Even with that major payday looming, Mahomes insists his primary goal was, is and will always be winning football games.
“In college, I didn’t win a lot of football games,” Mahomes said, “I never got to win a state championship or anything like that in high school, so to be on top, especially at the level of the NFL, and to be able to say I’m a champion is something I’ll be able to have the rest of my life. And hopefully, I’ll be able to get a few of them.”
The ultimate goal, obviously, is to become the first repeat Super Bowl champions since the 2003-04 Patriots. But I asked Mahomes if he has any personal goals beyond that. Perhaps becoming a two-time MVP, as well?
”I don’t, and that’s not how I was in my first year when I did get the MVP award,” he said. “To me it’s all about winning. If you can go out there and win football games, you prepare yourself the right way, that stuff handles itself. That’s stuff that I truly believe you can’t really shoot for.”
Kansas City Chiefs: Cornerback, defensive tackle, interior offensive line
Projected cap space: $13.7 million
The Chiefs look primed to compete for years to come thanks to wunderkind QB Patrick Mahomes, who will reset the market whenever that extension comes. Bringing back all the core starters from last year’s title team won’t be as straightforward. Re-signing star DT Chris Jones is a must, but it requires shedding payroll first (hi, Sammy Watkins). Kansas City is set to lose both of its starting cornerbacks, neither of whom are essential. The interior offensive line was a liability in the run game and features a pair of cut candidates in Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Austin Reiter, while 30-year-old Stefen Wisniewski is a free agent.
Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive Interior
The Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff has done a wonderful job getting the most out of a poorly constructed offensive front.
Tackle isn’t an issue with Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher as Kansas City’s bookends. The team is often at a disadvantage with its center and guards, though.
Austin Reiter, Cameron Erving, Stefen Wisniewski and Andrew Wylie were all cast-offs from other teams. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the constant at right guard. Now, Wisniewski and Wylie (exclusive rights) are free agents, while the Chiefs won’t pick up Erving’s 2020 team option, per Yahoo Sports’ Terez A. Paylor.
The Chiefs lack the financial flexibility to pursue a top-shelf free agent, but a second-tier option with positional versatility will help solidify their offensive front.
Potential Free-Agent Target: Austin Blythe
“He’s good for the National Football League,” Reid said, speaking from the 2020 NFL combine. “Some of these guys that we’re talking about here are good for the National Football League. They’re good football coaches, and they handle themselves the right way. I have a ton of respect for Mike. When he was out of football, he recharged by going back and looking at all the things he could do better, and analyzing himself and the game and where he wanted to go to once he became the Cowboys coach — or whoever was going to hire him.
The highest paid safety in the NFL is the Chicago Bears’ Eddie Jackson. He makes $14.6 million per season.
The Tennessee Titans’ Kevin Byard is second. He makes $14.1 million per season.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu and the Washington Redskins’ Landon Collins are tied for third at $14 million.
Around the NFL
“We are appreciative of everything Jason has contributed to the organization over the last 11 seasons in Philadelphia, including building a first-ballot Hall of Fame career and helping us win our first Super Bowl Championship. Jason has been an incredible leader and person both on and off the field,” the team said in a statement.
The addition of Gordon would potentially do wonders for the Texans offense. Not only would it take pressure off of Watson, but it would take pressure off the Texans entire passing game, including DeAndre Hopkins. With an estimated $61.3 million in cap space heading into free agency, the Texans have more than enough money to make this move, and it’s a move that could help them keep up with the Chiefs in the NFL’s never-ending offensive arms race.
Derek Carr just wants to be loved ... which I guess makes Jon Gruden the withholding father who won’t let his son in. Things aren’t much better with Uncle Mike. Here’s what Mike Mayock said at the NFL Scouting Combine when asked about potential changes for the Silver & Black: “Every position gets evaluated every year, and if we can upgrade it, we will.” OK. If Mayock calls Gruden this month and tells him the Raiders have acquired Tom Brady for draft picks, does Gruden even survive the euphoric shock? Carr is a good quarterback — but what if that’s not good enough?
Best-case scenario: The Raiders realize they have more pressing upgrade needs than quarterback. Carr can move into that house he bought in Vegas.
Worst-case scenario: Brady lands in Vegas and Carr is shot out of town in one of those human canons from Cirque du Soleil.
Most likely scenario: Carr stays, but an intriguing rookie quarterback enters the equation in late April. Dad has a new favorite.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Fisher has two more seasons remaining on his current deal — but the team can cut him with minimal consequences next offseason. He would save $11.5 million in cap space just as he reaches the benchmark age of 30.
Schwartz also has only a couple of seasons left on his contract. There is no reason to consider cutting that off early, especially at a $10 million cap hit in 2021 — the sixth-highest among right tackles in the NFL. The Chiefs may consider extending him a season or two, depending on how long he wants to play.
To sum it up, it’s possible that neither player is on the Chiefs in 2022. If that is the case, there needs to be a plan for those positions now.
A tweet to make you think
PSA FOR ALL NFL PLAYERS Great piece by @JCTretter on the current #CBA offer and its impact on all players for the next decade. Please read and get informed before you vote. #NFLPA #NFL #Football pic.twitter.com/SxwX6FJxgU— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) March 4, 2020
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