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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City seen as top landing spot for Leonard Fournette

Chiefs headlines for Tuesday, September 1

Kansas City Chiefs v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

The latest

6 potential landing spots for Leonard Fournette | SB Nation

No. 1: Kansas City Chiefs

The Super Bowl champs already boast the best offense in the NFL, but as it stands they’re putting a lot of faith in rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire to establish their running game. Edwards-Helaire is a vaunted prospect who will help a lot, but he’s a little in the mold of Brian Westbrook. A smaller, shifty back with home run potential whenever he touches the ball.

Westbrook was part of a committee running back system for much of his time with Andy Reid’s Eagles, often splitting carries with the bigger, North-South style of Correll Buckhalter. The comparisons here are too obvious, and for this reason Fournette could be an excellent complimentary power back to help the Chiefs.

20 contenders for the 2020 NFL season, 20 big weaknesses: Ranking the Achilles’ heels | ESPN

15. Kansas City Chiefs

Achilles’ heel: cornerback

Expected starter (eventually): Bashaud Breeland

I’m throwing that “eventually” tag in there because the Chiefs will get back their Super Bowl star after a four-game suspension to start the season. They should then be set at cornerback with Breeland and Charvarius Ward on the outside, but that makes the often-inaccurate assumption that everything that went right for a Super Bowl winner will go right the following year.

Both Breeland and Ward were low-cost pickups for Kansas City and played well last season, but the 2017 Eagles are a recent example of a team that thrived during their Super Bowl season with cheap cornerbacks who played well and then failed to live up to those expectations over the ensuing seasons. The Chiefs are also going to be vulnerable for the first four weeks of the year and in the case that one of those two starters gets injured, with the likes of Rashad Fenton, rookie L’Jarius Sneed and special-teamer Antonio Hamilton as the next men up at cornerback. The good news is that they have a guy who can win a shootout with anybody on the other side of the field in Patrick Mahomes.

Projecting NFL win share leaders on offense, defense in 2020 | NFL.com

QUARTERBACKS

1 - Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs · 5.5 wins

The Super Bowl LIV MVP has earned 25 touchdowns on deep passes and 76 total passing touchdowns since 2018 (both are the most in the NFL over that span, per Next Gen Stats). Win share factors in how much is asked of a player, so it’s worth noting that some question marks in Kansas City’s defensive backfield could lead to high-scoring Chiefs games. That means a heavy workload for Mahomes and his counterpart (the Chiefs project to score a lot, meaning opponents will have to pass a lot). Mahomes forecasts to lead the league in passing yards in my model (4,790, with the best chance to reach 5,000 yards of any QB). He also projects to have the most passing touchdowns (37).

Top 2020 NFL pass rushers: Ranking all 32 starting edge rusher duos, from worst to first | CBS Sports

14. Kansas City Chiefs: Frank Clark, Alex Okafor

Okafor is hardly top-15 material, but no one would pass up on Clark’s impact as a disruptive No. 1.

2021 first-round NFL mock draft | YardBarker

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB, Notre Dame

The Chiefs have a lot of major cap concerns after this season, and could need to find a replacement for Anthony Hitchens. They used a second-round pick on Willie Gay this year and would add further speed with Owusu-Koramoah, who had 80 tackles and 5.5 sacks last year.

2020 NFL win total odds, picks: Cowboys a popular best bet, big Broncos split in our staff predictions | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs

Over 11.5 (-130) | Under 11.5 (+110)

No best bets, but the slight lean would be to the Over even at the elevated price of -130.

Around the NFL

Four reasons why Seahawks will win Super Bowl LV: Russell Wilson finally has the skill players to unleash | CBS Sports

1. Russell Wilson will have the best year of his career

There’s only one quarterback in the NFL to throw 30+ touchdown passes in each of the last three seasons — Russell Wilson. The Seahawks quarterback has put up numbers despite throwing to receivers like David Moore, Paul Richardson, and a rotating cast of underproductive tight ends post-Jimmy Graham. Seattle’s wide receiver unit is arguably the best Wilson has had since the Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin days when the team won the Super Bowl, not forgetting the Seahawks have Greg Olsen as Wilson’s security blanket at tight end.

Wilson is the only quarterback in the league to toss 100 touchdown passes over the last three seasons, throwing for 11,541 yards and just 23 interceptions with eight fourth-quarter comebacks and 11 game-winning drives — which is tied for first in the league over that span. Wilson has put up those throwing numbers despite the Seahawks throwing the ball just 47.56% (2018) and 54.34% (2019) of the time over the last two seasons — easily amongst the bottom five teams in the NFL.

If Brian Schottenheimer actually unleashes Wilson and the passing game, the Seahawks won’t regret banking on the most underrated quarterback in football to win them football games — and clinch one of the best records in the NFC.

Matt Nagy will announce Bears starting quarterback in week ahead of opener | NFL.com

Nagy did not indicate who was the frontrunner or give a precise day, though he suggested the Monday or Wednesday preceding the Sunday opener.

“Honestly, we don’t know that,” Nagy said. “But it would be in that timeframe in there somewhere. You will know by the time most teams usually know. We’re not hiding anything. We’re going through, for us, this whole process and we don’t even know that yet to be quite honest. So we’re talking through those situations and what’s best and how to go about it. So we’re just really honestly not there yet.”

Source: Chargers’ Derwin James to have knee surgery, out 6-8 months | ESPN

The Chargers drafted James 17th overall out of Florida State in 2018 and watched him immediately blossom into an All-Pro strong safety. He missed the first 11 games of the 2019 season with a fracture in his right foot, but many expected James to play a starring role in an exceedingly talented Chargers defense in 2020.

Earlier in training camp, James was asked about his goals for the upcoming season and said: “Just being out there all 16 games. That’s the only goal I’m making this year. I feel like as long as I’m out there, the plays are gonna come.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Report: Chiefs signing Andy Reid, Brett Veach through 2025

The contracts will keep Reid and Veach in Kansas City through the 2025 season.

Reid, 62, and Veach, 42, arrived to Kansas City from the Philadelphia Eagles organization for the 2013 season. As head coach of the Chiefs (112 games), Reid is 77-35 in the regular season, with a 5-5 record in the postseason. The Chiefs have made the playoffs in six of seven seasons, including the Chiefs’ Super Bowl championship in 2019. 2020 will mark Reid’s 22nd year as a head coach.

Veach served the Chiefs as a pro and college personnel analyst (2013-14) and the co-director of player personnel (2015-16) before being named the team’s general manager ahead of the 2017 season. Veach has often been credited with finding quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who became the first player in league history to win an MVP award (2018), Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP (2019) in his first two seasons as an NFL starting quarterback.

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