Honorable mention: Setting aside Tyreek Hill’s off-the-field controversy, he is arguably the NFL’s most-dangerous receiver because of his ability to score on any play. He is coming off a season of 87 receptions for 1,479 yards (17.0 average) and 12 touchdowns, putting him in the top five in the league in yards, average and receiving touchdowns. With breathtaking speed, Hill is a big-play machine that tilts the field in the Chiefs’ favor. A fifth-round pick in 2017 with a checkered past, his three-year totals include 5,125 all-purpose yards, 3,255 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns. His cap charge of $2,042,500 ranks 77th among receivers, according to OverTheCap.com.
New defensive end Frank Clark claimed the day’s victory for the defense.
“We did wonderful,” Clark said. “We won the day, for sure.”
Clark clearly won the post-practice press activities, too, bringing his 3-year-old daughter, Phoenix, to the podium with him.
Even Andy Reid said he was impressed with a defense featuring several new pieces and a new coaching staff.
“It’s all new right there, right?” Reid said. “Those offensive guys have been together for a while. It’s good to get the defense out there to challenge them. It was beautiful — that’s how you get better.”
21 Travis Kelce
With Rob Gronkowski retired (at least for now), Kelce officially takes the throne as the league’s best tight end. If you’ve been paying attention, though, you would’ve seen that Kelce actually should’ve worn the crown for the past three years. Kelce was good with Alex Smith in 2016 and 2017, but Patrick Mahomes changed his career. In 2018, Kelce had 103 catches, 1,336 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. It marked his third straight 1,000-yard season, the first tight end to do so since Greg Olson from 2014 to 2016. It’s tough to imagine the Mahomes-Kelce connection will get better in 2019, but they did things we’ve never seen before in 2018, so why not get crazy?
Madden 20 officially launches Friday with Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes on the cover
First up, as always, comes the conversation about player ratings. These are the top 10 overall players in the game as of this writing:
Khalil Mack, 99
Bobby Wagner, 99
Aaron Donald, 99
DeAndre Hopkins, 99
Luke Kuechly, 98
Julio Jones, 98
Antonio Brown, 98
Patrick Mahomes, 97
Von Miller, 97
J.J. Watt, 96
Now entering his second season as a member of the Chiefs, Dieter looks to earn some playing time in a receiving corps that could benefit from a supporting player.
No, Chiefs fans should not expect Dieter to take over a major role in place of Watkins, who is entering his sixth season in the NFL, or Hill, who had a breakout campaign in 2018 and looks to continue on with last seasons momentum.
However, Dieter should be stepping up in 2019 to play a major role to help keep the Chiefs as Super Bowl contenders.
And if Mahomes pulls off one of his new tricks from this training camps during a game, it might just shut the internet down.
”It’s cool to get here and get to work,” he told reporters at Chiefs training camp.
”This is where we build a foundation and you have to have thay energy every single day in order to get the best out of yourself.”
According to a report in May, Mahomes turned up to the team’s organised team activities two months ago and was practicing no-look passes.
Watch out, NFL defences.
For fantasy purposes, this spot has never been as rich with high-scoring talent as it is right at this moment. Twelve current NFL starting quarterbacks have produced top-five positional finishes in fantasy over the past three years. Six different active starters have led the position in fantasy scoring at some point in their careers: Mahomes, Wilson, Newton, Brady, Brees, Rodgers. Of the seven players in history who’ve produced 5,000-yard passing seasons, five are current starters: Mahomes, Brees, Brady, Roethlisberger, Stafford.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye: 12, Auction: $21)
Not only did he win league MVP in his first full season as a starter, but Mahomes became only the second player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in the same season. When considering Tyreek Hill avoided a league suspension, plus the addition of second-round speedster Mecole Hardman in the draft, Kansas City’s skill-position group has arguably more firepower than it did last year. Even so, Mahomes may be overvalued. Yes, he’s my top-ranked quarterback, but the opportunity cost of passing on a high-level RB or WR at his current draft-day cost (Round 3) is too rich for my blood given the tremendous depth at quarterback.
2019 Fantasy MVP
Travis Kelce, TE
It seems a bit weird to not have Mahomes, who won the actually MVP, as the fantasy MVP for the Chiefs. Not only did he win MVP last year, but he’s listed as the favorite to win the award against at +500 odds. Kansas City has two players as the clear-cut top options at their respective positions and Mahomes gets an honorable mention in this category. He should be the first QB taken off the board, but Kelce should be the first tight end drafted. With the tight end position annually being the most difficult position to get production from and the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the scarcity of the position makes Kelce a valuable fantasy asset and worth considering at the start of the second round.
We’ll give one of White’s NFL picks away: White is fading Kansas City at 6-1 despite the Chiefs coming off a ground-breaking season. After winning the MVP in his first year as a starter, quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks like the future of the NFL. Meanwhile, Kansas City’s offense caught a huge break when it was announced that wide receiver Tyreek Hill wouldn’t be suspended by the NFL.
Drew Brees was the MVP favorite at the end of November. His numbers were similar to Patrick Mahomes and it seemed likely that voters would want to get the all-time great his first MVP. By the end of the season, it wasn’t even a debate. Brees wasn’t the same quarterback in the final month and Mahomes was the easy MVP pick.
Even with the dead money and Smith’s $9.75 million counting against the salary cap -- it will come off in the coming weeks -- the Jaguars still have $9.1 million in cap space. While that’s the 10th-lowest total in the NFL, there is still room for the Jaguars to work out a deal with Ngakoue that would include a prorated portion of any signing bonus.
The sticking point in the negotiations is apparently the average annual salary. The team agrees that Ngakoue has outperformed his rookie contract and deserves a new deal, but there’s resistance to giving Ngakoue a deal similar to the ones that DeMarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark signed earlier this year.
Around the league
1 Patrick Peterson
He sits at the top of my list for all the same reasons he’s been voted to eight consecutive Pro Bowls. Peterson, who is dominating much in the same way Darrelle Revis did before him, excels in man coverage and is also great in zone defense. Over the past few seasons, there hasn’t been much that offenses, or receivers for that matter, could do to get the CB1 off his game. And as with all great cornerbacks, he’s seeing fewer targets thrown to his side of the field -- but often makes opponents regret it when they do test him.
However, I can’t put Peterson in this spot without addressing the six-game suspension he’ll serve for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, which will make him ineligible for this season’s Pro Bowl and snap his streak of consecutive selections to the game at eight. ( Side note: The only other player to be selected to each of the last eight Pro Bowls is Tom Brady.) Some may think Peterson should be lower on this list because he’s missing six games, but his superb production and incomparable impact keep him at the top.
Joining NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live Sunday, coach John Harbaugh was asked by ex-Ravens coach Brian Billick what the pitch count on Jackson running this season might be, noting Cam Newton’s career-high is 139 rushing attempts.
”I’d bet the over on that one. I’d bet the over for sure,” Harbaugh said without hesitation. “It’s going to be interesting. I don’t think we know the exact numbers or the math.”
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“We are the home-run team,” Watkins said. “We can go deep, we got all these track runners, all these thoroughbreds running, and if we can match the short-yardage stuff and win on our quick routes, I think we can possibly be unstoppable.”
This is a big blow.
Reaser was probably sitting in the fourth position on the cornerback depth chart behind Kendall Fuller, Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward — and even though the Chiefs have 12 cornerbacks in camp to fill what will probably be about six spots on the final active roster, it is considered by most as a group with little depth.
Reaser has been down this road with the Chiefs before.
Placed on the Chiefs practice squad in the early part of the 2017 season after being released by the San Francisco 49ers, Reaser managed to get on the active roster for two games: the meaningless Week 17 game against the Denver Broncos and the playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.
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It’s safe to assume that Tyreek Hill won’t remain a bargain for too much longer. As well as a monster season, Tyreek is due a huge pay day. How will the events of this offseason effect the contract he is offered? We simply do not know. But for now, put yourself in Veach’s shoes, there’s a blank contract on the table, what are the numbers you’re offering first?