That tandem is talented enough to challenge the likes of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes-to-Tyreek Hill, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers-to-Davante Adams and Houston’s Deshaun Watson-to-DeAndre Hopkinsas the NFL’s most talented and productive.
The tangible and immediate benefit to all of this maneuvering is the Chiefs cleared $30 million in salary cap space by releasing Houston, trading Ford and letting Nelson walk. They’ve used some of it already on three free agents: safety Tyrann Mathieu, linebacker Damien Wilson and running back Carlos Hyde.
If history is a guide, the Chiefs aren’t finished. General manager Brett Veach isn’t afraid of a bold move. Two years ago he pushed the Chiefs to make the draft day trade that put them in position to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Last year, with an offense that already included Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, Veach’s big free-agent splash was the signing of a wide receiver, Sammy Watkins.
The key to the 49ers’ willingness to work with the Chiefs and not the Giants is obvious. The 49ers did not have to touch their No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft.
The Giants got what they wanted from the Browns -- the No. 17 overall pick -- while not parting with their selection at No. 6. The Giants also were able to pick up a third-round pick this year, as well as fill a need at safety. The Browns sent safety Jabrill Peppers to the Giants, who lost Landon Collins as a free agent to Washington on Monday.
The 49ers have more than one hole to fill, so it was important for them to hold onto as many of their draft picks as possible. And after acquiring Ford, they still have more work to do to improve their pass rush.
Tyrann Mathieu to Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs added free safety Tyrann Mathieu on a three-year, $42 million deal. The move should help solidify the back end of Kansas City’s defense, but it could also mean the end of Eric Berry’s run with the Chiefs. This is a smart deal if the Chiefs firmly believe Berry won’t get back to 100 percent.
Biggest Need Filled: S Tyrann Mathieu to the Chiefs
Kansas City’s porous defense struggled badly in 2018 and finished second-to-last in yards allowed and 24th in points surrendered. The Chiefs fielded one of the most fearsome pass-rush units in the NFL, but injuries and ineffectiveness in the back seven was a constant thorn in the team’s side. What Kansas City needed most in free agency was to add a big-impact defender that to group, and they did just that in signing Mathieu to a market-matching, three-year, $42 million pact. The beauty in signing the Honey Badger is that he doesn’t just add talent at one spot in the defense, but can contribute all over the field, whether he’s lining up at deep safety, in the slot, or in the box. He’s a coverage safety, a fearsome run defender, a blitzer, and a cornerback all rolled into one—and he gives the Chiefs a much-needed boost in their biggest area of need.
(+25.8% from 2017 to 2018)
Patrick Mahomes, baby! Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Damien Williams were all great, but it started and ended with Mahomes replacing Alex Smith. Smith was an excellent fantasy quarterback in 2017, finishing the year as QB4, but even with that lofty finish he was still 130 points shy of what Mahomes put up in 2018. In a rising-tide situation, that helped elevate the performances of all those aforementioned weapons and gave the Chiefs the most team-wide fantasy points in the league by more than 100 points.
Round 1 – No. 29 overall-Jaylon Ferguson-EDGE-Louisiana Tech-Stayting with this pick as I did with Patrick Mahomes in 2017. Each mock same guy. Maybe when I get to 3.0 or 4.0 things will change but with the loss of Houston and Dee Ford dangling there the Chiefs must get pass rush. As I said last time out of the top 20 sackers in 2018 14 of them were first round picks, 4 were 2nd round picks and 2 were 3rd round picks. Have to address this early and “sack daddy” is still my guy. He is the NCAA all time leading sacker.....that plays! 26 tackles for loss this year and 17.5 sacks make him very attractive for the Chiefs.
Around the league
After the Browns acquired star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade with the New York Giants, Cleveland general manager John Dorsey and agent Drew Rosenhaus mutually agreed to not follow through on a verbal agreement with wide receiver Breshad Perriman, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
Perriman now will sign a one-year, $4 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the source said.
Why did the Giants trade Beckham?
The Giants seemed hesitant to give Beckham a long-term deal, but finally did after — according to Mara — the receiver “checked the boxes” that concerned the team.
The problem for New York was Beckham’s:
Struggle to stay healthy
Struggle to stay out of trouble
Five seasons into his career, Beckham has only played one 16-game season. Three were shortened by injuries and a fourth was a 15-game season due to a one-game suspension.
Wake and the Tennessee Titans have agreed to a three-year, $23 million deal, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday, per a source. Pelissero added that $10 million is guaranteed.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday morning that the Packers are expected to sign former Baltimore Ravens edge rusher Za’Darius Smith and ex-Bears safety Adrian Amos, per sources informed of the deals. Amos’ deal, Rapoport added, will be for four years worth $37 million, $21 million coming in the first two seasons. Smith’s contract comes in the form of four years for $66 million with $34.5 million across the initial two seasons.
Spurned earlier in the day by linebacker Anthony Barr, the New York Jets addressed their front seven by agreeing Tuesday with their top free agent, Henry Anderson, on a three-year, $25.2 million deal, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
Former Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray intends to sign a four-year, $14.4 million deal with the New Orleans Saints, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday, spelling the end of the Mark Ingram era in the Big Easy.
Le’Veon Bell goes to New York Jets
Le’Veon Bell: 4 years, $52.5 million with the Jets, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2019
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Brett Veach landed a big defensive fish on Monday — signing free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu to a three-year, $42 million dollar. Coming off of a good year with the Houston Texans, Mathieu was coveted by his former team, reportedly losing a bidding war with the Chiefs.
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