The Chiefs have some decisions to make on players (Sammy Watkins would be one), but one they’ve already made their mind up on is Chris Jones. One way or another, I expect him to be a Chief in 2020. They’ll try to work out a deal first, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll tag him. One thing that complicates his situation a little is what the Chiefs paid an outside acquisition, Clark, last offseason. You’d think Jones would want at least what Clark got.
4) Patrick Mahomes (Football)
Look, I’m a fan of the Chicago Bears. And even I can’t be mad at Mahomes. I should be, but I can’t. I mean, it’s not his fault the Bears chose Mitchell Trubisky over the guy who’s won the league MVP and Super Bowl MVP in his first two seasons as a starter. I can’t hold it against him. So I will continue cheering every no-look pass he throws out there on the field. Well, until the Chiefs start winning too much and we all grow to resent him. But even then, it will still be very exciting.
While the defensive line proved a bright spot, there are big decisions looming on the horizon for the Chiefs.
Jones, who has been vocal on his desire to remain in Kansas City, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 18. The Chiefs have the option to designate him as a franchise player on Feb. 25 in the event a long-term extension can’t be agreed upon. Going the franchise route could open the possibility of a tag-and-trade scenario.
Whatever happens with Jones will ultimately cost the Chiefs, a team Spotrac projects to have just $16.7 million in available salary cap space in 2020.
Suggs, Pennel, Williams and Ogbah are also scheduled to become unrestricted free agent, so the defensive line sets up for a transition period with new faces either through the draft or free agency. Pennel recently told The Star that he prefers to stay in Kansas City.
TIER 1: Wide-open Super Bowl window (90-99 points)
Kansas City Chiefs (95 points)
State of franchise: After finally erasing his decades-long playoff demons and almost certainly securing a Hall of Fame spot, Reid is primed to coach well into the 2020s. The 61-year-old leader has a chance to keep Kansas City’s franchise-changing quarterback-head coach partnership in place. Veach’s acquisitions have been hit-and-miss, but Mahomes’ first two seasons give the executive who initially spotted him while working under John Dorsey a great chance to stay a while. Some of this roster’s best players, however, may not be around by 2025. TE Travis Kelce and OT Mitchell Schwartz are 30; fellow All-Pro Tyreek Hill’s volatile past places the wide receiver on a year-to-year track. Mahomes has covered up most organizational missteps so far, and just about every team envies this franchise’s setup. His impending record-setting extension will, however, change the Chiefs’ blueprint to a draft-centric plan as they attempt to supplement their stars with young starters.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Jeff Gladney CB
Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller could both be free agents in March. But even if the Chiefs bring back one (or both), you can never have enough defensive backs on the roster. Gladney quietly had a standout season for the Horned Frogs. He might be one of the best cover corners in this draft class, and while he has the size (6-0), he’ll need to add weight (he’s listed at 183 pounds) to battle play in and play out with NFL receivers.
Kansas City Chiefs: CB Byron Jones
The Kansas City Chiefs are now a destination team after their Super Bowl victory. Top free agents will consider them over other options, even at a lesser price, just for the opportunity to play with the league’s best.
Kansas City will need the help, too.
Obviously, the Chiefs will be hamstrung to a degree this offseason because a Patrick Mahomes extension will be forthcoming. While that’s in the works, the front office has to deal with a whole host of free agents set to leave including Chris Jones, Demarcus Robinson, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller and Anthony Sherman.
Byron Jones should be the Chiefs’ No. 1 target if the organization finds a way to splurge on one free-agent signing. Jones developed into one of the league’s better cornerbacks over the last two seasons, and his added presence would help a secondary set to lose multiple defensive backs.
2020 RETROSPECTIVE GRADE
Kansas City Chiefs
You can nitpick about the lack of lower-round returns or even give the Chiefs some blame for how Kareem Hunt’s character came back to bite him, but any draft that lands the team a future 23-year-old MVP as the game’s most important position qualifies for an automatic A. The selection of Mahomes elevated the Chiefs franchise from stable success to Super Bowl champion.
Around the NFL
Slay’s potential to be traded goes back to last year’s deadline, when Detroit dealt safety Quandre Diggs to Seattle. Slay was bothered by the move and said he knows that “nobody’s safe” from being traded.
”Anybody can go,” Slay said after the Diggs trade. “So that’s it. You know, at the end of the day, I just see it as there’s no loyalty to nothing. No matter how much you put in, they feel like it’s a little different, they can get rid of you. So I just play ball.”
At the time, he said he would be OK if he got traded and OK if he stayed in Detroit.
The BattleHawks are a championship contender
We already know the Roughnecks are. They have the best quarterback in the XFL, one of the best wide receivers in the league and a defense to boot. But the BattleHawks gave Houston everything it could handle on Sunday evening. Give credit to Jonathan Hayes’ team. Being down 21-6 at the half is not where you want to be against possibly the XFL’s best team. In this league, though, a 15-point deficit is nothing and St. Louis got to within three points heading into the fourth quarter. It also pulled back to within four inside two minutes after a Houston touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Cleveland Browns terminated the contracts of cornerback T.J. Carrie, tight end Demetrius Harris, guard Eric Kush and linebacker Adarius Taylor on Monday.
Carrie started 14 games for the Browns over the past two years. Harris started six games in 2019, and finished with three touchdown receptions. Kush started seven games at right guard before losing his starting job midway through last season, while Taylor recorded eight special teams tackles.
All four players were signed by former Browns general manager John Dorsey, who was fired after a 6-10 season.
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That might become more difficult once he is as rich everyone expects him to soon become. Facing an offseason where he could be signed to a contract extension that could dwarf any ever offered to an NFL player, Mahomes told Badenhausen he doesn’t worry about it.
“I understand the position I’m in. I have a great team and organization around me. I’ll focus on doing my part on the field. Whenever the deal needs to get done, it will get done. I’m focused on football and winning as many championships as possible in Kansas City.”
Early in the year, your aggressive, one-gap defensive scheme led to some situations where poor gap control allowed big rushing lanes. But under your guidance, the defense learned to trust each other. By the time the Chiefs were in the playoffs, traditional rushing attacks that were expected to dominate the team were rendered ineffective. Negative plays were significantly more commonplace than in previous years, allowing more situations where you could use your creative pressure packages to get your unit off the field.
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