Full contract: Three years, $42 million | Signed: 2019
Guaranteed at signing: $26.8 million (63.8 percent)
2019 cap hit: $6.4 million (3.4 percent) | 2019 cash: $16.3 million
Prior to and after the start of the new league year, the Chiefs rostered the highest-paid safety in the NFL, albeit two different players. Kansas City released injury-plagued All-Pro Eric Berry ($13 million AAV) and officially signed Mathieu ($14 million) in the span of a few hours. The Honey Badger bet on himself in 2018 and won, turning a one-year, $7 million prove-it deal with the Texans into a three-year, $42 million contract with the Chiefs.
The Cowboys and safety Earl Thomas had long been prognosticated as a perfect fit, but Thomas’ price tag was reportedly too high and he became a Baltimore Raven. Meanwhile, Tyrann Mathieu signed with the Chiefs, which made Berry’s release from K.C. a reality. The safety domino effect now has Berry making a visit to the Cowboys.
In a podcast titled “The Chiefs Zone” Farzin Vousoughian asks Mahomes’ agent, Leigh Steinberg, to describe whether Mahomes has interest in staying in Kansas City long-term.
“Quite frankly, he’d like to play his career there,” Steinberg said at the 47-minute mark of the podcast. “And that’s the intention, and that’s the plan. Look–he’s got a terrific situation. Look at the targets he has to throw to. You can’t do much better.”
“It’s a long way until the opening kickoff in September,” Veach said. “[Player acquisition] never ends. There’s a window here coming up before the draft where things happen. Then there’s the draft. There are moves made during the draft and then after the draft.
”We’re not done. This was one part. One part was to get the flexibility and the ammunition to do the things we want to do. ... Moves cannot be made unless you have [cap] space and draft capital. That’s kind of the position we’re in now.”
Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, and Earl Thomas are three of only eight NFL players who hit free agency this month and flew off the market with a contract that averages over $13.5 million per year. Mathieu got three years and $42 million from the Chiefs. Thomas landed with the Ravens for four years and $55 million. But Collins was the biggest winner with a six-year, $84 million deal from Washington — the richest deal ever for a safety.
It makes sense to invest in the position. The 2018 season set records for league-wide passer rating (92.9), completion percentage (64.9 percent), and touchdown passes (847). It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a reliable defensive back in the middle of the field to help slow down that onslaught.
Mitch Morse, C, Buffalo Bills: Plenty of the Bills’ contracts (John Brown, Cole Beasley, Jordan Phillips) were relative bargains, but Morse’s deal is the rare example of one that’s better for the player when examining the details. Morse is due more than $28 million in the first two years of his contract, and only $16 million in the last two. So it’s a front-loaded pact where any flexibility for Buffalo to leave the deal after two years will only come after paying Morse as the best center in football. To put it another way: Teams that can’t develop their own linemen often pay double for it. The recent stretch of ex-Chiefsstarters who have struggled away from Kansas City -- guys like Jeff Allen and Zach Fulton -- doesn’t help Morse’s case.
Round 1 – No. 29 overall-Jaylon Ferguson EDGE Louisiana Tech-Staying with “Sack Daddy” with this pick. So crucial now that Ford and Houston are gone. The NCAA all time leader in sacks. Had dinner with the Chiefs last weekend so there is some interest there. Had 17.5 sacks last year. College stats for Ferguson: I have stayed with this pick like I did with Mahomes in 2017. Such a position of need and there is a real possibility they trade up as the have a 1 with 2 2’s this year and next. If they stay put Ferguson should be there.
Around the league
“This narrative that Eli’s overpaid and can’t play is a crock,” Gettleman told reporters Monday in a conference call. “With the way we ended the season, and what he’s making, there really wasn’t a decision to make [on bringing Manning back].”
The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT gave out its annual Alpha Awards on Monday and the Mack trade was named the Best Transaction throughout the year in the entire sports world. The Raiders received four picks in the deal, including two first-round picks.
Burfict’s suspension-filled run in Cincy ends after seven seasons. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added the team shopped the linebacker before ultimately cutting the veteran.
”As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor in a statement.
The Redskins did not disclose terms of the deal, but a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter the contract is for one year and $4 million.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Breeland, 27, first entered the league with the Washington Redskins as a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Breeland’s name should sound familiar, as he was spotted on the field at Chiefs training camp last year in St. Joseph.
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