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What we learned about the Chiefs this week

Taking a look at the week of June 22 on Arrowhead Pride...

Indianapolis Colts vs Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Mahomes’ dream of a Kansas City Whataburger could come true

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ love for the Texas-based hamburger chain is well-documented — and the wheels have been turning on a store in the metropolitan area.

On Saturday, the Kansas City Star reported that officials in Lee’s Summit, Missouri have confirmed there is a proposal for a 3,800 square foot Whataburger building at the corner of St. Luke’s Boulevard and Douglas Street in the Kansas City suburb. The officials said that Whataburger representatives have met with the city to discuss a preliminary plan, but have not yet submitted an official one.

In a statement Saturday, Whataburger officials said: “We are excited to hear we have so many fans in the Kansas City community, and we have been exploring this area. At this time, we have no specific plans to announce a restaurant but will be happy to share when — and if — the time is right.”

Chiefs players advised to discontinue private workouts

On Sunday, we learned that after a week in which players for multiple NFL teams had tested positive for COVID-19, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) had issued an advisory that players should not conduct private workouts.

We have no direct information that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his receivers have been conducting private sessions — but it would not be surprising to learn that it has been happening. At this time a year ago, we saw video showing that Mahomes and his receivers were not only working out together, but vacationing together. And as we reported at the end of May, Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker has been leading private workouts with the team’s specialists.

Whether players will take their union’s advisory to heart is unknown. But for now, it is just that: an advisory from the union. If we continue to see reports of NFL players testing positive for the disease, the league — understandably anxious to preserve the 2020 season — could make it an official directive that players cannot ignore.

Would a Chris Jones-for-Jamal Adams trade make sense?

Every since the New York Jets’ star safety asked the Jets to trade him, speculation that the Chiefs might make a trade for him has been ramping up. After the AP Nerd Squad discussed it on Monday’s edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory podcast, Kent Swanson pointed weighed in.

Acquiring Adams would bring not only cap flexibility but the creation of the best safety group in the NFL. I cannot stress this enough: Adams, Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill would play off each other perfectly. They all have flexibility to play anywhere, but also have distinct strengths (Adams in the box, Mathieu in the slot and Thornhill deep) that don’t duplicate. Throw in the fact that Adams reveres fellow LSU Tiger Mathieu and you could be getting the best version of an already-proven player. Good luck trying to throw between the numbers against a Chiefs defense with that trio.

Kareem Hunt, Chiefs have moved on from 2018 release

After we learned on Monday that the former Kansas City running back had said he has “moved on” from the Chiefs, it occurred to us that the team has moved on, too.

The Chiefs released Hunt, 24, with five games to play during the 2018 regular season — but would still go on to play in the AFC championship. Without Hunt, the Chiefs went to Super Bowl LIV the next year, which led to Hunt making some comments of regret that were caught on tape during a traffic stop in January.

Some Kansas City fans have wondered if one day, the Chiefs might give Hunt another chance if he ever became a free agent. But this offseason, the team moved on, too — by drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the 32nd overall pick. They also selected Darwin Thompson in the sixth round of last year’s draft.

Hall of Fame running back says Clyde Edwards-Helaire will start in 2020

Tuesday brought us word that LaDainian Tomlinson said be believes the Chiefs’ first-round pick will start in 2020 — and compared him to Maurice Jones-Drew.

Jones-Drew gained over 11,000 yards (and scored 79 touchdowns) from scrimmage during his nine-year NFL career. But unlike Edwards-Helaire, he was selected in the second round (60th overall) and didn’t become a full-time starter until his fourth NFL season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he backed up Fred Taylor. But even in his rookie season (in which he started just one game) he gained 1,377 yards (scoring 15 touchdowns) from scrimmage.

If Tomlinson is making the right comparison, that’s a stat line Chiefs fans will likely be happy to accept for Edwards-Helaire’s first season.

Summer of Spags: introducing “Miami” pressures

On Wednesday, our Summer of Spags series continued with look at another wrinkle we might see from Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in 2020.

The “Miami” pressure is the equivalent of an off-speed pitch to how some defensive coordinators like to defend empty backfield formations from the offense. Some defensive coordinators will choose to defend empty with more defenders — dropping eight to clog the throwing lanes against the extra receiver in the route.

Other coordinators will choose to put together a heavy blitz to force the ball out rapidly, like the play shown above. Spagnuolo had been beaten pretty badly in the previous week, giving up huge yardage to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers out of empty, and he made adjustments against the Minnesota Vikings. Sending six on this Cover 0 blitz forced Kirk Cousins to throw quicker than he wanted to avoid being sacked. That quick, inaccurate throw helped a secondary in man coverage across the board.

As a Chief, Kendall Fuller always knew he’d return to Washington

On Thursday, we learned that when the former Chiefs cornerback was traded to the team two years ago, someone in the Washington Redskins front office told him that when he hit free agency, the team would try to bring him back — which is exactly what happened.

And true to form, Fuller wasn’t sure he could believe it.

“At the time, I’m sitting there like, ‘Man, y’all just traded me. I ain’t tryna hear none of that,’” he said. ”It’s crazy to think about that now, because the day I left the facility, they said we’re bringing you back in free agency.”

What could this new information tell us? For one thing, it tells us that while many Chiefs fans saw Smith as nothing but an average stopgap quarterback, by 2018, other teams had a different view. To acquire Smith, Washington was willing to give up a third-round pick and a player they valued enough to tell him he’d likely be coming back at the first opportunity.

NFL tells Chiefs that training camp will begin on schedule

After league owners had their virtual meeting on Thursday, we covered all the headlines.

Another piece of news emerging from the NFL’s virtual owner’s meeting on Thursday is that owners have approved a proposal that will allow teams to put tarps over sections of stadium seating and sell advertising on them — an idea that was reported by Sports Business Daily on Wednesday.

Under a plan shared with team presidents on Tuesday, the first six to eight rows of seating in every stadium — including on-field suites — will be off limits to fans this season. That move is officially to protect players, coaches and team staff from coronavirus exposure, but it would also free up that space to become lucrative sponsorship assets.

Sources said those seats will be covered by tarps that could include sponsor logos, similar to how EPL [Premier League soccer] teams repurposed empty seating sections for ads during its return to play last week.

Report: COVID-19 holding back new contract for Chris Jones

A new report on Friday said that uncertainty over the 2021 salary cap is one of the factors that have kept the Chiefs from getting a deal done with their defensive tackle.

The Kansas City Chiefs do indeed want defensive tackle Chris Jones back long-term, though there still “hasn’t been much traction at all” toward a new deal, according to NFL Network’s James Palmer in a tweet Friday

Jones, 25, is currently franchise-tagged but has yet to sign his tender. The long-term contract extension deadline for Jones is July 15, which Palmer cites in his report.

Four Chiefs who could have bounce back years in 2020

Then Matt Stagner took a look at the Chiefs roster, identifying four players who could help the team by bouncing back in 2020.

DL Taco Charlton

This year’s former-first-round-pick reclamation project is Frank Clark’s old Michigan teammate and an absolutely perfect fit for Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive end position. He’s unique on this list because he wasn’t with the team last year and therefore doesn’t have a “bad season” to bounce back from. Charlton is coming off of a somewhat productive season with the Dolphins, where he matched Alex Okafor’s five sacks in 10 games. If he does the same or better as a rotational defensive end with the Chiefs, it will be a success, and he’ll have a chance at a better contract after the 2020 season.

If Charlton can show that his last season wasn’t his best season and really start to live up to his potential, he could be a significant factor for the Chiefs.

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