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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs still have money to play with in free agency

Chiefs headlines for Tuesday March 16

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The latest

Joe Thuney’s cap hits are in

Trevor Lawrence and Patrick Mahomes are Arch Manning’s biggest non-family influences | USA Today

Manning pinpointed Trevor Lawrence and Patrick Mahomes as his two biggest non-family quarterback influences in an interview with 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong last week. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering Mahomes is already one of the most naturally talented passers in NFL history, while Lawrence is a month and a half away from becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft following a legendary career at Clemson.

“Just how they impact their own offenses so much,” Manning said of what draws him to Lawrence and Mahomes. “Mahomes can make every throw on the field with his dramatics and moves around and Trevor he just reminds me a lot of Peyton. He has total command of the offense. Those two things I like to put in my game for sure.”

Kansas City Chiefs’ NFL free-agent signings 2021: Joe Thuney begins OL rebuild | ESPN

What’s the risk: There’s always a risk in signing big-money free agents. The Chiefs might not get an adequate return on their investment. In this case, though, there was more risk for the Chiefs with inaction. The Chiefs were dominated up front in the Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and couldn’t risk that happening again. Finding better protection for quarterback Patrick Mahomes was job No. 1 during this offseason, and this signing is a great start.

Travis Kelce and DeAndre Hopkins are in a League of their Own Right Now | Essentially Sports

Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the most offensively dominant teams in the NFL. They have largely relied on Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, and Tyreek Hill to provide offensive support for star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Kelce and Mahomes’ bond extends farther away from the football field.

Since joining the Chiefs in 2013 as a 3rd-round pick (63rd overall), he has 7,881 receiving yards to his name along with 48 receiving touchdowns.

He signed a 4-year, $57 million contract extension with the Chiefs last year, which keeps him in Missouri until at least 2024.

Multiple playoff teams will pursue Patrick Peterson, purely as a cornerback | PFT

Multiple playoffs teams are expected to make a run at Peterson, who’ll leave the Cardinals after 10 seasons. The real question becomes the sliding scale between maximum earnings and opportunity to compete for a championship.

Peterson was coached at one point by Bruce Arians in Arizona. The Bucs, however, currently have a very good young secondary. Former Cardinals and LSU teammate Tyrann Mathieu also could be lobbying for Peterson to join the Chiefs.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers, Washington trade up for QBs, Jets deal to pair Heisman winner with Zach Wilson | CBS Sports

Jalen Mayfield OL

Kansas City

You have to imagine OL is a priority for Kansas City after the team cut ties with Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Jalen Mayfield is an athletic offensive tackle who moves well in space and would seem to fit an offense that features a mobile quarterback.

Around the NFL

Yannick Ngakoue joins Raiders as counter-move to Patrick Mahomes in AFC West | Clutch Points

The Raiders cleared a significant amount of cap space leading up to free agency, and they did not waste their time in executing their plans once the window opened. Las Vegas’ first priority was to bring in a new pass-rusher and as it is, they have decided that Ngakoue fits the bill for them. The Raiders have every intention of making a more significant impact on the league in 2021, and the Ngakoue signing is a clear indication of how serious they are about competing for a title this season.

Titans signing former Steelers pass rusher Bud Dupree to 5-year, $85 million deal | NFL.com

The Tennessee Titans are signing former Pittsburgh Steelers edge Bud Dupree, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. Dupree’s deal is for five years at $16.5 million per season with a max of $85 million and $35 million guaranteed, Rapoport added.

It’s a big pay day for Dupree, 28, coming off a final season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in which he played under the franchise tag before he was lost for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL.

Prior to his injury, Dupree had eight sacks in 11 games. Those numbers came after a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2019.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers bring back Shaquil Barrett on 4-year, $72 million deal, agent says | ESPN

Sources told ESPN that the base deal averages $17 million per season with escalators that push it to $18 million per year. Those escalators include 15 sacks and reaching the playoffs the year before. His base salary in 2021 will be just $1.25 million, and he has an $18.75 million signing bonus prorated over five years to lower his salary-cap charge with a voidable fifth year, according to sources.

Sources also told ESPN that Barrett’s salary-cap hit for 2021 is under $6 million. The Bucs entered Monday with $14 million in cap space.

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert signs one-year extension through 2022 draft | NFL.com

“I am excited to announce that we have extended the contract of Kevin Colbert for an additional year,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said. “Kevin has been instrumental to the success of our franchise over the last two decades, and we are happy to have him continue for another year.”

The 64-year-old Colbert has been with the team for more than two decades and has served as its GM for the last 11 years. He’s won two Super Bowls with the club and helped build another team that reached Super Bowl XLV.

Source: Detroit Lions, Romeo Okwara agree to 3-year, $39M contract | ESPN

Okwara will get $25 million when he officially signs the contract, a massive payday for a player the Lions claimed off the waiver wire after roster cutdowns in 2018 from the New York Giants. Okwara almost immediately became an impact player for Detroit.

He had 7.5 sacks in his first year as a full-time starter in the NFL. After a down 2019, he rebounded with 10 sacks in 2020, setting him up for a big free-agency haul. This move also keeps him with his brother, Julian Okwara, whom the Lions drafted out of Notre Dame last year.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Five things to like about the Chiefs signing Joe Thuney

2. Position flexibility

Thuney has played 98% of his career snaps at left guard — but that doesn’t mean he is cemented there. This past season, he had to start two games at center. In prior years, he mixed in at offensive tackle for a handful of snaps. At North Carolina State, Thuney played tackle his last season — and earned the highest-pass blocking grade by PFF’s grading in 2015.

Most likely, Thuney will be slotted into the position he’s played the most in his All-Pro NFL career. However, the Chiefs need help at tackle — and Thuney has the size to make it work on the perimeter. Don’t be too shocked if the Kansas City tries him out there — or also at center.

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