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What we learned about the Chiefs this week

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Taking a look at the week of March 30 on Arrowhead Pride...

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Reports: Chiefs re-signing Demarcus Robinson

On Saturday, we learned the Kansas City Chiefs were re-signing free-agent wide receiver Demarcus Robinson to a one-year contract.

While Robinson wasn’t expected to earn a big free-agent deal, with a Super Bowl ring on his finger, it was thought he would find a home on another team when his rookie deal expired in mid-March.

But it looks like he hasn’t received enough interest from other teams to make him walk away from a one-year, $2.3 million offer from the Chiefs — which, as Pelissero noted, appears to be structured to take advantage of a new type of veteran salary benefit (VSB) that was included in the just-adopted Collective Bargaining Agreemen (CBA) between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

How the Chiefs have used every advantage to navigate the offseason

On Sunday, John noted that almost all of the Chiefs’ free-agent signings had saved cap space by using the veteran salary benefit of the CBA

Robinson’s contract isn’t the only one that takes advantage of the CBA’s VSB provisions.

The contracts given to newly-signed cornerback Antonio Hamilton and offensive lineman Mike Remmers — and the one given to defensive tackle Mike Pennel when he was re-signed last week — all used the other variation of the CBA’s VSB.

This provision allows a player with at least four accrued seasons (for any team) to be given a one-year contract paying them the NFL minimum salary according to their experience, but carrying the cap hit of a player with only two years of experience. Both variations of the VSB also allow these players to be paid signing bonuses of up to $137,500, which count against the cap as they normally would.

Report: Chiefs have less than $200 in salary cap space

Despite the careful use of their cap space, ESPN’s Field Yates reported on Monday morning that according to an official NFL report, the Chiefs were down to just $177 in cap space. We explained how the official figure — and those reported by salary-cap reporting sites — could vary so widely.

Some of it is that Spotrac and OverTheCap just have different numbers in their calculations. Doing a quick side-by-side comparison of them on Monday morning, I found 24 cases where the amounts they report for base salary, prorated bonus, roster and workout bonuses — and so on — differ. Some of these differences are small. Others are larger — and can add up to a significant difference in the cap space each site reports.

The biggest differences, however, tend to be which players they include in their calculations. On Monday, neither tracking site was including the reported signings of fullback Anthony Sherman and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson in their cap calculations. Spotrac’s figures included the signing of quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, but OverTheCap’s did not.

But we have no idea which player contracts are included in the official calculation that Yates reported on Monday — much less how the component parts of those contracts differ from the numbers Spotrac and OverTheCap are currently reporting.

Dustin Colquitt is smiling in Kansas City this morning

We also noted a tweet from veteran Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt, who had noticed some inspirational sidewalk art in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Todd McShay mock draft 4.0: Chiefs go running back, then cornerback in first two rounds

On Tuesday, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay released his fourth mock draft of the offseason. Pete took a look at the two picks he made for the Chiefs.

McShay’s point about Damien Williams being a free agent next year is less a concern for me than his injury history. As we saw during the last two playoff runs, head coach Andy Reid can get the most out of Williams — that is, when he is on the field.

With LeSean McCoy headed elsewhere, would the Chiefs feel OK with only Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson behind him to start the season?

Probably not. But Andy Reid’s track record of succeeding with mid-round running backs makes me think the Chiefs go in the direction of a more pressing need here — whether that is selecting a player they like at a position of need or trading back to acquire more than the five picks they currently have.

Taking stock of where the Chiefs stand two weeks into free agency

With the first two weeks of the league year in the books, we tallied up all the moves the team has made since the end of the 2019 season — along with the resources they hold to do more. But the elephants were still in the room.

As it has been ever since the parade through downtown Kansas City ended in February, the big questions remain unanswered: what will the Chiefs do about defensive tackle Chris Jones and wide receiver Sammy Watkins — and to a lesser extent, cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The existing situation with Jones seems untenable; the team can’t really afford contract to consume $16.1 million in cap space in 2020. The same is true for Watkins, whose $14 million in salary and $7 million in dead money consume the biggest chunk of the team’s salary resources.

Tyreek Hill dominates, scores 60 on Tyrann Mathieu in round-one Madden win

On Tuesday night, Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and safety Tyrann were both participating in a Madden 20 tournament for charity — and Hill had destroyed Mathieu in the first round. On Wednesday, we brought you video highlights of Hill’s lopsided win.

Tyreek Hill’s Chicago Bears defeated Tyrann Mathieu’s Kansas City Chiefs in The Checkdown’s Madden 20 tournament, 62-32. Hill will face Denzel Ward of the Cleveland Browns in the semifinals on Thursday. If Hill wins, he will participate in the final round, also set for Thursday.

The tournament will benefit coronavirus relief efforts, according to the NFL’s The Checkdown.

On Thursday night, Hill defeated Ward to advance to the final — where he lost to Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James.

The latest from Andy Reid on Chris Jones and Sammy Watkins

In a Thursday conference call from his new command post deep underneath Reid Manor, the Chiefs head coach talked with reporters — many of whom wanted to know what the team was going to do about Chris Jones and Sammy Watkins.

“Right now, he’s here,” said Reid of Watkins. “That’s the positive part. And we sure like Sammy. He’s done a great job for us. As good a player as he is, he’s even a better person. So we’ve really enjoyed him being here. But other than that, I can’t really lead you on either way, because that’s Brett’s area. I’m honestly not dealing with it.”

Asked specifically if Watkins could potentially play the 2020 season on his current deal, Reid wouldn’t say.

”We’ll see. We’ll see how that goes,” he replied. “There’s a ton of time here. But we’ll see how all of that works out.”

Report: Sammy Watkins signs a new one-year deal with the Chiefs, taking paycut

But before the sun rose on Friday, Watkins had a new deal. Unlike Terez Paylor, our London-based Tom Childs didn’t have to get out of bed to break the biggest Chiefs news since the team’s victory in Super Bowl LIV.

It’s official; the Chiefs are keeping the band together. After months of speculation about his future, Sammy Watkins is staying in Kansas City, according to friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports.

Paylor broke the news in the early hours of this morning (seriously go to bed, Terez) that Watkins signed a new one-year deal that will pay the receiver $9M million this year, a figure that could increase to $16M after incentives.

We also brought you Patrick Mahomes’ tweet welcoming Watkins back to the team, and covered the details of Watkins’ incentive-laded contract that opened up $5.1 million in salary-cap space.

The perfect Kansas City Chiefs mock draft

On Friday, the Arrowhead Pride Nerd Squad asked themselves a simple question: what would the draft look like if everything fell the right way for the Chiefs?

On this week’s episode of the AP Draft Show, we took a look at the perfect Chiefs scenario for the draft. We tried to make it realistic, but with a few things going the Chiefs way. Here’s what we think would be a perfect draft for the Chiefs.

32. LB Patrick Queen, LSU

63. IOL Matt Hennessy, Temple

96. CB Bryce Hall, Virginia

138. WR Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin

177. CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver, Florida International