Chris Jones is effectively required to show up to training camp in early August and play a full season with the Chiefs.
Unless the two sides work for a compromise that at the moment does not seem likely, he will have his choice between taking a guarantee of slightly more than the (non-guaranteed) approximately $42 million he’d get over the next three years through the last year of his rookie contract and two franchise tags, or the Chiefs can give him (basically) the Frank Clark contract.
This isn’t answering your question, but I feel like I need to say it anyway: you will not find anyone who believes players should get their money more than I do. Football is a brutal game, and the earning windows are short. Get. Your. Money.
Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs
The good news for the Chiefs is that Jones has a reason to show up shortly after training camp opens. If he’s not in camp by Aug. 6, he’d be set to reach restricted free agency next year rather than unrestricted free agency.
Camp opens for the Chiefs on July 24, so Jones will be rolling the dice if he isn’t there within the first couple weeks. That makes a holdout much less likely to happen, but not impossible. Aaron Donald faced the same situation in 2018 and blew through the deadline in pursuit of a new contract.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
No surprise here. In his first season as a starting quarterback, Mahomes became the second quarterback in NFL history (joining Peyton Manning) to throw for at least 5,000 yards and at least 50 touchdowns in a single season. Despite being saddled with one of the league’s worst defenses, Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 12-win season. He’s the best quarterback in football right now -- and it’s not particularly close. Every voter at CBS Sports ranked Mahomes first on their individual ballots.
Less than a month before training camps begin for most NFL teams, Mahomes is the favorite to take home a second straight MVP in the Westgate Las Vegas’ SuperBook at 4/1. Per the Action Network, he was 50/1 last offseason.
2) Joe Montana
His 1984 season was, along with Marino, the first 100 passer rating season since 1976. Montana went 18-1 as a starter that year for perhaps the most complete squad in Super Bowl history. His 1989 campaign, when he won the first of two MVP awards, was insane. Despite playing under rules that made the quarterback position much more arduous than it is today, Montana completed more than 70 percent of his passes with a 112.4 passer rating. Those numbers would still be right around the top of the charts today. Don’t forget his time in K.C., when in 1993 he took the Chiefs to their first AFC Championship Game since the AFL-NFL Merger. Patrick Mahomes became Kansas City’s first quarterback to equal that feat in 2018.
1. Zack Martin, G, Dallas, 78 points (2 first-place votes) 2. David Bakhtiari, OT, Green Bay, 75 (1) 3. Jason Kelce, C, Philadelphia, 69 4. Tyron Smith, OT, Dallas, 58 5. Travis Frederick, C, Dallas, 56 6. Quenton Nelson, G, Indianapolis, 52 7. David DeCastro, G, Pittsburgh, 51 8. Mitchell Schwartz, OT, Kansas City, 48 9. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Pittsburgh, 47 10. Trent Williams, OT, Washington, 44
The Chiefs and Chargers may contest the very premise that they’ve got to catch up to the Patriots, based on what they did in 2018. Kansas City earned the No. 1 seed by posting a 12-4 record, then twice took fourth-quarter leads before falling in overtime of the AFC Championship. Had the coin flipped once more, they may well be entering this year as the team to beat. And the Chargers could carry a similar lament. They also went 12-4, better than the Patriots’ 11-5, but because of rules about seeding and division winners they were forced to travel to Foxborough for the Divisional playoff and got whacked on the road.
By simulating the 2019 season (all year round) we can project who the best fantasy quarterbacks are and in our latest projection Patrick Mahomes is number one, followed by Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Baker Mayfield and Jared Goff are not in the very upper tier, but they are solid options as well.
When he is good, he is really good but when he is off, he is really off. Our projected ceiling for Robinson when he ‘goes off’ is 15 fantasy points (his average is 3.8FPs). Demarcus Robinson (2019 Season Projection: 39 Rec, 524 Yards, 4.9 TDs) is projected to improve in the upcoming season. His rank based on total projected fantasy points has him as the #80 player at his position.
While Damien Williams is the Chiefs’ starter, I could see Thompson having a Tarik Cohen-like role for the Chiefs this season, especially with Tyreek Hill facing a possible suspension.
Around the league
Elliott issued an apology for his off-field conduct via Twitter following the conclusion of the meeting.
”I’ve worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me,” Elliott wrote. “I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision.”
Talks between the NFL and the NFLPA aimed at reaching a new collective bargaining agreement are set to intensify in July in an effort to secure a new deal before the start of the 2019 regular season, sources close to the negotiations told ESPN.
The two sides have scheduled negotiating sessions for July 17-19, a source tells ESPN’s Josina Anderson. It will be the first time both sides engage in talks for three consecutive days, specifically on this pending league deal, and the biggest and potentially most contentious issues are expected to be addressed, the source said.
3) Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos
He’s the pre-eminent sack artist who keeps defensive coordinators up at night while giving the flawed Broncos a chance in every game they play. Denver’s defense could be great this year. That’s all Miller and new head coach Vic Fangio.
Miller piled up 14.5 sacks last year, giving him a league-high 98 since entering the NFL in 2011. And he’s as consistent as they come -- no wild swings in production from one year to the next. Outside of the suspension/injury-abbreviated 2013 campaign, the ninth-year pro has reached double-digit sacks every season. With Fangio at the helm and Bradley Chubb garnering more and more attention on the other side, anyone going to tell Von Miller he cannot hit 20 sacks in 2019? Not me.
1. Dump the franchise tag. The first change the NFL needs to make is eliminating the franchise tag. The franchise tag limits player movement. It’s a weapon ownership can use to keep players on a team for longer than their contracts, and it can force players into deals with their current team to avoid the one-year tag.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Craft Beer Festival will be 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The festival - which will feature tastings, food and music - will include beer from 50 of the nation’s breweries, including one from each National Football League market.
“I was good,” Leonard told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “I probably could have gone to the NFL. I just hated practice.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
A common topic of conversation this offseason has been Patrick Mahomes’ expected regression.
When you put up a top-three all-time single-season performance, people are naturally going to come out with doubt that you’ll be able to sustain the other-worldly nature of a 5,000-yard and 50-touchdown season.
While the results may or may not be the same fantasy output that won some early believers a championship or three on in their leagues last year, I am confident after watching Mahomes’ final performance of the season, the process by which those results were realized will not be the problem.
“I don’t know if that will be a lot different,” he said. “The whole thing about the 4-3 or 3-4 defense really pertains to base defense, and in today’s football we don’t play a lot of base defense, we usually have a lot of what we call sub defense, with nickel and dime, I think a great number of defenses in the league play that way 70% of the time. So everybody is kind of playing the same way.”
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