On Saturday, many of our readers were catching up with a Friday afternoon report about the Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle.
On Thursday, we shared a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler saying that while there has been “no traction” in talks between the team and Chris Jones, Jones has “kept in touch” as the team conducts its virtual offseason.
Other outlets — some of them national — also amplified Fowler’s account. But on Friday, a new report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tells an entirely different story.
Rapoport — one of the more-reliable sources of behind-the-scenes NFL information — is pulling no punches. He is maintaining that Jones and the Chiefs aren’t talking at all — and that they haven’t been talking since March 16, when the Chiefs officially placed the franchise tag on Jones.
In addition, Rapoport says that Jones has not been participating in any part of the offseason program. This part rings true, because Jones has not yet signed the franchise tag. Until he does, he is under no contractual obligation to participate in any team activities.
Many Saturday readers also caught up to our Thursday story about Andy Reid telling some previously unknown stories from Super Bowl LIV
On Sunday, we learned that the Chiefs’ first-round pick had worked his way through crowds before — and not just on the field.
“I’m in the same position I was in three years ago,” Edwards-Helaire explained. “Going into our college football room with Leonard Fournette, he had just left and then I was in the room with Derrius Guice, Darrel Williams, who is in my room now, Nick Brossette. I am going into a stacked room again and ultimately, I went in to learn. That is the biggest thing. If you can learn from guys who have experienced things that you are about to encounter, you can only benefit from it. I’m the young guy in the room, I’m 21 years old, and right now I’m learning. I’m a rookie, so I’m staying in my place and I’m doing what I need to do.”
While his agent might not have been talking to the Chiefs, Jones wasn’t being quiet. On Monday, he issued a public statement on the national protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. By week’s end, we would see this as the beginning of an avalanche.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also issued a Twitter statement, saying the world should be a “locker room where everyone is accepted”
On Tuesday, we reminded you about nine members of the Super Bowl LIV championship team who were no longer on the roster — and still hadn’t found an NFL home.
DT Xavier Williams - Williams missed 11 games for the Chiefs during 2019 with an ankle injury, but he was one of two players designated to return — and he did. Williams played on a limited basis during the Chiefs’ first two postseason games against the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans before the team decided they would not bring him back. The kid from Grandview got a ring with Kansas City and will now seek work elsewhere.
WR Marcus Kemp - Kemp played a significant special teams role for the Chiefs in 2018, making 2019 a potential breakout season. But it was not to be, as he tore his ACL and MCL in August. Kemp may return to the Chiefs once his injury is fully healed.
On Wednesday, we reviewed the six Super Bowl Chiefs who have found new teams.
To complete the trilogy, Ron Kopp Jr. spent Wednesday thinking about young Chiefs players who are facing their contract years this season.
I start with soon-to-be-26-year-old defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon because he may have the most to gain out of the five Chiefs on this list. He is entering the final season of his rookie contract after originally being drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft.
Kpassagnon was initially a reserve edge defender in 2019 — but injuries put him in a bigger role during the postseason run. He averaged three pressures per contest in the three-game stretch — with his best performance coming in the AFC championship. He tallied two sacks, two run stops and a pass batted down in the win over the Tennessee Titans.
Looking ahead to 2020, it appears that he may be the third defensive end behind Frank Clark and Alex Okafor — but there is no guarantee that the 29-year-old Okafor will beat out Kpassagnon. Okafor suffered a hip injury early in 2019 then had to prematurely end his season with a torn pectoral muscle in Week 15.
On Thursday, a number of Chiefs players made public responses to comments New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had made with regard to the George Floyd protests. Pete Sweeney and John Dixon discussed it during that morning’s Arrowhead Pride Editor’s Show podcast, which led to what John said.
NFL fans debated whether Colin Kaepernick chose an appropriate way to stage his protest, and there is no doubt that his message was lost in the furor his method caused — which in no small part was due to NFL players and teams (along with journalists) focusing on the medium instead of the message.
And in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubery — and many others whose names we do not know — Kaepernick’s message is now on the lips of millions of Americans.
Neither Pete or I then held our current positions. But we also agree that we could easily have done the same thing: to allow the message to be obscured by the medium. We can’t do anything about what happened in 2016. But we can promise to do a better job today.
We know that for many of our readers, sports are an escape from the stresses and rigors of everyday life. We promise to remember that. But we also promise that in those rare moments where the line between them becomes blurred — like we have seen in the past week — we will always do our best to tell the real story.
In its annual list, football analytics site Pro Football Focus chose five Chiefs as among the league’s best — and all of them ranked above 24th. Yet Mahomes didn’t top the list.
No disrespect to Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald — whom Sam Monson ranked first ahead of Mahomes — but even if he’s the best at his position by a wide margin (which he is) he doesn’t play as impactful a position as Mahomes. (Monson even acknowledges this in his writeup of Donald). When PFF began, they made a point of saying that their ratings were not intended to compare players across positions. But since then, they’ve created a system they say can do that. I recognize that these rankings aren’t solely based on PFF scores — but if this is where it leads, I’m not buying it.
The Chiefs made a couple of personnel moves on Friday.
The Kansas City Chiefs have decided to bring back safety Andrew Soroh, according to his agency, DEC Management. The Chiefs released wide receiver Felton Davis with an injury designation in the corresponding move, according to the NFL transaction report.
The Chiefs signed Soroh, 24, last May, but he was released at the final 53-man cutdown in late August. Soroh had three tackles and two passes defensed for Kansas City last preseason.
It appears he knew he’d be back for 2020 in April, but it only came through via his agency on Friday.
Arrowhead Pride participated in SBNation’s what-would-our-team-do-if-we-knew-then-what-we-know-now imagining of the draft three seasons ago. For some reason, Mahomes was no longer available at pick 27. On Friday, we looked at the results of the two-round simulation.
Chiefs original pick: No. 10 overall — quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Chiefs new pick: No. 27 overall — cornerback Shaquill Griffin
In this scenario, the Chiefs kept their No. 27 overall selection to take cornerback Shaquill Griffin. Before drafting L’Jarius Sneed in the fourth round in 2020, the Chiefs went three straight drafts of waiting until the sixth round to select a cornerback (Leon McQuay in 2017, Tremon Smith in 2018 and Rashad Fenton in 2019). Fenton played a key role down the stretch in 2019 as a rookie, but of the three, he was the only one to really contribute at his defensive position.
The Chiefs reverse history’s course by selecting Shaquill Griffin, whom Pro Football Focus called the Seattle Seahawks’ most improved player in 2019. So instead of entering the 2020 championship defense with big questions about who will start opposite Charvarius Ward, the Chiefs would have a sure-fire starter in Griffin. The catch is their quarterback would still be Alex Smith — or someone else.
Patrick Mahomes, Tyrann Mathieu stand together with fellow NFL players in Black Lives Matter movement
To close out the week, the Chiefs retweeted a video in strong support of the statements made by Jones and Mahomes on Monday — and other Chiefs players through the week. It ultimately resulted in a somewhat surprising response from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.