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Arrowheadlines: Patrick Mahomes could top his 2018 touchdown total

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Chiefs headlines for Friday, May 29.

NFL: DEC 29 Chargers at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The latest

Bold NFL predictions: Cowboys roll, Seahawks stumble, Pats collapse | NFL.com

6) Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes will throw 51 touchdown passes

In his first full year as a starter, he posted the second 50/5,000 season in NFL history and won MVP. Last season, he was the Super Bowl MVP. This offseason, the Chiefs stole Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has Brian Westbrook-like qualities as a runner/receiver. And here’s the rub: At age 24, Mahomes is only getting better.

Andy Reid is a gem of a coach and play caller. Mahomes is the best show in sports with unreal weapons around him. Why not?

How Many Receiving Yards Will Travis Kelce Have in 2020? | SI

Despite objections from fans in San Francisco or Philadelphia, it’s hard to argue that Kansas City’s Travis Kelce isn’t the best tight end in football. Here are just some of the categories the Chief finished No. 1 or No. 2 in at his position last season:

Receiving yards (1,229) - 1st

Receiving yards per game (76.8) - 1st

Receptions (97) - 1st

Receptions per game (6.1) - 2nd

Targets (136) - 1st

Targets per game (8.5) - 2nd

Damien Williams recaps playoff run, Super Bowl experience | 247 Sports

“If you watch the playoffs and you see how we played those games, coming from behind, at that point they was just the norm,” Williams said on Thursday’s NFL Live. “At the end of the day, it was just normal. Then the Super Bowl, it’s the last one, so it kind of picked up a little bit, as far as being a little scared and a little worried because it is the Super Bowl. There’s minimal mistakes (allowed) so we really have to bite down right now.”

2020 NFL schedule: Ranking the five most difficult stretches that any team will face this year | CBS Sports

5. Las Vegas Raiders (Weeks 2 thru 7)

Opponents: Saints, at Patriots, Bills, at Chiefs, BYE, Buccaneers

After playing the Saints, the Raiders have to turn around on a short week and fly across the country to play the Patriots in New England. And just as a reminder, the Raiders are 6-24 in their past 30 games played in the eastern time zone. After flying to New England, the Raiders will continue their AFC East gauntlet in Week 4 with a game against the Bills. As if that’s not bad enough, the stretch then ends with consecutive games against Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady (with a bye week sandwiched in-between the Chiefs and Buccaneers). The Raiders have lost 10 of their past 11 games against the Chiefs and they’re 1-4 against Tom Brady, so good luck, Raiders.

NFL odds: Which team will lead the league in scoring? | The Score

There are a lot of high-powered offenses in the NFL today and bettors can wager on which one will average the most points for the 2020 regular season. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens led the way with 33.2 points per game, followed by the San Francisco 49ers (29.9), New Orleans Saints (28.6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28.6), and Kansas City Chiefs (28.2).

Here are the odds to lead the NFL in scoring this season, along with a breakdown of the field.

Team Odds

Kansas City Chiefs +600

Baltimore Ravens +700

Phil Mickelson wants Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes for future iterations of ‘The Match’ | Chiefs Wire

One of the stars who Mickelson wants to see join “The Match” in the future is Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.

“I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”

Mahomes is competitive in every sport that he plays, and golf is no exception.

Agent’s Take: Patriots, 49ers, Ravens, Titans, Chargers could have challenging contract negotiations ahead | CBS Sports

49ers TE George Kittle

Unfortunately for Kittle, NFL player salaries are constrained by position. The big exception is highly productive pass rushers. Players who can consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks are paid a premium whether a defensive end, defensive tackle or 3-4 outside linebacker. Chiefs perennial All-Pro Travis Kelce is the highest-paid tight end at just under $11.75 million per year after adjusting existing contracts for salary cap inflation.

Around the NFL

Fear and Lack of Creativity Prevented the NFL From Adding a Great Onside Kick Replacement | SI

Fear from those who were worried about the kickoff going away altogether, which would inevitably dip into someone’s share of the kitty. Fear from those who know their general managers and coaches don’t have the personnel or creative engine to successfully convert one of these plays with regularity. Fear from the country club gang permanently spooked at the idea of having that rock and roll music played by the pool.

The NFL employs bright people who help draft these creative proposals that they don’t listen to. They hold contests for engineers and data scientists in order to gobble up intellectual property that ends up just sitting on a shelf. It’s difficult to fathom how much brain power ends up going to waste, while the game becomes clunkier and less entertaining as a result of these mental stalemates. This, from a league that, a mere 50 years ago, understood so brilliantly the taste of desperation and the importance of connecting with its audience.

NFL, EA agree to extend Madden video game through 2026 | ESPN

The current edition of Madden has seen a 30% increase in unique players. According to Electronic Arts, more than 330 million hours of the game have been played since it was released last August. The company also has seen large increases in game play during the past couple of months as people have been confined to their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic, with many tournaments taking place among friends and on television.

Ravens LB Matthew Judon signs franchise tag | NFL.com

The 27-year-old linebacker signed his franchise tag on Thursday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported, per an informed source. The team later confirmed the news and noted on the team’s official website that Judon, who can also play defensive end, was tagged as an OLB, meaning he’ll make roughly $15.8 million next season. He would’ve made around $3 million more had he been designated as a DE.

The 2019 campaign was very good to Judon, who racked up 54 tackles and career-highs with 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles en route to earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his still young career. For his efforts, Baltimore franchise tagged him on March 13.

Five best moves of the NFL offseason | YardBarker

2. Cardinals trade for DeAndre Hopkins

This move ranks highly not just because of what the Cardinals got, but how little they paid for it. Hopkins is one of the league’s best wide receivers, and the Cardinals landed him for two draft picks and David Johnson’s bloated contract. Hopkins gives Kyler Murray a huge weapon in what suddenly looks like a pretty good offense. Between landing a top player and not giving up anything particularly painful to do it, this is a clear win for Arizona.

MegaCasts, ‘Madden,’ and the McGloin: The Potentially Exciting Future of Sports on TV | The Ringer

5. Go Full McGloin

Matt McGloin, a former Raiders quarterback, isn’t really the future of anything. But on February 15, when McGloin was playing in the XFL, he unburdened himself to sideline reporters in a way that pointed to a future for sports TV. If you empower sideline reporters to get more stories, you make the games more interesting.

Much of the talk about fanless games has focused on putting mics on players. It worked great during “The Match 2,” as Kevin Clark noted here. But it was pretty stilted during NBC’s skins game. Sooner or later, networks run into the Sam Darnold “seeing ghosts” problem. Players and coaches don’t mind TV eavesdroppers, so long as what the mics capture is boring as hell.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs coach hints at open competition at running back

“You want to get all these guys out there, you want to get going and see what we got,” McCullough said. “One thing we know is — just looking at some guys’ pasts and the snapshots we got of guys — whether it be DeAndre Washington, obviously with Darrel and Damien, and Darwin with us. And then you look at where we draft Clyde and what his body of work was in college, you know that we’ve got some high-end players in our room. I know with the guys that are returning — some guys that we feel comfortable with. But again, you always want to continue to enhance the room and create competition and just raise the level of the room, and I think that’s what we have.”

How Patrick Mahomes could get NFL’s first percentage-of-cap contract

It might be turn out that the unprecedented leverage Mahomes now possesses — combined with the unparalleled circumstances oF the COVID-19 pandemic — might combine to create the perfect storm that blows down the wall built around these kinds of contracts.

Since the NFL salary cap was established in 1994, only twice has it failed to rise from one year to the next: In 1997, when it fell just $300,000 to $58.4 million and in 2011, when it dropped $3 million to $120 million after the uncapped 2010 season. Since 2013, the cap has risen at a remarkably consistent rate, increasing by $75.2 million over just seven seasons.

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