Fresh off of his most productive regular season, Kelce was (finally) widely recognized by past and present peers as the game’s best tight end in 2020. Among the most vocal supporters has been NFL Network host and CBS Sports analyst Nate Burleson, who also dedicated an entire five-minute Good Morning Football segment to the 31-year-old in the lead up to the big game.
In an exclusive Super Bowl interview with Heavy on behalf of Crown Royal — reminding fans to take water breaks and not be the one who ruins game day for their friends — Burleson made it known that Kelce would already have a place in Canton, Ohio if it were up to him.
“I’ve been yelling for a long time that Travis Kelce is the best tight end in football,” Burleson told Heavy.com. “He’s going to go down as one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game. I guarantee you that. He’s already a Hall of Famer in my book.”
That’s what Mike Garofolo, a reporter for the NFL Network, is proposing. He made the case Friday on “Good Morning Football” while noting it was Duvernay-Tardif’s birthday on Thursday.
“Let Mr. Duvernay-Tardif, when he returns to the field this season, put doctor or M.D. on the back of the jersey,” Garofolo said. “We just spent time in Super Bowl Week talking about all the folks that made this season and a lot of other things possible. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was one of those guys, We gave 7,500 (Super Bowl) tickets to frontline workers, all that stuff, let’s continue the celebration into the 2021 season, OK? Because we’re not going to be out of the throes of the coronavirus by the time the season kicks off.
Key move: Convince Deshaun Watson to stay aboard
Many expect that Deshaun Watson will not be on the Texans roster by the time we are kicking off the 2021 season. However, the fastest way for Houston to contend with the Chiefs is to figure out a way to make him stay. There’s a strong case to be made that Watson is the second-best quarterback in the conference and only looking up at Patrick Mahomes. He has the talent to bring a team to the promised land but that team has to have a better collection of talent than the cast from The Longest Yard, which Houston did not last year. Again, it appears unlikely that they can find a way to keep him, but if we’re talking about a way for the Texans to compete with the Chiefs, they are better having Watson than being without him.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
They didn’t get enough edge pressure all season long. Frank Clark was a disappointment and that unit needs help. Playing with leads means you need guys like Rousseau to influence the quarterback.
31 - Kansas City Chiefs
Landon Dickerson · C
School: Alabama | Year: Senior (RS)
Dickerson, who’s recovering from an ACL tear, comes with durability concerns, but the Chiefs are in position to make this type of bet on the best interior O-lineman in the draft.
Around the NFL
Short, the Panthers’ best defensive player, has played in a combined five games over the past two seasons, as his 2019 and 2020 campaigns were cut short by season-ending shoulder surgeries.
He was heading into the final year of a five-year, $80 million contract he signed in 2017 after having 23.5 sacks during a three-year span. He has since had only three sacks, all in 2018, when he started 14 games.
“We’re all grown here, so you know what it is,” Short said after the season. “It’s a ‘What-can-you-do-for-me-now,’ type of business.”
The Philadelphia Eagles still appear set to trade the former second overall pick in the 2016 draft, and according to Breer, “Chicago is the front runner.”
Breer goes on to say that he knows there’s a feeling from inside Halas Hall from GM Ryan Pace, head coach Matt Nagy, and passing game coordinator/QB coach John DeFilippo, that they all “believe that mechanically they can fix” what has gone wrong with Wentz the last couple of years.
All-Pro kicker Jason Sanders is getting paid.
The team officially announced Sanders signed a contract extension Tuesday.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the extension is for five years and worth $22 million with $10M guaranteed, per a source informed of the situation.
Sanders is now signed through the 2026 season.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Where does the money come from?
Per Spotrac, the Chiefs are currently $18.1 million over the salary cap, so some things will have to be done to make room for significant free agent signings. As I outlined last week, one way to do this is by extending the contracts of safety Tyrann Mathieu and left tackle Eric Fisher, releasing right tackle Mitchell Schwartz (or letting him retire) and converting Patrick Mahomes’ 2021 roster bonus to signing bonus. With these moves, the Chiefs could easily eclipse $20 million in cap space under the projected $185 million cap ceiling.
Signing 1: DE Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions
Okwara entered the league as an undrafted free agent for the New York Giants in 2016 — while Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had the same job in New York. Okwara was seen as developmental player. He did have the prototypical Spagnuolo size — coming in at 6-feet-4 and 263 pounds with 34.25 inch arms — and early on, he was able to work his way into the playing rotation. But he never quite caught on with the Giants, winding up with the Detroit Lions in 2018. There, he has continued to develop — and now enters free agency as an ascending player who has already proved he can perform at a high level.
5 favorite possible Free Agency additions for KC:— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) February 16, 2021
5) Kevin King CB ~6M APY
4) Keelan Cole WR ~5M APY
3) Romeo Okwara EDGE ~10M APY
2) Cam Robinson *OG* ~9M APY
1) Josh Reynolds WR ~4M APY