Top needs: CB, Edge, WR
It’s no shock that the Chiefs need help in the secondary after their cornerback unit finished with the league’s 26th-ranked coverage grade. The loss of Steven Nelson does hurt, even if he did allow 971 yards in coverage last year, as they’re left with just Kendall Fuller and newly-signed Bashaud Breeland as the only two cornerbacks with plus-grades over their careers. Coverage is imperative for a defense to succeed in and if the Chiefs don’t do something to secure the services of top-notch coverage defenders at the position, you can expect that to draw the ire of Chiefs’ fans. The loss of Dee Ford – the league leader in total pressures a season ago – and Justin Houston along the edge also present a massive gap to fill in the 2019 draft (or offseason altogether).
The free-agent defensive tackle and the reigning Super Bowl champions remain in contract talks, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported Monday via Twitter. Bailey, 29, has spent his entire eight-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs, who remain in the hunt to retain his services.
3) Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs: Already a steady source of scrimmage yards entering 2018, Hill put together his best NFL season yet, posting the fourth-most receiving yards in the NFL (1,479) and picking up 17.0 yards per catch. Watkins was averaging 4.3 catches and 57.2 yards per game before suffering a foot injury that essentially knocked him out for the second half of the season. But he really stepped up in the AFC title game; when the Patriots erased Hill, Watkins grabbed four catches for 114 yards, his best single-game total since registering 154 yards with the Bills in Week 16 of the 2016 season. Injuries have been an issue throughout his career, but don’t forget that Watkins was picked fourth overall in 2014. If Watkins can stay healthy in 2019, he and Hill can generate some outrageous numbers, especially in an offense that also includes Travis Kelce and is driven by Patrick Mahomes. Note that Hill’s availability might be dependent on the outcome of an ongoing law enforcement investigation into alleged battery of a juvenile in which Hill may be involved.
1) Kansas City Chiefs: Whenever my guy Patrick Mahomes is on the field, the Chiefs are expected to win. And think Super Bowl. After all, they fell just short of Super Bowl Sunday last season, Mahomes’ first as the team’s starter. The reigning MVP is the best and most mesmerizing player in the NFL today. And I have no issue with the defense -- which is transitioning to new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system -- moving forward without Dee Ford, Justin Houston and Eric Berry. Don’t forget: This unit has ranked 24th, 28th and, most recently, 31st over the past three years in total defense. Meanwhile, plucking the “Honey Badger” off the open market was an excellent move.
The Chiefs now have defensive end Chris Jones, defensive end Chris Jones and defensive end Chris Jones.
It gets better. The team watched cornerback Steven Nelson sign with the Steelers, replacing him with veteran journeyman Bashaud Breeland. Tyrann Mathieu is an upgrade at safety, but he was an expensive one. The inside linebacker spots remain an area of weakness.
Unless the Chiefs hit the jackpot in the draft, opposing quarterbacks are going to have all day to survey a secondary that allowed the second-most passing yards in the league in 2018.
Patrick Mahomes is going to have to score a ton of points again in 2019.
The goal is simple.
“We’re just trying to get the words ‘athletic trainer’ out to moms, PTAs, athletic directors, legislators, everyone,” said Rick Burkholder—the Chiefs’ Vice President for Sports Medicine and Performance. “Ideally, you’d love to have an athletic trainer at every sporting event in America. It’s about safety. Financially, some people want to cut it out because they think it’s a luxury.
“It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity.”
FC Bayern Munich will face AC Milan at Arrowhead on July 23rd as part of the International Champions Cup. This year’s tournament will have 12 clubs playing 18 matches across the United States, Europe and Asia. This is the seventh edition of the ICC. Tottenham is the defending champions.
Arrowhead has hosted several international friendlies and is best known as the former home of the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City). It is also the home of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Does Husker sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez remind Daniels of anyone?
”Adrian’s got a good arm and he’s fast,” the lineman said. “The only one who really comes to mind is (Patrick) Mahomes. Just Mahomes.”
Yeah, just Mahomes, the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, who played at Texas Tech.
Mahomes and Martinez both have “the ability to adjust to a collapsed pocket and be able to be mobile and still deliver a perfect ball,” Daniels said.
Daniels said Nebraska’s offense would “most definitely” fit in the Big 12, especially because of the speed.
Around the league
The 33-year-old Nelson, who was recently released by the Oakland Raiders, is retiring after a long run in the NFL that began in 2008, NFL Network’s James Jones relayed Wednesday morning.
Nelson’s time last season with the Raiders is mostly forgettable, as he totaled 63 catches for 739 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games.
According to Joel Klatt of Fox Sports, there are three teams out there that are “very interested” in making a trade for Rosen and those three teams are the Patriots, Giants and Chargers. Klatt also added that one of those teams has already offered a second-round pick for the Cardinals quarterback, although he didn’t specify which team has made the offer. If the Cardinals end up selecting Kyler Murray with the first overall pick, it’s almost a guarantee that Rosen will be shipped off somewhere.
At the NFL owners meetings Tuesday, Rams general manager Les Snead said that re-signing the veteran defensive tackle is “pretty much guaranteed to be off the table.”
”Based on the fact that from our budgetary constraints this year, it probably doesn’t fit in his desires,” Snead said.
Coach Bruce Arians had confirmed Tuesday that the team was working to sign Gabbert, who had played for Arians with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017.
Rhodes’ $10.4 million base salary became fully guaranteed on March 15 and Zimmer said that he doesn’t think the cornerback has played well enough to justify the deal he signed with the team in 2017.
“I just don’t think he played as well as he can play,” Zimmer said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He needs to play up to his ability level. We’re paying him a lot of money. He needs to play up to that contract.”
”I think it’s a good year for [Dalton] to show like he can, like we think he will,” Brown said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Fletcher Page. ”After he re-establishes himself we would want to get together with him and see if we can extend it.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The general message of Rapoport’s report is that league and the Chiefs are in a holding pattern until child protective services to concludes its investigation. At that point, both the league and the Chiefs will come to a decision regarding potential repercussions for Hill.
As Rapoport said, the latest from Reid is that the Chiefs have not been in touch with Hill, as advised by the organization’s legal counsel. There were rumors last week that the Chiefs were shopping Hill earlier this offseason.
Thanks to Reid and Belichick’s persistence on Monday, NFL head coaches realized that the way to get league owners to approve any kind of review replay proposal was to find something all the owners could agree upon — and they did.
There wasn’t a single owner in Tuesday’s voting meeting who hadn’t seen their team fall victim to a poorly officiated pass interference penalty — or non-penalty — in the last 20 years.
Does this rule fix all the problems? No, it doesn’t. But it does open the door to a more realistic conversation about ways that replay can sensibly be expanded and improved — a conversation that NFL owners have been resisting for two decades.
Six seasons later, Travis Kelce, The Project, has not only exceeded the expectations that Andy Reid and the Chiefs had for him, but shattered them: back-to-back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons, four Pro Bowl honors, two selections as a first-team All-Pro, and another as a second-team All-Pro.
Sure... his NFL career has shown a fair amount of the kind of behavior that GMs like Newsome were afraid of: on-field outbursts, ejections, taunting penalties, outlandish touchdown celebrations and the like.
What it’s also shown, though, is a player who could become the best tight end in NFL history. But his success has had a lot to do with the atmosphere Reid has created, and the other players around Kelce — particularly quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
After some initial questions we’ve heard before regarding Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Florio and Simms asked about when Reid truly knew that Mahomes was a different type of player. Reid told an anecdote about former Chief and now-Indianapolis Colt Justin Houston.
“He did one of those no-look jobs in practice early and Justin Houston went this way and the ball went that way. Justin looked over—and you could always tell with players. When players go, ‘Man this dude’s the real deal,’ [you’re] pretty sure that’s the case. So Justin, really, he went, ‘Listen, this guy’s unbelievable. That thing he just did right there, you just don’t see.’”
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