a significant second contract even though he’d never previously played for the Patriots, the Giants should be more inclined to keep him around.
“He’s kind of got the body to withstand a few, but I almost compare him -- I know this is high praise -- but I mean, it’s almost kind of like a Barry Sanders effect. Yes I’m small for the position but I’m so athletic and so smart that I just rarely take big shots. Kyler took a lot less hits even than Baker (Mayfield) did. A lot less. He was never really beat up after a game. The guy can stay healthy and he’s pretty smart. He’s got just a really, really unique skill set of having home-run speed but also home-run quickness to go with that.”
“Absolutely, I have no question about that,” Getsy said. “I think he’s as big of a competitor as I’ve ever been around. He has that desire to win more than anybody I’ve been around. I think whatever you want to call coaching, I think it’s delivering the message, being consistent and holding people accountable to that message, and he wants that as much as anybody.”
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The difficulty with using the franchise tag on Ford is that it will force the team into a high salary cap hit for Ford in the coming year. If your team has more than $40 million in cap space — which is true for a dozen NFL teams — that’s not necessarily a big deal. But using the franchise tag on Ford in such a situation could force the Chiefs into decisions about two other players with whom they also want to make long-term deals — namely Tyreek Hill and Chris Jones — and those decisions could conceivably have long-term negative effects.
Just as they had at home in the regular season, the Patriots dominated the Chiefs in the first half, running out to a 14-0 lead as the second quarter began — and again, the Chiefs fought their way back, outscoring the Patriots 24-14 in the fourth quarter, and tying the game with a clutch 39-yard Harrison Butker field goal as time expired. In overtime — after losing the coin toss — the Chiefs defense simply couldn’t stop the Patriots. They drove down the field and scored a touchdown to win 37-31.
It could be that the Chiefs are waiting for the younger Reid (and perhaps Harris) to find jobs elsewhere before making an official announcement about all the coaching changes. That would seem to be consistent with Andy Reid’s leadership style — particularly when one of the assistant coaches in question is his own son.
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