The NFL owners voted on Tuesday evening to approve a rule proposal that allows for offensive and defensive pass interference, including non-calls, to be subject to review.
Coaches can challenge those calls in the first 28 minutes of each half. In the final two minutes of each half, those calls will be subject to a booth review.
Coaches were reportedly the driving force behind a deeper consideration of the rule proposal, namely Payton, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Chiefs coach Andy Reid. The latter two reportedly advocated for extending a meeting between coaches and the competition committee on Monday evening to consider and then amend the original proposal.
The owners have tabled Kansas City’s overtime proposal until the next league meetings in May. When they reconvene, the change to OT could be made — with one key caveat.
In an appearance on PFT Live, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt suggested that the rule, if adopted, will apply to the postseason only.
With Dee Ford, Justin Houston, Eric Berry and Steven Nelson all gone, the Chiefs’ defense will look different in 2019 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. And Kansas City still has questions at linebacker and the other safety spot next to Tyrann Mathieu. And even after signing Bashaud Breeland on a short-term deal, the team also needs a cornerback. You’ll notice that Williams (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) has dropped a bit; there are questions about his willingness to tackle and about his fluidity in coverage.
Kansas City Chiefs: Not Bolstering the Pass Rush
The Kansas City Chiefs cannot rely on their offense being as unstoppable in 2019 as it was this past season. They still have reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, but with running back Kareem Hunt now in Cleveland and Tyreek Hill possibly facing a suspension, the offense could take a major step back. If it does, the Chiefs could also take a step back.
Kansas City still has Chris Jones, who had a team-high 15.5 sacks last season, and it added Alex Okafor in free agency. However, the Chiefs need to continue bolstering their pass rush by whatever means necessary to help compensate for any downtick in offensive production in 2019.
Our projected ceiling for Breeland when he ‘goes off’ is 13 fantasy points (his average is 5FPs). Bashaud Breeland (2019 Season Projection: 51 Solo, 9 Ast, 3.6 INTs, 1.6 Fumrec, 12.7 PDs) is projected to improve in the upcoming season. His rank based on total projected fantasy points has him as the #48 player at his position.
The first and most important is that the best defensive player on the Chiefs roster is actually Patrick Mahomes. The spaceship offense is a big reason the pass rush was so effective last year, and obviously the biggest reason that players on perhaps the league’s worst defense could say, “12-4, AFC West champs, must’ve done something right.”
The defense stunk out loud last year and the team was still (basically) a coin flip away from the Super Bowl.
Offense has never been this important in the NFL before, so unless the Chiefs are playing 11 guys who are all literally named Fred — please correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of any good defensive players named Fred — they will be a force in the AFC.
Kansas City Chiefs
Top signing: Tyrann Mathieu
The Chiefs were sorely in need of a fortifying presence in the secondary after losing Steven Nelson and Eric Berry in an already thin group, and they got one in Mathieu. Though hampered by injuries early in his career, Mathieu has shown durability the last two seasons with over 1,000 defensive snaps in 2017 and 2018. He also brings positional versatility, able to play in the box, in the slot, or deep at free safety. Mathieu has been most effective as a slot cornerback in his career (90.2 grade since entering the league), but he has still been solid in his in-the-box roles (71.1 overall grade and 82.0 run-defense grade). With Kendall Fuller entrenched in the slot and Armani Watts likely slotting in at free safety, Mathieu should get the majority of his work near the line of scrimmage in 2019.
Around the league
The Oakland Raiders further bolstered their quarterback room on Tuesday when they announced the signing of Landry Jones. Terms were not disclosed.
Jones was most recently signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fall of last year, but was cut and did not play in 2018. Previously, he played five seasons for the Steelers from 2013-2018 with 19 games’ worth of experience that included five starts and a 3-2 mark as a starter.
There is a massive change headed to American sports, and the NFL continues to prepare for it. On Monday at the NFL’s annual league meeting, the league’s 32 owners were given an update on how the NFL plans to accommodate legalized sports betting on a massive, nationwide scale. The presentation left some in attendance with three takeaways.
One was how much focus was put on the issue itself, a discussion that lasted for nearly an hour. A second was how the league is pursuing, or at least open to, sponsorships from gaming entities.
And according to Sportscorp Ltd. co-founder Marc Ganis, whose sports business consulting firm has worked closely with the NFL, the third takeaway was how seriously the league is looking into the potential for nationwide, legalized sports betting to one day lead to the type of negative headlines that could rock the NFL to its core.
There will be no changes to the onside kick this season despite the best efforts of the Denver Broncosand the competition committee.
NFL owners rejected a proposal, proposed by Denver, “to provide an alternative onside kick that would allow a team who is trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday from the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix.
The alternative would have afforded teams the opportunity, a maximum of once per game during the fourth quarter only, to convert a fourth-and-15 from its own 35-yard line in lieu of attempting an onside kick.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Brees now has a shot at elevating the play of yet another offensive weapon, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that a deal between the Saints and tight end Jared Cook is set to be signed. According to Rapoport, it’s a two-year contract worth $15.5 million, including $8 million fully guaranteed in Year 1.
New Orleans has already compiled an abundance of offensive talent, and their high-flying offense took them to within a whisker of Super Bowl LIII last year. With Drew Brees playing as well as he’s ever done and Sean Payton still orchestrating the passing attack, the addition of Cook, one more pass-catching difference maker, could very well be the final piece to the puzzle.
If convicted, Kraft would face 100 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. He could also get a year in jail, although that is unlikely.
The plea comes days after Kraft apologized in his first public comment since being charged for allegedly receiving sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, on Jan. 19 and 20.
Gruden admitted Tuesday that he “cried for three days” following the blockbuster trade in which the Raiders acquired the Bears’ first-round pick each of the next two seasons, along with a 2020 third-rounder and 2019 sixth-round pick. Oakland sent back a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2020.
”I wanted to coach Khalil Mack. He knows that,” Gruden told reporters.
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Mahomes’ record-setting 2018 season set a very high bar for the young quarterback, but Reid said he believes Mahomes and his coaches are ready for the next step.
”It’s a great challenge for him, it’s a great challenge for us as coaches, and it’s a great challenge for these coordinators trying to stop him.”
“Great players want you to find one more thing to make them even greater,” Reid continued. As a coach, that’s what they want you to do, so that’s our challenge, to give him that opportunity to make him even greater and help make the team better. That’s why we like doing what we’re doing. We’re teachers, and we love doing that.”
Here are three significant changes voted into the NFL rules during Tuesday morning’s owners meeting:
Makes permanent the kickoff rule changes that were implemented during the 2018 season.
Allows teams to elect to enforce on the succeeding try or on the succeeding free kick an opponent’s personal or unsportsmanlike conduct foul committed during a touchdown.
Expands protection to a defenseless player.
According to [Terez] Paylor’s [Yahoo! Sports] reporting, Reid confirmed that the Chiefs have had internal conversations about potential responses the team might have to various ways the alleged incident might ultimately be resolved. But Reid was apparently unwilling to expand on those conversations.
“You always want to make sure everybody’s OK, and then let it run its course and make sure you let that part happen... that’s where we’re at right now,” Reid said. “As a coach or human, I mean, you’re gonna have things that happen. So you deal with it.”
Paylor also reported that Reid said he hasn’t yet concerned himself with what the team might do if Hill is not on the team in 2019.
Matt: DL Jeffery Simmons
A top-10 talent for us in the KC Draft Guide (you can get it for 33 percent off through March with this link!), Simmons is likely to still be there due to a torn ACL during his draft preparation.
Craig: S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
The Florida defensive back earned a round-one grade from us in the KC Draft Guide, one of the 15 we have handed out so far in this process. He has played as an outside corner, a deep safety and in the nickel.
Kent: S Nasir Adderley
Adderley is currently the 25th player in the draft in the KC Draft Guide. He would be best served to play as a single-high safety where his ball skills can play.
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