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Arrowheadlines: Another free agent wide receiver is linked to the Chiefs

Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, February 24

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Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The latest

Chiefs signing Alshon Jeffery would be a win-win situation | FanSided

The Chiefs and Alshon Jeffery would be perfect marriage

The Kansas City Chiefs have the NFL’s best tight end in Travis Kelce, and one of the most explosive wide receivers around in Tyreek Hill. But when defenses are capable of taking one or both guys away, one of the league’s best offenses lacks counter-punches. After Kelce (145 targets) and Hill (135 targets), the next most-targeted player on the team was Mecole Hardman (62 targets), and no one else had more than 45 receptions.

Of the 40 touchdown passes the Chiefs had last season, 26 went to Hill (15) and Kelce (11). Add Hardman’s four and it’s 30 of 40 to three guys. Another weapon, particularly someone with size to create mismatches in the red zone, looks like an ideal fit.

Chiefs’ defense shares blame for biggest pass-rush disparity in Super Bowl history | ESPN

The biggest reason for the Chiefs’ 31-9 loss was the disparity in pass-rush pressure, the biggest in Super Bowl history. The Chiefs pressured Brady four times while the Bucs pressured Patrick Mahomes on 29 pass attempts. The largest previous disparity in a Super Bowl was 11.

Clark and the other Kansas City defenders can’t be blamed for Mahomes being harassed on a large percentage of his throws, but they picked a bad time to struggle with generating pressure of their own, even if part of the issue was the speed at which Brady got rid of the ball — 2.27 seconds according to NFL Next Gen Stats, the fastest for Brady since 2016.

Over the course of the season, the Chiefs put pressure on the opposing quarterback 28% of the time when they rushed four or fewer defenders, which was eighth best in the league. Not surprisingly, two of their lowest games of the year were in losses. Without blitzing, they pressured on 15.8% of the plays in the Super Bowl and on 14.3% of the plays in a Week 5 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Kansas City Chiefs changed Pro Football in late 1960s | Fox Sports

Fifty years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs were the Blackest pro football team most white folks had ever seen.

For Black folks, that meant watching players they knew on TV and seeing them playing pro football the way we always knew they could play.

No question, the representation was important, but so was the success.

The 1969 Chiefs, an American Football League team with 13 players from historically Black colleges and universities on the roster, went 11-3 in the regular season and upset the Minnesota Vikings, 12-point favorites from the mighty NFL, in Super Bowl IV.

Hall of Famer Buck Buchanan (86) teamed with fellow defensive tackle Curley Culp to anchor a Chiefs defense that shut down Joe Kapp and the Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

And, yes, we’re going to say every one of those 13 players’ names:

They had Otis Taylor and Jim Kearney from Prairie View A&M, Caesar Belser from Arkansas Pine Bluff and Emmitt Thomas from Bishop College.

They had Morris Stroud from Clark Atlanta, Buck Buchanan and Goldie Sellers from Grambling State, and Gloster Richardson from Jackson State.

Last but not least, they had Willie Lanier from Morgan State, Frank Pitts and Robert Holmes from Southern University, and Jim Marsalis and Willie Mitchell from Tennessee State.

Chiefs DE Alex Okafor’s 2021 contract year voids today | Chiefs Wire

Kansas City Chiefs DE Alex Okafor is set to become a free agent at the start of the 2021 league year, but the mechanism that allows him to become a free agent happens today.

Okafor agreed to restructure his contract with the Chiefs back in August, helping the team to clear $2 million in cap space for the 2020 NFL season. Okafor made just under $5 million this past season as a result of the restructure and he had another $2 million that he could earn as incentives.

Okafor’s original contract was a three-year deal worth $18 million. It wasn’t set to expire until 2022, but part of the restructure made it so that Okafor’s 2021 contract year would void today, Feb. 23. Kansas City will incur a $2 million charge against the 2021 salary cap because of bonus proration on the voided contract year. Basically, they have to pay back the money they borrowed last season. That number is already accounted for in salary cap projections, so this shouldn’t change anything on that end.

The KC Star, Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! Sports launch Terez A. Paylor Scholarship | Kansas City Star

Paylor’s parents, Sharmyn Elliott and Ava Paylor-Elliott, issued the following statement about the creation of the Terez A. Paylor Scholarship, for which contributions are now being accepted (details follow below, at the bottom of this story):

“On behalf of the Paylor/Elliott family, we are eternally grateful to all parties that made possible the establishment of the Terez A. Paylor Scholarship at his alma mater — Howard University (HU). We can’t think of a better way to acknowledge, honor and cement Terez’s legacy and contributions as a sports journalist than establishing this scholarship in his name at HU. By virtue of this scholarship, it is our hope that our son’s legacy will live on and inspire future Black sports journalists to employ the tenacity and perseverance Terez epitomized, and to uphold these values he embodied by committing to be the best they can possibly be and to ‘never be outworked.’”

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Texans trade Deshaun Watson to Dolphins and go O-line, Panthers move up for QB | CBS Sports

Wyatt Davis OL

Kansas City

The Super Bowl showed the world about the limited depth Kansas City has on its offensive line, and while some might consider tackle depth to be more critical, I think the Chiefs could upgrade on the interior too. And with the lineman still available in this mock, I believe Davis offers a better value than the tackles left on the board. Davis may have already reached his potential as a player, which could cause him to drop down some boards, but I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t mind if a player has tapped all his potential if he’s already really good.

Around the NFL

2021 NFL free agency: Nine players who CANNOT hit the open market | NFL.com

2 - Allen Robinson

Chicago Bears · WR

OK, stay with me here ...

I think Robinson is a bona fide star. I ranked him as a top-nine receiver last offseason, and then he went out and piled up 102 catches and 1,250 yards in a significantly flawed Bears offense. Robinson appears to want out of Chicago, and I can’t blame him. In the NFL, the former Jaguar has caught passes from Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles. That should be illegal. And yet, he’s still posted three 1,000-yard campaigns, and led the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns in 2015. This guy’s a stud. Can you imagine him with a top-tier — or even an average — quarterback? It makes all the sense in the world for him to depart the Windy City.

But Chicago is a weak football team. General manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy are sitting on scorching-hot seats. They can’t afford to let Robinson go. So, while I’d personally love to see the 27-year-old wideout sign a long-term deal with a team where he can truly shine.

Tennessee Titans’ 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Wilson says he’s ‘done with football as a Titan’ in since-deleted tweet | ESPN

Nearly a week after being put on notice by the team’s general manager, Tennessee Titans 2020 first-round NFL draft pick Isaiah Wilson wrote on Twitter on Monday night that he is “done with football as a Titan” before deleting the tweet soon after.

Wilson was the 29th overall selection in April’s draft but played only four snaps in his rookie season, which culminated in him being placed on the non-football injury list in December. Before that, Wilson found himself on the reserve/COVID-19 list twice last year, during training camp and in October.

Are the Broncos and Panthers Serious Contenders for Deshaun Watson? | The Ringer

Watson could be a perfect fit in Denver, but what would it take to acquire him? On Monday, Pro Football Focus’ Anthony Treash put together a mock draft in which Denver acquires Watson in exchange for the Broncos’ no. 9 pick, a 2021 second-rounder, a 2022 first-rounder, a 2022 second-rounder, and a 2023 first-rounder. That scenario requires North Dakota State’s Trey Lance (currently Danny Kelly’s no. 11 prospect) to be available at no. 9, but considering the amount of QB-needy teams at the top of the draft, there’s no guarantee Lance is still on the board for Houston to make that pick.

The Broncos present a viable trade partner, but the reasons to bet against them landing Watson are pretty clear. Denver’s current pick could be out of range for one of the draft’s top four QB prospects: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, and Lance. That would mean Houston wouldn’t be able to nab an immediate Watson successor, unless Houston felt that Lock could be a solution under center. Perhaps Denver offers a slew of veteran players, but who would move the needle enough for Houston to make the move? Left tackle Garett Bolles and one of the young wideouts might make sense, but trading decent players would detract from the favorable environment the Broncos have established for a QB to inherit. Perhaps Paton is clever enough to put together a strong offer for Watson, but it might take even more than a medley of draft picks to make it happen.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

NFL teams can apply the franchise tag beginning on Tuesday

After tagging defensive tackle Chris Jones in 2020 and edge rusher Dee Ford in 2019, the Chiefs are not expected to use their franchise tag this offseason. Kansas City does have 23 players due to become unrestricted free agents (as can be found on our roster page), but none are likely to be worthy of a tag.

Many times, the franchise tag is used as a placeholder as general managers and player reps buy more time to work out long-term contracts, as we have seen a number of times in Kansas City. Each team can only use one franchise or transition tag each year.

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