He vows to tell the Chiefs where he stands. He won’t take a pay cut, and he needs his 100 targets, 1,000-plus yards, 12 touchdowns this season. Because just like he did before that AFC title game, before the Super Bowl, Watkins knows what’s coming next for him: eight more seasons, two more Super Bowls, one gold jacket. Book it.
So this team had better be ready to feed him the ball. ”I’m praying and hope they do right by me if I go back,” he says. “If they don’t, it’s going to be World War III. Seriously. Because I feel like I’ve been doing everything in my power to stay positive, to continue to uplift everybody on the team. To put myself last, to literally always put myself last.”
8. Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West)
Since Andy Reid arrived in Kansas City, the Chiefs have won four division titles in seven seasons. All four have come in the past four seasons. Two came with Alex Smith at quarterback. The other two came with Patrick Mahomes, inarguably the best player in football right now. At this point, it’s impossible to take anyone other than the Chiefs to win the AFC West.
The moves to acquire established veteran defensive pieces also allowed the Broncos to focus more fully on offense when the draft rolled around at the end of April. Such an offense-focused draft class has lit a fire under the Broncos and Fant is now relishing the challenge of showing what they can do against the high-flying Chiefs next season.
“I’m definitely excited,” Fant said. “I think that’s going to be a great game for us and obviously we get a chance to play twice every year. So, they are definitely going to be good games for us.”
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes II, Kansas City Chiefs ($40M-plus)
Mahomes’ current AAV: $4.1 million
Mahomes can be a free agent in: 2022
Current highest AAV: Russell Wilson, Seahawks ($35 million)
Most guarantees: Jared Goff, Rams ($110 million)
Most guarantees at signing: Matt Ryan, Falcons ($94.5 million)
Death, taxes and Patrick Mahomes becoming the highest-paid player in NFL history. These are things that I can say will happen with absolute certainty. No quarterback has ever entered the NFL with the type of success Mahomes has enjoyed over two seasons as a starrter — Dan Marino truthers, feel free to @me.
Deonte Brown OL
The Chiefs continue to turn over their offensive line. Brown is a strong player who should create some wide open running lanes for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
What’s surprising here is that Charlton secured no guaranteed money in his deal. He was owed $1.8 million on the contract that lapsed when he passed through waivers unclaimed. So he’ll earn less than half of that, but only if he makes the Chiefs’ roster. He doesn’t have any signing bonus or bonus money down the line. He’s betting on himself to make the Kansas City roster even though his contract suggests he’s not a lock to do so.
Week 6, Bills: Chiefs Win
As a result of Brady’s departure in New England, the Buffalo Bills are viewed as the favorites in the AFC East. After adding Stefon Diggs via trade, there aren’t any excuses for Josh Allen not to succeed next season. Still, Allen and the new-look Bills won’t be able to score enough points to keep up with Mahomes.
Around the NFL
Amukamara’s 10th season will be the first in Las Vegas for the Raiders, as they’re picking him up after the Bears released him.
Garafolo added there’s still some work that needs to be done with final details, but Amukamara and the Raiders have agreed on overall terms.
Whether with the Giants or Bears, Amukamara has been a starter since his second season in 2012. Last year with the Bears — his third in Chicago — he started 15 games with 53 tackles and 10 passes defended.
According to his estimates, the NFL would lose about $138 million in revenue from tickets and game-day fan spending for each week played without fans. A full season without fans could cost the league nearly $2.3 billion, Rishe calculated.
“We’ve tried to concentrate on the defensive side, with the idea that, if we can keep the score down, we’ll stay in football games and eventually try to find the quarterback we can replace [Manning] with and get the offense back on track,” Elway said after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft. “I think with the way Drew played at the end of last year, we saw the signs of a guy that has a chance to be very successful in this league.”
While J.J. Watt still has two years remaining on his deal, there really isn’t anything that he hasn’t accomplished for the Texans and the city of Houston. While yes, he still hasn’t brought a ring to Texas’ other team, the organization seems to be trending away from any shot at a Super bowl championship. While it’s still doubtful that J.J. could be traded, I don’t see him taking another deal with Houston if a shot to finally play with his brothers becomes available.
It’s clear J.J., Derek and T.J. are very tight. They interact with each other almost daily on social media, and seemingly are always spending time together even during the season. And while Derek and T.J. have been teammates in the past, J.J. has yet to experience playing the game with his actual flesh and blood.
7. Los Angeles Raiders: Bo Jackson-Marcus Allen
A talent consolidation for the ages. The stats aren’t there for this duo compared to the others in this list’s top sector. That’s because Jackson joined the Raiders each October after his Royals seasons. A year-round highlight maven from 1987-90, Bo averaged north of 5.5 yards per carry in three Raiders seasons. He reached 950 rushing yards in 11 games in 1989 and made the Pro Bowl despite being a Raider backup in ‘90. Los Angeles’ established star, Allen still contributed steady work on the ground and through the air. Jackson’s NFL career ended suddenly with his January 1991 hip injury, stopping this partnership at four years.
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50. TE Travis Kelce
There is little doubt that Rob Gronkowski was the best tight end of the past decade — and one of the best of all time — but Travis Kelce has been the second-best for much of that time. Kelce earned a second-team nod on our All-Decade team; he has long been one of the best receiving weapons in the league and averages more than six yards after the catch per reception for his career, having broken 91 tackles across his six seasons. Kelce can run routes like a receiver and run away from defenders after the catch like few players the game has ever seen at that position. He has already displayed significantly more staying power than players like Jimmy Graham, whose time at the top is already looking substantially more like a flash in the pan.
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