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Arrowheadlines: The ‘no brainer’ exclusive rights free agent the Chiefs should tender

Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, March 10

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New York Jets v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The latest

Should Chiefs tender their 3 exclusive rights free agents? | Yahoo Sports

WR Byron Pringle

This one is a no-brainer for the Chiefs. Not only has Pringle proven to be a dynamic kick returner, but he’s emerged as a reliable receiving option for Patrick Mahomes. His 2019 and 2020 seasons look virtually the same from a statistical standpoint, but he did draw three starts during the regular season this year. With players like Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson set to hit unrestricted free agency, Kansas City will need Pringle to take a bigger role on offense in 2021. Prediction: Tender

NFL free agency: Predicting where top 25 projected players land in 2022 | FanSided

ERIC FISHER

Offensive Tackle, Buffalo Bills

2022 NFL free agency: Eric Fisher to Buffalo Bills

Super Bowl LV showed just how important it is to have quality offensive lines, and the Kansas City Chiefs being without Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher made life hell for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

The Chiefs are going to face some challenging roster and cap situations in the upcoming years, and it’s probably likely they let Fisher walk in NFL free agency in 2022 anyway. Especially considering he’s 30 years old, the Chiefs don’t have too many other roster needs and this year’s draft is laden with quality offensive linemen.

The Buffalo Bills, too, have O-line needs with four of their five starters pegged for free agency this offseason. And while they’ll likely use at least a few picks to address this, one offseason won’t solve all the needs.

Fisher would make for a veteran presence along a likely rebuilding Buffalo O-line in 2022.

Top 200 Free Agents in the NFL | SI

67. Sammy Watkins, WR (Kansas City)

His production was disappointing over three seasons with the Chiefs, and durability concerns remain as he enters his age-28 season. Still, Watkins was a capable X-receiver in K.C., if overshadowed by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. He could prove to have another 1,000-yard season in him if he has more of a featured role with his next team.

Texas Tech offers Patrick Mahomes’ 2-day-old daughter letter of intent offer | Yahoo Sport

Sterling Mahomes, the newborn daughter of the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his fiancée Brittany Matthews, already has a letter of intent to play for dad’s alma mater. Texas Tech sent the letter dated Feb. 22, two days after Sterling’s birth, for a soccer scholarship.

Mahomes and Matthews each shared the letter to her Instagram story on Tuesday. It’s signed by athletic director Kirby Hocutt.

Watch Chiefs Receiver Tyreek Hill Try to Complete a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course | Men’s Health

In his latest YouTube video, Hill visits Ninja Quest Fitness, a gym located in Marietta, Georgia, to take on several parkour-style obstacles inspired by the famously challenging course. Hill doesn’t seem too concerned about how he’ll fare: “You see I’m built, I’ve got the perfect body, I already think I’ve got this,” he says.

After a brief tour from one of the gym’s managers, Hill gets down to business, first with some mid-air leaps between a set of monkey bars, which don’t seem to pose much of a challenge to the 27-year-old Pro Bowler, who compares it to “level one of Mario.”

Next, they move on to one of the Ninja Warrior course’s most iconic obstacles—the warped wall, which the “Cheetah” also scales with ease. For his third challenge, Hill moves on to another monkey bars obstacle, this time hanging from an inverted ladder that sways from side to side as he makes his way across, again without much trouble.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Jets, Panthers swap top-10 picks and both land QBs, Eagles and Packers get receivers | CBS Sports

Alijah Vera-Tucker OL

Kansas City

He could provide insurance at tackle in case one of their two starters isn’t back from injury to open the season. If they are, he could start at guard, a position he has played well in his career.

Around the NFL

Dak Prescott’s new contract with Cowboys: Biggest winners in Dallas and across the NFL | NFL.com

9) Class of 2018 quarterbacks

If Dak gets $40 million a year, how much will Josh Allen command? What about 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson? Baker Mayfield hasn’t accomplished what the aforementioned quarterbacks have done, but he’s definitely working toward a healthy raise in Cleveland.

Bottom line: The price of doing business at quarterback just went up big time.

Source: Detroit Lions tell Kenny Golladay they’re not using franchise tag on him | ESPN

Golladay heading to the open market means the Lions will likely completely overhaul their receiver corps. Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola and Jamal Agnew are also scheduled to be free agents, taking the majority of the team’s receiver reps from a season ago. Detroit officially signed Tyrell Williams on Tuesday to help remake its receiver room.

Last week, Detroit general manager Brad Holmes called Golladay a player who has shown he can be a top receiver.

“I don’t think there’s any debate that Kenny has shown the ability to be a No. 1 receiver in this league,” Holmes said. “With that skill set that everybody knows that he has, we all know that he has, and being where we’re at from a roster standpoint, there’s also been no debate that Kenny has been at the forefront of our minds in terms of making sure that we make the best possible decision for not only the Lions but for Kenny.”

Los Angeles Chargers tell TE Hunter Henry he won’t be franchise-tagged again, source says | ESPN

Henry (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) played last season on the franchise tender, making $10.6 million.

He has yet to play a full season in his NFL career and missed the final two games last season after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He missed the entire 2018 regular season after tearing his ACL and missed four games in 2019 after suffering a tibial plateau fracture in an opening-week victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Trent Brown trade grades: Patriots bring back familiar face at low cost, Raiders cut losses after big contract | CBS Sports

Las Vegas Raiders: C

After Brown’s one-year stint with the Patriots came to a close, the Raiders were quick to land the right tackle and ink him to a four-year, $66 million contract with $36.75 million guaranteed. For all that dough, Brown did put together a Pro Bowl season in 2019, but only gave the club 16 games played over two seasons. Given the amount of money they handed Brown, this is a pretty big flop of a free agent signing for Mayock and the rest of the Raiders brass. That said, Las Vegas does get out of paying him $13.7 million in base salary in 2021 and $15 million in 2022.

Finances do seem to be a major motivating factor for the Raiders as they cleared around $14 million by trading Brown. According to the most recent projections, the club was looking at around just $3 million in salary cap space this offseason. Now, Las Vegas will have a bit more flexibility financially as they step towards free agency and build for 2021. Given the low cost of trading for Brown, it seems like the Raiders were content with the possibility of even releasing him as well. A future fifth-rounder likely won’t alter the franchise in a major way, but they were able to manage something in return for Brown, which is admirable.

While they were able to clear space during a cap-strapped offseason, waving the white flag on a highly talented tackle below the age of 30 is a rough look by the Raiders.

Titans release starting CB Malcolm Butler, save $10M in cap space | NFL.com

Butler was a solid defender for the majority of his time in Tennessee, but not so effective that he wasn’t expendable. His best season, in fact, was his most recent according to Pro Football Focus, which gave him his best coverage grade (75.8) since 2016 and his second-best defensive grade of his career (74.5). But as our own Gregg Rosenthal wrote in February, while Butler was clearly Tennessee’s best corner at a position of need going into 2021, he’s an even better option for release and salary cap savings.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

What the Chiefs should do at defensive end

Frank Clark

Clark led all non-secondary Chiefs defenders in snaps during the 2020 regular season, playing 70.3% of the time. In the postseason, Clark played roughly 75% of the team’s snaps. He didn’t miss any games due to injury, but did leave the Week 2 game against the Chargers due to an illness. He racked up a team-leading nine sacks, along with 10 quarterback hits and 30 other pressures over18 games.

The biggest name among the defensive ends will also carry the team’s biggest cap hit. In 2021, it’s $25.8 million — and that will increase by approximately $1 million during each of the next two seasons. Per Spotrac, that’s currently the biggest among NFL defensive ends.

You can argue whether he deserves to be paid so highly — but either way, he’s not going anywhere. He’ll most likely be leading the defensive line through his contract’s expiration after the 2023 season — which gives the team the option to shift money forward into those years and free up some short-term capital.

My opinion: Discuss a contract re-structure to free up immediate cap space

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