Positions needed: TE, C, EDGE, DT, ILB, CB, S
Analysis: At the moment, the Chiefs are hoping to get by on the edge with additions like Alex Okafor and Emmanuel Ogbah, but if there’s a first-round caliber edge rusher who falls to the middle of the first round, don’t be surprised to see the Chiefs trade up to grab one.
Interior defensive line: Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs ($18M-$22M)
Improving significantly in each of his three seasons, Jones ascended into the elite ranks of interior pass rushers in 2018, joining the likes of Aaron Donaldand Fletcher Cox. Jones was one of just three players to post more than 14.0 sacks and 25 QB hits last season, along with Donald and Von Miller. He was one of the few bright spots on the Chiefs’ 31st-ranked defense.
Just in case that happens to Hill, who is in the final year of his four-year, $2.6 million contract, the Chiefs have good WR options with their first-round pick (29th overall) in the NFL draft on April 25.
If there’s an immediate threat to the Chiefs’ crown, the Los Angeles Chargers certainly qualify. Potentially lost in the Patrick Mahomes hysteria of the past season is the fact that the Bolts were with the Chiefs virtually every step of the way in the race for the division crown. The two teams split the annual series last year, which had been dominated by the Chiefs previously, with K.C. posting an 8-0 record against the Chargers from 2014 to ‘17. Philip Rivers continues to play at a high level, and it’s easy to forget Rivers didn’t have tight end Hunter Henry (knee) during the regular season in 2018.
Ware has met with the Lions and Colts so far this offseason in pursuit of a new home. While none of them can offer anything more than a complementary role, he does have one campaign (2016) with 1,368 yards from scrimmage on his resume, proving his worth as a runner and pass catcher.
Tier 1: Bona Fide Franchise Quarterbacks
This is the highest of terrain, reserved for men who have won MVPs and rings, or, in several cases, both. It isn’t easy to crack, but Mahomes, throwing 50 touchdowns passes in what amounts to his rookie season and nearly slaying the Pats to get to the Super Bowl, um, yeah, that will qualify.
In other words, there is a chance a tight end will fall on his face after a season of 2.00 yards per route run. But not a big chance.
Of the five names who recorded 2.00 yards per route run or more, (George Kittle, 2.83, Travis Kelce, 2.34, O.J. Howard, 2.26, Zach Ertz, 2.04 and Mark Andrews, 2.01) three are our consensus top-three tight ends for 2019 (George Kittle, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz), while a fourth is one of the most popular breakout candidates at the position, O.J. Howard, none of the four appears to be anything resembling a fluke.
Around the league
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Shepard would receive $21.3 million guaranteed.
“I envision myself retiring as a Seahawk,” Thomas said when asked about that possibility. “I would never burn a bridge there. I still love my teammates. I definitely see myself signing maybe a one-day deal, and hopefully they’ll hang my jersey in the rafters.”
The 31-year-old Thomas is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. He is on schedule to be back sooner than expected, per Palmer.
Last month, Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of careless driving resulting in an injury stemming from a Feb. 16 accident during which he was traveling more than 70 mph in a 30-mph speed limit zone.
Researchers might be closing in on a way to check athletes while they’re alive for signs of a degenerative brain disease that has been linked to frequent blows to the head. Experimental scans found higher levels of an abnormal protein tied to the disease in a study of former NFL players who were having mood and thinking problems.
Two former AAF players are suing the league in a class-action complaint in the wake of its shutdown last week. Acting individually and on behalf of other players, Birmingham Iron punter Colton Schmidt and Orlando Apollos linebacker Reggie Northrup allege they were misled and defrauded when AAF control owner Tom Dundon halted operations after eight weeks of play.
“They have done a little bit of homework here, at least tried to figure out what the Cardinals’ price would be,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said on the Around the NFL podcast. “But they’re not actively chasing him and I don’t know that they have a hard offer on the table because I know for a fact that they’re still going through the motions with the guys in the draft apparently.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
After talking with Lawrence’s agent, David Canter, Cowboys insider Mike Fisher said he thinks such a deal “probably had some legs” in an article for 24/7 Sports. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer was the first to say he heard that two AFC teams had interest in Lawrence; Fisher says that one of those teams was the Chiefs, and the other was the Indianapolis Colts.
In an Oklahoma Drill article published on NFL.com Wednesday, former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio spoke about Brown in less-than-glowing terms.
“I love the talent, but [Antonio Brown] has clearly shown that he’s going to be a pain in the ass,” Del Rio told NFL.com’s Brooke Cersosimo. “He’s a very talented guy and I would love to have him. I would work with him no problem. If [players] have talent, you tend to tolerate it a little bit unless it becomes disruptive to your team. He’s going to have to learn that to really help the team.
The AP draft team releases its latest edition of Mocking the Mock.
But now we know that is not the case. On Tuesday, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced that a Lee’s Summit, Missouri resident — 64-year-old Dwyan Morgan — had been cited in the incident. Charged with disturbing the peace, he now faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1000. He is scheduled to appear in Jackson County Municipal Court on July 17.
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