Unless Buffalo Bills 2018 top-10 pick Josh Allen becomes a Super Bowl-winning franchise quarterback, there’s no way the organization can avoid an L for its decision to trade down from the spot in which the Kansas City Chiefs selected superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes in 2017.
The jury is still out on Allen, but he has promise and a high ceiling following a playoff campaign for Buffalo. Cornerback Tre’Davious White, who was selected in Kansas City’s former spot following that first-round swap, is already a premier player.
Buffalo was compensated for that move back with an extra third-round pick, as well as a first-rounder in 2018—picks that ultimately landed Pro Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and, um, wide receiver Zay Jones.
Jones is already a goner, but Allen, White and Edmunds could all pan out magnificently. And if that happens, the Bills might eventually become comfortable with the idea that they passed on both Mahomes and Deshaun Watson and took this trade in order to greatly improve their defense.
But for now, Mahomes is the reigning Super Bowl MVP, the second-youngest regular-season MVP in modern NFL history and already one of the most legendary players in the game. He’s delivered a title to Kansas City, making this trade a franchise-changer for the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Bills still are still waiting for their first playoff win this century.
Chiefs grade: A+
Bills grade: C-
Fox Sports’ Nick Wright, who grew up in Kansas City and admittedly is a Chiefs fan, gave five reasons why their road to becoming a dynasty has gotten easier this offseason.
Wright made his case Friday morning on “First Things First” on FS1.
“No. 5, no one traded for the Chiefs’ best defensive player, Chris Jones,” Wright said. “No. 4, no one in the AFC West signed (quarterback) Cam Newton. Well, we’ve got Drew Lock, Tyrod Taylor and Derek Carr. Who needs Cam Newton? No. 3, the Chiefs offense had their pick of the litter off all the running backs coming out of college, because no one drafted a running back before them. No. 2 (offensive coordinator) Eric Bieniemy, still there. And now No. 1, you give another rule to the offense, with one of the greatest offenses ever.”
1. Patrick Mahomes
We didn’t know a lot about Patrick Mahomes when he was drafted in 2017. He was raw, in a pass-friendly offense at Texas Tech. He went 10th in the draft, the second quarterback selected — the Chicago Bears will never live down picking Mitchell Trubisky second overall — and one pick after receiver John Ross went to the Cincinnati Bengals. Mahomes clearly had potential, but nobody knew he’d be a superstar.
Three years later, he’s the biggest athlete in American sports under 25 years old.
Mahomes checks every “face of the league” box. He’s cool yet able to laugh at himself, whether it’s his Kermit the Frog voice or putting ketchup on everything. He’s wise beyond his years thanks to growing up as the son of a major league pitcher. He’s instantly recognizable in a sport that hides its stars in helmets. Oh, and he’s a joy to watch, with his cannon arm and no-look passes.
He’s off to the best three-year start for a career in NFL history, and he didn’t even start his first season. Mahomes already has a 5,000-yard, 50-touchdown season, a regular-season MVP and a Super Bowl MVP after he ended the Kansas City Chiefs’ 50-year Super Bowl drought. There’s no reason to believe he can’t win many more MVPs, lead the Chiefs to more Super Bowls and end up as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.
Mahomes is set up to own America’s most popular sport for the next decade or longer, as the rare athlete that is practically impossible to dislike. He’s the perfect player to take the torch after the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning-Drew Brees era and lead the NFL into a new age. - Frank Schwab
12. 1966 Kansas City Chiefs
“We looked at them very carefully in the film, and we realized they had excellent personnel,” Packers Hall of Fame linebacker Dave Robinson recently told CBS Sports when looking back on the Chiefs, who would become the second (and final) AFL team to win the Super Bowl in January 1970. “The manpower was great, really great football players. But they lacked a little bit of the techniques that we were used to. So we had to take advantage of the different techniques. It wasn’t so much their fault as it was the rest of the AFL. The defense weren’t that strong in the AFL, and so they had never experienced the things we did and the type of football we bring. We had an advantage right there, that was the big thing going for us.
The next change is to the players eligible to return from injured reserve. Previously, players had to be on the 53-man roster in order to be eligible to return from injured reserve. If this new system were approved, players that are placed on injured reserve ahead of 53-man roster cuts would be eligible to return during the season.
If you’ll recall, Chiefs backup QB Chad Henne suffered an ankle injury during the 2019 preseason. The team had to carry Henne on the 53-man roster before placing him on injured reserve in 2019. They did so to ensure he could return later that season, which he ultimately did in early November.
Then there were players like Breeland Speaks, John Lovett and Felton Davis. Those three were placed on injured reserve ahead of 53-man roster cuts but were unable to return during the season because of the current rules in place.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a major facelift this offseason, as they added Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and did well in the draft, while also re-signing much of their defensive line. Those moves have pushed their odds to win the NFC South and the Super Bowl up with the top teams in the league.
Betting on win totals, division titles, and Super Bowl appearances is a traditional side of sports betting. However, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering a fun twist for the coming season. They have posted odds on whether one of six teams will go 16-0 in the 2020 regular season. The Chiefs have the best odds to do just that with a +2500 line. The Baltimore Ravens come in second to go 16-0 with a +3000 line, while the Eagles are the biggest long shot you can bet on to go 16-0 at +12500 while the Buccaneers sit at +10000.
Around the NFL
Russell Wilson will win the MVP Award: FACT
In Wilson’s eight seasons, he has not received a single MVP vote. Not one. This despite leading the league in passer rating in 2015 and having a combined 66 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions over his past two seasons. Wilson is also going to top 4,000 career rushing yards this year and remains one of the best quarterbacks in the league when it comes to extending plays. He has never missed a start, and he dragged the Seahawks to an 11-5 mark almost single-handedly last season. Only two teams attempted more runs than Seattle in 2019, but the Seahawks ranked just 23rd in pass attempts. That ratio should be flipped. If it is, not only is Wilson going to get the respect he deserves in the form of some long-overdue MVP votes, but he also should earn enough to win the whole thing.
“We are holding back 50% of the individual game ticket sales inventory because we are preparing for possible social distancing scenarios this year at Heinz Field,” said Burt Lauten, the Steelers’ director of communications.
The Steelers, who put the tickets on sale Friday morning at 10 a.m., are believed to be the first NFL team to restrict ticket sales as a precaution, opting to prevent a potentially bigger problem if more tickets are sold than fans allowed in the stands.
Hyde, who turns 30 in September, scored six touchdowns and ran for a career-best 1,070 yards on 245 carries for the Houston Texans last season and played in all 16 games for the second time in his career.
The Seahawks have been searching since early in free agency for a veteran to reinforce their backfield with starter Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny both coming off season-ending injuries.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas, who spent 14 seasons as a Ravens scout, is bringing along Baltimore’s former franchise quarterback as an ideally reliable backup to Sam Darnold. Douglas was a key member of the Ravens’ personnel department who fought for Flacco during a draft process that eventually led to Baltimore taking Flacco with the 18th-overall pick, per NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.
Flacco’s signing is an improvement over where the Jets were at this time last season, when they had Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk as the team’s backups to Darnold. Both were called into action almost immediately when Darnold came down with mononucleosis and missed a month of action, essentially torpedoing the team’s chances before they even got out of the gate.
Denver Broncos · OLB
Disruption rate: 14.4%. Sack rate: 1.9%. Total disruptions: 60. Sacks: 8.
Surprised? We are too, a little. Miller posted his first single-digit sack season since 2013 and only recorded 46 tackles. While not as dominant as he’s been for much of his career, Miller still made an impact over the stretch of his 791 total defensive snaps in 2019. His 52 QB pressures were 29 more than the next closest Bronco (Derek Wolfe), proving the three-time All-Pro was still the man in Denver. And it’s an achievement for Miller, who turned 31 in March, to remain one of the league’s most efficient disruptors, posting a better rate than the likes of Joey Bosa (14.0%), DeMarcus Lawrence (13.9%), Yannick Ngakoue (13.8%) and T.J. Watt (13.4%). A closing note on Miller’s success over the last four seasons: His 235 QB pressures since 2016 lead all edge defenders and are second in the NFL only to Aaron Donald. His QB pressure rate during that same span (14%) ranks No. 1 across the league (min. 1,000 pass rushes).
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Cons of being the favorites
Salaries go up- Yahoo! Sports’ Terez Paylor said it best: players wanted the ring and now they’ll want to secure the bag. Having elite players means making tough decisions. Either they pay top dollar for the guys who brought home the Lombardi, or they watch them get paid elsewhere. General manager Brett Veach seems to be prepared for this challenge, but he has two monster contracts in the immediate future to negotiate (Mahomes and Chris Jones), and he’ll have to work around them for years if and when they sign.
The target on your back gets bigger- The Chiefs will get everyone’s best shot. Every week will be another team’s chance to take down the world champions. Every Chiefs loss will be the best win of the season for their respective opponents. There is no more flying under the radar.
Everyone loves an underdog- It’s easier for the average fan to root for David than for Goliath. The Chiefs will become more hated, fans will become more insufferable on social media and there will be more scrutiny on the franchise. Any reason to pick apart the champions and any off-field issues will be magnified.
A tweet to make you think
Shannon Sharpe on if he would take Mahomes/Brady in the clutch time: “It’s Patrick Mahomes and it’s not even a discussion!” pic.twitter.com/JVOP0Lub4g— CHIEFS HIGHLIGHTS (@ChiefsHighlight) May 21, 2020
Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social Media
Facebook Page: Click here to like our page
AP Instagram: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Twitter: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Editor-in-Chief: Pete Sweeney: Follow @pgsween
610 Sports Twitter: Follow @610SportsKC