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Arrowheadlines: Eric Berry’s release “blindsided the league”

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Chiefs headlines for Friday, March 22.

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

How the Chiefs’ release of Eric Berry blindsided the league | Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and Terez Paylor report on the Kansas City Chiefs’ abrupt release of safety Eric Berry. They examine how none of the common indicators that a player is about to be cut were signaled by the Chiefs or Berry’s representation and gauge the Dallas Cowboys’ interest in the ex-Chief.

NFL owners to talk replay expansion at Annual League Meeting | NFL

Two rules proposals from teams that have generated fan discussion will be discussed:

-- The Kansas City Chiefs’ proposal to change overtime to mandate each team get a chance to possess the ball has not generated much support from the Competition Committee...Under current rules, each team gets a chance to possess the ball once unless the team that wins the toss scores a touchdown on the opening drive -- which, of course, is how the Patriots beat the Chiefs in the AFC title game.

-- The Denver Broncos’ proposal to provide teams with an alternative to the onside kick generated a lot of interest from the Competition Committee, with members believing it could be a fun option for teams, given that rules changes designed to make the kickoff safer have all but eliminated the chance to successfully execute an onside kick.

Top Seeds to Cinderellas (and Beyond): Ranking NFL Quarterbacks by Their Basketball Skills | Sports Illustrated

THE NO. 1 SEEDS

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Mahomes’ skills went viral earlier this offseason, to the point that Chiefs GM Brett Veach had to come out and state that his quarterback was no longer allowed to play basketball. According to MaxPreps, Mahomes averaged 19 points and 8.3 rebounds per game at Whitehouse (Texas) High—not bad, considering basketball ranked behind football and baseball for Mahomes at the time. Now we know why he throws no-look passes.

No news is good news (sort of) for the Cowboys on Eric Berry and Robert Quinn | Blogging the Boys

Word is that Berry is still looking to get paid like a top safety and that he doesn’t really want to sign a one-year prove it deal. The Cowboys are not going to pay him like a top safety. If they were going to do that they would have already signed Earl Thomas. By necessity, the Cowboys will need to wait out Berry, and a lot of that wait is dependent on what other teams do. The more suitors Berry has the worse it is for the Cowboys. So far, we haven’t caught wind of Berry visiting other teams or even having visits lined up.

Undoubtedly, that will come. But even the delay is probably indicative that no team is ready to pounce, that they too will want to talk to him, check his health and then see if they can get a bargain deal. The fact that safety-hungry teams have already shelled out big bucks on the top-tier at the position is also good news. If you were desperate for a safety, you’ve likely already pounced. The patient teams, the bargain-hunters, are the ones still in play. Can the Cowboys out “bargain-hunt” the others for Berry’s services?

Browns draft: No. 49 high enough to matter in John Dorsey’s hands | The Columbus Dispatch

As with the 2019 Browns, Dorsey traded away Kansas City’s first-round pick in 2016. In Round 2, at No. 37 overall, he plucked Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones.

“I knew Chris was good,” Dorsey told beat writer after Jones began making a splash in 2016 practices. “I’m getting to see what a natural pass-rusher he is, and you can only see those natural pass-rush qualities against NFL players.”

But that’s the trick with a GM. It’s his job to “see” college guys as NFL players before he picks them. Dorsey seems to have been 20-20 on Jones. In 2018, the 6-foot-6 defender (Dorsey likes tall guys) made second team All-Pro. His 15.5 sacks trailed only Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt and topped the 13.5 delivered by Cleveland’s Myles Garrett, who made first team All-Pro. If Dorsey sees a player he likes the way he liked Jones still available a bit earlier, don’t be surprised if he trades up from No. 49. He has been willing to move up or down. The No. 37 pick us spent on Jones was obtained when he traded down from No. 28.

Ranking the NFL’s five highest-graded slot receivers in 2018 | Pro Football Focus

1. TYREEK HILL, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Tyreek Hill was electric from all alignments this past season, recording more than 1,400 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns en route to an impressive 89.0 overall grade on the year. He was at his best, however, away from the boundary and inside the slot, as he recorded a 75.5 receiving grade from an outside alignment and an NFL-high 91.3 receiving grade in the slot. He also led all receivers with 200 or more routes run from the slot in the regular season in yards per route run (3.28); no other qualifying slot receiver averaged more than 2.00 yards per route run from the slot.

Hill used his deep speed from the slot better than any other receiver in the NFL. He hauled in 521 receiving yards when targeted 20-plus yards down the field on routes run from a slot alignment, the most we’ve ever charted for a slot receiver in the PFF era (2006-present). Victor Cruz’s 324 deep receiving yards from the slot ranks second on the list.

Around the league

Ravens re-sign QB Robert Griffin III to back up Jackson | NFL

The Ravens announced Thursday they’ve agreed to a two-year deal with veteran quarterback Robert Griffin III. The 29-year-old veteran will back up Lamar Jackson in Baltimore’s run-heavy scheme.

Eagles bring back DE Curry on 1-year deal | ESPN

The Eagles have signed defensive end Vinny Curry to a one-year deal, the team announced Thursday.

Curry was originally a second-round pick by the Eagles and played his first six seasons in Philly, including during the team’s 2017 Super Bowl run.

Saints expected to sign ex-Raiders TE Jared Cook | NFL

The New Orleans Saints are poised to add a legit tight end receiving target for Drew Brees. Jared Cook is expected to sign with the Saints, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Turning 32 years old next month, Cook is coming off a career-year with the Oakland Raiders. As Derek Carr’s top pass-catching target last season, Cook corralled 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns.

How the Washington Redskins can get the most out of QB Case Keenum | Pro Football Focus

For the price of a sixth-round pick and a contract that will pay about as much as Chad Henne and Drew Stanton will make in 2019, the Redskins get a high-end backup/low-end starter who has certainly shown the ability to win games for his team. In fact, last season — a relatively poor one for Keenum — he still graded out better than all Redskins quarterbacks not named Alex Smith, and the gap between Smith and Keenum wasn’t that big at all.

The most important thing to note here is that this should in no way impact Washington’s draft strategy. As things currently stand, there’s almost no chance at all that Smith suits up in 2019, and that leaves a massive hole at the position, one that needs to fixed, long-term, via the draft.

Reports: Saints reach deal with ex-Viking Sherels | ESPN

The New Orleans Saints have agreed to a deal with longtime Minnesota Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels, a source confirmed.

The agreement was first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which said it was a one-year deal. Terms have not been disclosed.

Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Grievances Reportedly Settled for Less Than $10M | Bleacher Report

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid reached a grievance settlement with the NFL last month, but they reportedly will receive less than $10 million, according to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal.

The two players alleged that leaguewide collusion kept them out of the NFL. Reid eventually signed with the Carolina Panthers, but Kaepernick remains unsigned. After more than a year in court following the initial 2017 filing, the two sides reached an undisclosed settlement in February.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Report: Justin Houston has signed with the Indianapolis Colts

After eight seasons with the team, former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker (and now defensive end, as you’ll read below) Justin Houston is headed to the Indianapolis Colts, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Chiefs offensive lineman Jordan Devey signed by Oakland Raiders

Kansas City Chiefs reserve offensive lineman (and free agent) Jordan Devey has been signed by the Oakland Raiders, per a report from Pro Football Talk.

There were rumblings about Chiefs trading Tyreek Hill, per Jay Glazer

When The Athletic’s Jay Glazer writes about something NFL-related, it is worth taking it seriously. Glazer was the first to report any inkling about the New York Giants potentially trading Odell Beckham Jr. when many regarded it as impossible. As we know now, Beckham Jr. eventually was traded to the Cleveland Browns.

That is why this quote regarding Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill in his latest mailbag deserves some attention. Glazer speculated that Hill’s “name was being thrown about in trade talks” at the start of free agency.

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