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Arrowheadlines: Tyreek Hill is ‘one of the best receivers in football’

Chiefs headlines for Tuesday, March 24

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AFC Championship - Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The latest

Tyrann Mathieu on why Tyreek Hill should be regarded as one of NFL’s elite receivers | Kansas City Star

“In my opinion, he’s definitely one of the best receivers in football,” Mathieu said. “I’ve had a chance to practice against him, go up against him in one-on-ones, no cameras, and he’s crafty. I think a lot of times, that gets overshadowed just simply by his speed.

“You’ve got to understand, a lot of times, when he lines up, he’s lining up in two-man coverages, Cover-2 coverages, so his route combinations get limited in a sense.”

Chiefs Use Free Agency To Cash In On Their Super Bowl Experience | Forbes

He likely won’t be the last cornerback to leave Kansas City. Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne are free agents. And with only Rashad Fenton and Charvarius Ward under contract, it’s an area the Chiefs will need to replenish through the draft or free agency.

The Chiefs did sign cornerback Antonio Hamilton from the New York Giants to a one-year deal, but his forte is on special teams.

NFL What Ifs: What if the Browns, Bears, 49ers or Jaguars drafted Patrick Mahomes in 2017? | Yahoo Sports

49ers

But what about the 49ers? It is they who present the most fascinating of hypothetical scenarios.

While the team has made some smart front-office moves over recent years, the selection of Solomon Thomas did not pan out as hoped.

Had they opted for Mahomes, the mid-season trade for Jimmy Garoppolo with the Patriots does not happen.

If a suitable offer is not received, perhaps Bill Belichick gets his way and keeps Garoppolo around, an issue believed to be the source of so much contention between Tom Brady and the Patriots hierarchy.

That potentially forces Brady out the door two years earlier, where he would have found a much stronger free-agent market than he was greeted with in 2020 before landing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Two-round NFL mock draft: The Bengals are on the clock | YardBarker

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU

The Chiefs placed a nonexclusive franchise tag on defensive tackle Chris Jones, so he could stay with K.C. But if not, Blacklock has similar quickness despite a lack of big pass rush production in college and would be able to fill Jones’ role immediately.

2020 NFL free agency’s best contracts: Cousins extension smart | NFL.com

Kendall Fuller, cornerback, Washington Redskins: Fuller is a baller. He’s had some ups and lulls in his career, but he has a higher ceiling than most of the cornerbacks who made more money than him in free agency. He’s also a perfect fit in coach Ron Rivera’s system. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Fuller will get roughly $40 million over four years, a deal that has the potential to look like larceny in a few years.

Top 10 Players Available On Offense For Week 2 Of NFL Free Agency | Forbes

Need a versatile lineman?

Cam Erving, Kansas City (27): A first-round pick by Cleveland in 2015, Erving has started at every offensive line position in his career. That includes 13 games at left guard in 2018, when he allowed just one sack, and eight games at left tackle in 2019, when he allowed five.

Taking the Rough with the Smooth – A Chiefs fans journey to greatness | Arrowheads Abroad

Week 13 Chiefs @ Falcons. Eric Berry returns to his home town. The Falcons were on fire, so were the Chiefs. This was an epic game and #29 wrote the unbelievable ending.

However, the team was still flawed when it came to the playoffs. They were developing a reputation for choking in the big games.

Divisional Round Steelers @ Chiefs. Can’t stop the run? Well at least you can stop them scoring touchdowns. What’s that? You still lost? How…

Around the NFL

Patriots release kicker Stephen Gostkowski after 14 seasons | ESPN

The Patriots, who have nearly $23 million in cap charges for players not on their roster (which includes $13.5 million for Brady), don’t have another kicker on their roster. Veteran Nick Folk finished last season in that role and remains an unrestricted free agent.

Gostkowski was 374-for-428 on field goals (87.4%) with the Patriots, and 653-for-664 on point-after attempts (98%). That didn’t include the playoffs, where he was 31-for-36 on field goals and 79-for-83 on PATs. His strong right leg was also valuable to the team on kickoffs.

Incentives can push Mariota-Raiders deal to $37.5M | NFL.com

Mariota signed a two-year, $17.6 million deal that includes $7.5 million in the first year as a fully guaranteed base salary, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Monday. The initial detail of his contract isn’t all that intriguing, but the incentives and escalators, a “mountain” of them as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted, stand to potentially pay Mariota as much as $37.5 million.

Of course, Mariota would have to take the field in order to earn such incentives and escalators, but writing these details into a contract is not only enticing for a free agent such as Mariota, but also an indicator of what the Raiders think the quarterback could do if he’s pressed into action.

We’re not going to insinuate that this contract signals the Raiders aren’t confident in Derek Carr. General manager Mike Mayock said enough to convince us otherwise during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. But it’s interesting to consider that the Raiders at least think Mariota has the potential to achieve whatever marks are written into the contract as goals to secure additional pay.

NFL insider notes: The Texans and five teams with the worst offseason plans through free agency’s first wave | CBS Sports

It’s going to be difficult for any NFL team to strip the mantle of 2020 offseason losers from the Houston Texans. Rarely have I seen a trade as universally panned by the scouting community, the analytics community, the player community, and the coaching community the way the DeAndre Hopkins trade was.

That is a difficult task to pull off in and of itself, and when one considers it also include the Texans taking on one of the worst contracts in football in the process in David Johnson (don’t get me wrong; it was a home run for the player and the agent, just not for the Cardinals front office that agreed to it), and it sets the bar pretty low. Throw in the Randall Cobb contract (just compare it to what Emmanuel Sanders got for instance, and the loss of DJ Reader, and the fact they still have to pay Deshaun Watson and Laremy Tunsil and, probably, Will Fuller, and this is a recipe for disaster. But hey, at least they still have Barkevious Mingo leftover from when they paid half of Jadaveon Clowney’s contract to trade him to the Seahawks last year … except, well, Mingo is a pure journeyman and on the market again.

Cowboys C Travis Frederick retiring after 7 seasons | NFL.com

Frederick started every game possible from 2013-2017, earning first-team All Pro honors in 2016 and making five Pro Bowls, including four from 2014-2017. But he saw his career and health threatened in 2018 when he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s nervous system in response to illness.

Frederick missed the entire 2018 season while receiving treatment for the disease and returned to action in 2019, earning his fifth and final Pro Bowl honor.

Frederick attributed his battle with the disease as a significant reason for why he’s retiring at 29 years old, saying he “could no longer perform at my highest level” and admitting he knows his “days as a football player are done.”

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

15 Chiefs games to watch while NFL Game Pass is free

Dominant Chiefs performances

Here are the top five most dominant Chiefs games since 2009, which I’ve picked by averaging the team’s win probability throughout the game. In all of these, the opponent was very unlikely to stage a comeback.

Chiefs at Washington Redskins, Week 14 of 2013. The Chiefs averaged a 93% chance of winning this game from start to finish.

Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead, Week 16 of 2010. The good guys averaged a 92% win probability.

Chiefs at Denver Broncos, Week 10 of 2015. The Chiefs averaged a 91% win probability — and there’s nothing better than smashing a division rival! Spoiler alert: this is one of my favorite games to watch; I genuinely thought that the Chiefs might have sent Peyton Manning out to pasture. Of course, we know how that season ended...

Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead, Week 17 of 2018. Chiefs averaged a 90% win probability, beating another division rival.

Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead, 2018 divisional round. A second consecutive week of dominant play where the Chiefs averaging a 90% chance of winning, owning the Colts and officially breaking a postseason curse in the minds of many fans.

Chiefs sign former XFL quarterback to one-year deal

Ta’amu will enter a quarterback room with Patrick Mahomes, the recently-signed Chad Henne and Kyle Shurmur. Prior to 2018, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had favored keeping three quarterbacks on the active roster but kept two in 2018 and likely would have kept two in 2019 had it not been for Chad Henne’s ankle injury late in the preseason.

Henne will be the Chiefs’ backup, but Ta’amu should provide interesting competition for Shurmur when it comes to the team’s practice squad roster spot. Thanks to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams will have 12 practice squad spots to work with in 2020.

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