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Arrowheadlines: Patrick Mahomes is the way-too-early MVP favorite

Chiefs headlines for Monday, February 15

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NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

Patrick Mahomes early favorite to win 2021 NFL MVP award | Yahoo Sports

Mahomes, who won the award in 2018, is listed at +500 by DraftKings.

Mahomes, 25, is expected to be motivated after throwing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns during the regular season before enduring one of the worst games of his NFL career in last Sunday’s 31-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He completed 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in Super Bowl LV.

Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers resides at +800 to capture his fourth such award.

Rodgers received 44 votes to earn his third career MVP award (2011, 2014) on Feb. 6. Rodgers led the league with 48 touchdown passes, a 70.7 percent completion rate and a 121.5 rating.

Buccaneers’ Antoine Winfield Jr. fined for taunting Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill during Super Bowl 55 | USA Today

The NFL has fined Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. $7,815 for taunting Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill during Super Bowl 55, according to NFL Network.

Winfield mimicked Hill’s signature peace sign celebration in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers’ 31-9 win.

The taunt came after Hill did the same celebration to Winfield in the Chiefs’ Week 12 win against Tampa Bay.

Winfield did not forget, making sure to do what he “had to”.

“The taunting, man, it’s something I just had to do,” Winfield said. “When we played them earlier, Hill went off on us. He back-flipped in front of my face and gave me the peace sign. So it was only right that I gave him the peace sign right back to him. It felt amazing to do that. I’m not even gonna lie.”

Nick Easton would be a nice addition for Chiefs o-line reinvention | Arrowhead Addict

One face who could be an important part of a rebuilt line could be former New Orleans Saints center Nick Easton. The Saints saved several million on the cap by releasing him in recent days, but the addition of Easton on a cheaper deal could bolster the second unit with the sort of plug-and-play option that allowed the Chiefs to get through so many games successfully this season.

Chiefs: Here’s how Kansas City can sign JJ Watt this offseason | FanSided

At the start of the offseason, the Chiefs are about $18 million above the projected $190 million salary cap. That number will fluctuate, of course, as the Chiefs rework several deals and cut players altogether who do not have guaranteed money. Kansas City will want to make several additions to their AFC-winning squad one way or another. Whether Watt is included in that group is up to him.

Watt opposite of Frank Clark would make for an experienced, dangerous crew up front that would help the Chiefs cover for their middle of the pack secondary. As talented as Tyrann Mathieu and L’Jarius Sneed are, they still ranked 11th in passing yards allowed last year, and that number could increase with a more lethal pass rush.

Three-round 2021 NFL mock draft 1.0: Jets trade out of No. 2 overall pick | NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs

Carlos Basham Jr. · Edge rusher

School: Wake Forest | Year: Senior (RS)

Free agency could leave a large hole in the Chiefs’ defensive line. Basham’s strength and length make him a nice replacement for whichever veteran (Tanoh Kpassagnon, Alex Okafor and/or Taco Charlton) does not return.

Around the NFL

Five NFL teams likely to take a major fall in 2021: Steelers, Saints lead pack that could go off a cliff | CBS Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

The Steelers started the season winning their first 11 games, then went on a free fall by losing four of their last five games entering the postseason. Then they were demolished in the wild card round by the Cleveland Browns, a team they beat 38-7 in Week 6. When Cleveland and the Baltimore Ravens thrived in December, Pittsburgh played its worst football as all its problems hidden during the perfect start came to life.

Pittsburgh couldn’t run the ball effectively and its receivers dropped passes at an alarming rate. This was an issue all season, not just in December and January. The Steelers didn’t even try to run the ball late last season, nor could they throw the ball deep because Ben Roethlisberger was 38 and coming off elbow surgery. Let’s not forget Roethlisberger lost his mobility and is relegated to being a pocket quarterback. Roethlisberger is coming back at 39 and the Steelers still can’t run the ball — not to mention JuJu Smith-Schuster is likely leaving in free agency and Pittsburgh is a projected $30 million over the salary cap.

Ravens say cornerback Jimmy Smith, family safe after being robbed at gunpoint in California | ESPN

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith informed the team that he and his family were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday after being followed from Los Angeles International airport.

“We are aware of the situation involving Jimmy Smith,” the Ravens said in a statement. “We have spoken with Jimmy and he and his family are safe.’’

No other details were given by the team.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Remembering the late, great Marty Schottenheimer

And even better: he hated the Raiders as much as we did.

There’s plenty of evidence that Schottenheimer already carried a healthy dislike for the team’s AFC West rival when he arrived in Kansas City — but as head coach of the Chiefs, he took it to another level. Each week of preparation before a game against the silver and black was dubbed “Raider Week.” Signs appeared all over the facility — and Schottenheimer never failed to mention it in his press briefings.

I remember being on the sidelines for a Raider Week scrimmage. The players were chippy — and why wouldn’t they be? Marty was prowling the defensive backfield, bellowing, “It’s Raider Week, men!” at every opportunity. After one rep, a fight broke out among the opposing linemen. Schottenheimer pushed in to break it up. “Save it for the game!” he shouted. “If I see that again, I’ll put every one of your asses on the bench this week!”

Over his ten-year career in Kansas City, Schottenheimer was 18-3 against the Raiders — including the team’s first playoff victory since 1969.

A tweet to make you think

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