The sixth-year pro made it clear Thursday he was talking about the NFL’s top quarterbacks, the ones who have the most influence in games, in locker rooms and in communities. Think Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson, for starters.
“Until the people in the NFL who are irreplaceable decide that they’re going to step back and going to hang it up for a week, two weeks, whatever it may be, but I don’t foresee that happening,” Conley said during a video call with reporters. “I think you have great leaders in this league. You have guys who have a voice and want to be heard and who are willing to make that sacrifice. I believe I’m one of them.
“But until those figures who are the face of the league decide that and people rally behind them, I don’t think you see that, I don’t think you see that from us. I hate to say that. I wish I could stand up and say with confidence that people in this league would band together for the least of these.”
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs: Edwards-Helaire is a bowling ball who had 16 rushing scores over only 215 carries in 2019 for LSU. He also caught 55 balls for the Tigers. Typically the first rookie back chosen, Edwards-Helaire is the backfield’s clear No. 1 with Damien Williams opting out, but he’ll have competition from all of the mouths to feed in this passing game. There’s risk in drafting any rookie running back, but Edwards-Helaire’s upside makes him a first-round target.
3. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs
Skill set: Ultra-agile receiving back with a frame built impossibly low to the ground.
2020 impact: I didn’t think Edwards-Helaire was the best back in the 2020 draft class. But he was the most exquisite fit with Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the Chiefs. He was Joe Burrow’s go-to, check-down option and was a nightmare to corral in the SEC thanks to his smaller frame that allows him to hide behind his blockers, high-end contact balance, and most namely his ultra-bouncy agility in tight quarters. He’s the unquestioned top back in the Kansas City’s fireworks display of an offense.
The only reason(s) he isn’t higher — Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and to a lesser extent, Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins.
They should not shut up and play.
They will be led by Black athletes, who have been warning us about bigotry and violence for some time. They must be joined by white players and coaches who understand the pain their African American teammates see, and have lived.
That doesn’t mean Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce needs to tell us who to vote for in November. It doesn’t mean athletes must agree on party or politics: Former NFL player Herschel Walker gave a speech supporting President Donald Trump the other night. We should listen to him, too.
Does it mean canceling games? Maybe. The Bucks showed the power of that action. On the other hand, regularly postponing series or seasons weakens the impact. NBA players voted to return to the court, and so far, Chiefs and Royals games are still scheduled.
Top NFL DFS picks for Chiefs vs. Texans
One of McClure’s top NFL DFS picks for NFL Opening Night 2020 is Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. After leading Kansas City to a Super Bowl win last season, the franchise rewarded Mahomes with a massive 10-year extension that could be worth up to a half-billion dollars. The Chiefs are banking on him as their long-term franchise quarterback, and McClure is high on him as a key piece of NFL DFS lineups.
Mahomes has been extremely effective early in the season the past two years. He threw for a combined 13 touchdowns in his first three starts in 2018. In 2019, he threw for a whopping 1,195 yards and 10 touchdowns between Weeks 1 and 3. Houston ranked 29th in the NFL in passing defense last season (269.2 ypg), so confidently lock Mahomes in as one of your top Chiefs vs. Texans DFS picks.
No. 5 Cleveland Browns vs. No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs
The defending Fan Bracket champion Cleveland Browns fell at the hands of the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Around the NFL
The statement specifically called for the prosecution of those responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake and demanded Sen. Mitch McConnell to bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 to the Senate floor for a vote. It also offered myriad other precise ways to take action in order to bring about change and ultimately concluded with a promise to use the team’s platform to do all it could to reshape the future.
“It is time to accept accountability and acknowledge the ramifications of slavery and racial injustice,” the Ravens said.
“It feels like we bounced off the bottom and we’re heading up,” general manager John Elway said at his season-ending press conference last year.
“I think he’s going to be a very special quarterback in this league,” left tackle Garett Bolles said last week.
“I think he deserves the hype,” guard Dalton Risner said earlier this month.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Wide receiver
Replacing: DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Evans has been a dominant receiver in this league since he was drafted, recording 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first six seasons (something only he and Hall of Famer Randy Moss have done). The thing is, Evans hasn’t achieved the notoriety of other top wideouts primarily because the Bucs haven’t been relevant. Seriously — Evans has experienced one winning season. But it feels as if that’s all about to change with Tom Brady in town. I expect Evans to embrace everything that comes with catching passes from the six-time Super Bowl champion. And with five prime-time games on the schedule, Evans will no longer fly under the radar, instead getting the chance to showcase his abilities in the national spotlight weekly. There are a lot of mouths to feed in the Bucs’ offense, but Evans will get his targets — and, finally, the recognition he deserves.
The Dolphins, who were reportedly on the verge of releasing Ballage, will received a conditional 2021 seventh-round pick.
Ballage will be reunited with coach Adam Gase, who was part of Miami’s decision to draft him in 2018. Ballage is the second ex-Dolphin to join Gase’s group of running backs, joining Frank Gore, who mentored Ballage as a rookie.
“Vice president of marketing Shaena Kershner resigned two weeks ago. Marketing coordinator Alex Compton followed. Marketing manager Kelly Baker remains in the club directory, but sources say her last day is this week,” reports Graham noting these were voluntary departures.
Marketing in the middle of a global pandemic has to be tough, especially when you aren’t able to have fans in the stadium. Three weeks before the Bills season opens is not the time you want to be hiring an entire marketing staff.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Toub already has a good idea of what that position will look like for the Chiefs in 2020.
“The gunner position is looking pretty good,” Toub announced. “We have some good, solid depth there. We brought (cornerback) Antonio Hamilton in from the Giants, who probably was the Giants’ number one gunner last year. When you put the tape on, he made a lot of plays for them and we’re happy to add him to the mix. Right now, I’d probably say Antonio is in the lead with (wide receiver) [Byron] Pringle. Obviously, Pringle was our gunner last year all year.”
A tweet to make you think
With the season scheduled to kick off between the Texans and Chiefs two weeks from tonight, Jaguars’ OT Ryan Pope is now the only NFL player on the league’s COVID-19 Reserve List.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 27, 2020
A job well done.
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