So, why are the Chiefs able to get so many great players to buy into these team-friendly contracts?
When the world’s best football player is willing to leave money on the table, it begins a trend. (Sidenote: It’s easy to “leave money” when what’s being taken off that table is nearly half a billion dollars).
Not only did Mahomes ink a decade-long extension that will likely have him looking underpaid in a few years, he was vocal about the fact that he’d left money on the table so the Chiefs could keep a great team around him.
The top NFL player on the planet set the course: Let’s all give up a little to build a dynasty.
His teammates have followed suit.
Now the Chiefs have a corps of star players under contract that could rule the AFC for years to come.
Edwards-Helaire is getting the first-team reps during Chiefs training camp, filling the role vacated by Damien Williams, who opted out of the season due to coronavirus. Asked about Edwards-Helaire at practice, head coach Andy Reid had this to say: “Is everything perfect? No, not right now. But he’s working to get there.’’
We’ll bet on Edwards-Helaire getting there. He’s a fantastic talent, the best pass-catching running back in college football last season. And though he is on the small side, he is a strong runner, even between the tackles. And anyway, it’s not like Reid has been reluctant to use small backs as clear-cut No. 1 options before. Throughout his career, he has shown a strong preference for having a true feature back.
1 Kansas City Chiefs
Score: 137 pts
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes — Rank: 1 (One game: 1 | 2020 prod.: 1)
Running back: Clyde Edwards-Helaire — Rank: 19
Pass catcher: Travis Kelce — Rank: 6
MVP, Super Bowl champ, Super Bowl MVP, highest-paid athlete in team sports — and now, Triplets King! Mahomes was saving the best for last, clearly. His sweep of the two QB categories, plus my overzealous ranking of CEH, narrowly nudges Kansas City into the No. 1 spot. It’s probably unfair (and even unwise) to rank a rookie so high, but just think about what that offense extracted from guys like Damien Williams, Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware, and then imagine what it might do for someone with CEH’s skill set and pedigree. The Chiefs are spoiled with two playmakers who would likely land in the top 15 in a straight pass catcher ranking, but for the purposes of this exercise, I stuck with Kelce — the $57 million human security blanket for the best quarterback in the world.
Patrick Mahomes is like no other Quarterback in football. Not only does he have his own brand of backyard football, he also has a few moves straight from the basketball court.
Among the moves he’s been working to perfect is a trademark behind-the-back pass.
3: Kansas City Chiefs
Left tackle Eric Fisher is arguably the weakest link on the offensive line. He’s not a great run blocker and gets a lot of help from Mahomes’s ability to step up and escape pressure.
Although he posted a respectable 97.0 pass-blocking efficiency rating, Fisher gave up 25 pressures and allowed two sacks (playoffs included) even though he missed eight games due to injury.
Around the NFL
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE
All of these teams seem to be missing something foundational in order to earn them consideration as a Super Bowl contender, though all of their rosters are headed in the right direction.
The Jets got markedly better on offense this year, especially up front. A team that went 7-9 last year with no consistency at the quarterback position could theoretically work itself into contention over the next two seasons, depending on how they spend the haul from the Jamal Adams trade. The Dolphins are most interesting to me. Of all the recent complete teardown projects we’ve seen in the NFL, this one has the most promise. The roster is good enough to win seven or eight games. The team could be reminiscent of Tampa Bay a year ago: a standout, top-10 defense counterweighted by uncertainty at the quarterback position (only in this case, there’s a rookie to develop). The Broncos may have their quarterback of the future in Drew Lock, but a puzzling change at the coordinator spot leaves us wondering if Lock will be as effective without Rich Scangarello. The Bears could be bogged down by the uncomfortable nature of some remaining loyalty to a top-three draft pick and how to transition to Nick Foles.
The team announced Friday that NRG Stadium will not host fans for its home opener on Sunday, Sept. 20 against the Baltimore Ravens.
“We have made the difficult decision to not host fans at NRG Stadium in the month of September as we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our fans during these challenging times,” said Texans president Jamey Rootes, via the team website. “Our fans provide the best homefield advantage in the NFL and we remain hopeful for their return to NRG Stadium once it is safe to do so.”
Mayfield said he used a dietitian this offseason, with an emphasis on “cutting out the bad body weight” to be quicker in and out of the pocket. He said the silver lining of the virtual offseason and being away from the team facility due to the coronavirus pandemic was that he was able to put more focus on getting where he wanted to be mentally and physically before training camp.
“I’m in a much better state,” Mayfield said. “I put in the work. ... [I’m] just ready to roll, attack, get back to where I need to be to be the leader for this team, for this franchise. The reason I’ve gotten here is because I’ve been myself, been able to attack each and every day with 100 percent effort.”
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Mathieu didn’t even name all the weapons that could come at an NFL defense at any time. His teammate — starting cornerback Charvarius Ward — summed up Mathieu’s sentiment into his own tweet.
The @Chiefs got at least 6 receivers that can run low 4.4 or 4.3 on any given day. And they can run routes. These boys moving different.— Charvarius Ward (@itslilmooney) August 13, 2020
The newest member of the Chiefs secondary was also blown away by his counterparts’ speed on the practice field. Safety Tedric Thompson touched on the pace of play in his first experience at training camp with Kansas City.
“I think [Chiefs head coach] Andy Reid’s camp is just different,” Thompson admitted on Friday. “From the tempo, from the speed, on the offense you’re going against Tyreek Hill, you’re going against all these receivers running 4.2 or 4.1 [second 40-yard dashes] it feels like. The tempo of practice is just so up-tempo.”
Thompson echoed a shared feeling about the intensity of training camp under the 21-year head coaching veteran. Reid has always been known for tough camps — and he’s also known for his consistent success. The effort does not go unnoticed or unappreciated by his players.
“Nobody works as hard as the Kansas City Chiefs,” Mathieu declared. “I’ll tell you that right now…. It’s my third organization, I don’t think anyone works as hard as Andy Reid.
A tweet to make you think
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