60 - Sammy Watkins
WR · Age: 28
Playoff heroics aside, Watkins hasn’t topped 700 yards in a season since 2015. In related news, he has missed at least six games three of the last five years.
James then gave a shout-out to a fellow NBA player and two NFL stars, including Mahomes.
“You see guys like (the Celtics’) Jalen Brown, who’s ... educated beyond his years now, and I love what he stands for in our league,” James said.
“And you see Pat Mahomes, also a younger guy, and Alvin Kamara in the NFL and those guys speaking about things. They’re young, but they speak about things that they feel like is unjust as well in their communities and whatever that’s going on in the whole grand scheme of things.
“As athletes, obviously, we’ve been hearing this for a long time .... you should be privileged, you should be thankful to be able to dribble a ball or run a football or be able to do 100-yard dash or be able to swing a baseball bat. Things of that nature. You shouldn’t be able to speak about anything else. No matter if it’s right or wrong, you should just do that. But that’s not the case, it’s not the case anymore. As long as I’m around, it won’t be the case for a long time.”
On Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs announced that the club is opening the search for a Chief Marketing Officer.
“Our team has delivered historic performances on and off the field and we plan to build on that success through the addition of a talented Chief Marketing Officer to lead our growth locally, regionally, nationally and internationally,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. “This position will work in partnership with our senior executive team and focus on capitalizing on the unprecedented popularity, social media presence and marketing power of our players, team, Chiefs Kingdom and the Arrowhead experience.”
In addition to announcing the CMO search, the club has also announced the hiring of Rob Alberino as the Vice President of Content and Production.
“We are excited to welcome Rob Alberino back to One Arrowhead Drive as our Vice President of Content and Production,” Donovan said. “Rob is a seasoned NFL executive who brings years of unique experience and innovative ideas for engaging content and ways to deliver it. His knowledge of Chiefs Kingdom, our fans, as well as the rich history and traditions of this franchise mean he will hit the ground running.”
Azeez Ojulari LB
The Chiefs need to upgrade their pass rush and Ojulari, who can get after the quarterback all day long, is also stout against the run.
Around the NFL
Watt, 31, was released by the Houston Texans, who granted his request on Feb. 12, ending his 10-year run with the franchise.
Four days later, Watt’s former Texans teammate and current Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins posted a photo of himself and Watt photoshopped in a Cardinals uniform on Instagram with the caption: “Let’s finish what we started...”
According to Fitzgerald, the first thing New Orleans is likely to do to clear cap space is release linebacker Kwon Alexander, who was largely ineffective in New Orleans after being acquired from the 49ers via a trade last season. Alexander tore his Achilles in Week 16; if the Saints cut him, they’ll create $13 million in cap space. Defensive tackle Malcom Brown is another likely cap casualty; cutting him can save $5 million. Cutting cornerback Janoris Jenkins would save another $7 million. It’s worth noting that these are good players the Saints probably would want to keep. Sometimes, teams in cap trouble are there because they have bad contracts to offload. The Eagles, another similarly cap-strapped team, recently released wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery who, for health- and performance-related issues, were not part of their plans next season; New Orleans may have to part with good players on reasonable salaries simply because they don’t have the money to pay them. In a perfect world, for example, the Saints would like to try to re-sign homegrown defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who had 13.5 sacks last season. They almost certainly won’t be able to.
In a recent interview with GQ, Smith remarked his unexpected return “definitely threw a wrench” in Washington’s plan at the position. Though he proved to be the team’s best option in a challenging and tumultuous season, Smith’s days were likely numbered as soon as a new regime arrived to turn the franchise in a new direction.
The final few of those days are now directly ahead. The 36-year-old Smith still seems to have quality football left in him, though, and proved as much once he got his feet under him as a starter. A leg ailment unrelated to his significant past injury ended up sinking his chances of playing in the postseason, but when healthy, Smith is at the very least an adequate quarterback — and there are at least a few teams in need of adequate, experienced quarterback play.
A reunion in Chicago with Matt Nagy — Smith’s former offensive coordinator in Kansas City — could be ahead. A handful of other options might also await Smith. But as he’s made clear this offseason, he intends to continue playing — it just won’t be in Washington.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Kansas City Chiefs tackles Eric Fisher and Mitch Schwartz may be ready to participate in training camp, according to Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, who spoke to the media via Zoom on Monday morning.
“Mitch just recently had his disc worked on,” said Veach. “We’re hopeful for him to return at training camp, and the same thing with Fish... We’re hopeful both guys will complete the rehab and be available for training camp and to start the 2021 season. I would probably say Pat (Mahomes) is ahead of them because of that type of injury and probably a quicker recovery, but hopeful to have all three ready to go by training camp.”
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