Early on in the Week 5 game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Osemele went down with dual knee injuries, tearing tendons in both his left and right knee. For the second consecutive season, Osemele’s year was ended early due to injury. Despite valid concerns surrounding his durability, Touchdown Wire’s Mark Schofield believes that Osemele is one of the most underrated offensive free agents in this crop.
Here’s a look at what he had to say:
“Osemele’s toughness and status as a true road grader up front will make him an asset to almost any NFL offense, and given the Chiefs’ issues with protecting Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl, one might expect Kansas City to try and bring him back for the 2020 season. If such a deal is not reached, teams looking for some toughness and the ability to run a course of gap/power designs are going to be calling, even with the injury concerns. Sure, the guard market will be driven by the two players at the top (Brandon Scherff and Joe Thuney) but given what Osemele showed in his brief action last season, there is a lot to love about his game, and it will probably come at a discount.”
Patrick Mahomes’ cap number jumps to just under $25 million this season and the Chiefs had to know they’d begin to feel a squeeze soon. The falling cap means those concerns hit a little sooner. Many of the core players have contracts that may be reworked to create space this year, but a few interesting pieces could get pink slips.
RB - Damien Williams - Little wear and tear on the tires plus a versatile skillset.
DL - Derrick Nnadi - 2018 3rd rounder who could play all along the interior line.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Jayson Oweh EDGE
Oweh isn’t a finished product but has All-Pro athletic traits and a chiseled frame.
48 - Austin Reiter
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS C
He’s been a sound player in the middle of their line, especially in pass protection. He doesn’t wow you with his run blocking, but he’s a good starting center.
Of course, things are never that simple. For instance, Mahomes received a 10-year deal that was worth $45 million a year on average, but the back-end of that deal was much larger than the front end. His total guaranteed was around $141 million with $63 million guaranteed at signing. There are so many ways of cutting up his salary that it’s hard to know which portion they want to be right behind.
But it does indicate one thing, they want a contract that is above everyone else’s, only topped by Mahomes’ deal. That means that Prescott is looking to top the deal signed by Deshaun Watson. Watson received a four-year deal worth $39 million annually with $110 million guaranteed and $73 million guaranteed at signing. If you are looking for a baseline for a Prescott contract, that is probably it.
So it seems the parameters are somewhere between $39 million a year to $45 million a year, but given Mahomes’ enormous success and willingness to sign such a long-term deal, the Prescott deal will likely look more like Watson’s deal. Probably in the $41-$42 million average per year range, with a guaranteed value of $115-$120 million, and likely for four years. That’s probably the minimum Dallas can get away with.
Around the NFL
If our one-year dance with pass interference review taught us anything, it’s we should hope that roughing the passer is better defined — or more aggressively reviewed — than pass interference was. The league encountered a stretch of about a half of a season in which pass interference replay reviews were overturned so infrequently, coaches simply stopped even considering throwing the red challenge flag on questionable plays. A second half with much more aggressive reviews brought things closer to even, but it was too little, too late.
There is a reason for the consideration of reviewing roughing the passer, though. One needn’t look further than a late-season affair involving the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, a game that was largely inconsequential for the postseason race but encountered a game-changing twist when a takedown of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins drew a flag for roughing. The penalty wiped out Minnesota’s fourth-and-goal failure and gave the Vikings a fresh set of downs, resulting in a touchdown that proved to be the game’s deciding score.
Don’t try to convince us the Pats won’t keep calling the Niners about Jimmy Garoppolo. But if San Francisco really doesn’t budge, Smith makes a lot of sense in New England as a stopgap and/or mentor for a rookie. His arm isn’t all that special these days, but neither was Cam Newton’s in 2020. As a short-term option, it just can’t be ruled out.
The team had announced last month that the cheerleader program was paused while it decided what direction the rebranding would take. Petra Pope, hired by the team as a senior adviser focused on creating game-day entertainment, said the goal is to create a “more modern franchise.”
“With that comes inclusivity, diversity and in my mind, as an entertainer, athleticism,” Pope told ESPN by phone. “My desire is to create a team that is all of that — inclusive, diverse, coed, athletic — to set the gold standard in the NFL. We’re looking for that super athlete that can dance, perform tricks and stunts and manipulate whatever props that will create a really great show.”
The former cheerleaders are eligible to try out for the dance squad. Pope said they’ll likely hire 36 dancers or more.
“I agree. Yeah, we have to make the playoffs,” Waller said during an appearance on Good Morning Football. “No more excuses. No more justifications. I know offensively speaking, on the side of the ball that I’m on, we can be better in the red zone. We’re good at a lot of things, but we can definitely be better at red zone efficiency and scoring touchdowns there.
“Defense, I feel like just for them, the small things and those little habits and how we prepare on a week-to-week basis will carry over into the game, playing a more simpler scheme for them and allowing their individual skill sets to shine and just being more disciplined. I feel like we’re right there outside of a few plays even the defense would agree can’t happen. We’re right there. So I believe in these guys and I know that this year is going to be a special year for us.”
The most attractive aspect of the toss: We avoided the disaster scenario everyone envisioned as soon as Brady starting swinging the trophy. And according to Brady, such an outcome never even crossed his mind.
“First of all, I was not thinking at that moment. It was not a thought. It was, ‘This seems really fun to do,’” Brady told James Corden during an appearance on The Late Late Show. ”Not to mention, when you get your hands on one of those trophies, there’s a lot of really sharp edges on the bottom. ... I found out later, had that been an incomplete pass, that would have went down like 80 feet. I’m so happy that (tight end) Cam (Brate caught it).”
The former All-Pro linebacker announced on Instagram he is following through with his plans to retire after 16 seasons. But first, he will spend another day with the franchise he starred on. Davis was released by Washington on Wednesday, a procedural move that will allow him to sign a one-day contract with the Carolina Panthers next week.
“The time has finally come and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me along this journey,” Davis wrote. “The Washington Football Team, @washingtonnfl, has agreed to release me so that on March 11th, I will officially be returning to the place that my heart has been all along. By signing a one day contract, I will retire from the @nfl as a Carolina Panther. @panthers thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity. Thank you @nflfilms & @jmohamed_83 for this video. I hope you all enjoy!”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Dyami Brown, wide receiver
6’ 3/4” | 185 lbs | North Carolina
Charlotte, NC | 11/1/99
Grade (round): 2nd
Draft Range: Day Two
2020 Stats: 55 receptions, 1,099 yards, 8 touchdowns, 20.0 yards per receptions
Background: Former four-star recruit. First wide receiver in program history to record two 1,000-yard seasons in his career. First-team All-ACC — his 20.0 yards per reception led the nation with receivers of 50 or more receptions. Younger brother, Khafre, currently is currently a wide receiver on the UNC football team.
Strengths: Brown glides off the line of scrimmage with a free release and eats up defensive backs’ cushion for breakfast. He has quick, sudden feet — with hips to match. He snaps off routes with a suddenness that makes it hard for defenders to close at the top of the route. He does a great job of attacking the defensive back leverage and has the swiftness and power to cross face and put the defender in a compromised position. Brown is gifted at stacking cornerbacks once he has a step vertically. He does an excellent job of not letting the defender back into the frame. Brown is incredibly talented at tracking the ball — he is maybe the best vertical threat in this class. He has to speed to take the top off and knows how to use soft coverage to his advantage/throws in some nice double moves to get deep. Brown runs a variety of routes underneath as well and has shown the footwork necessary to be a plus-route runner on all three levels as he develops. He has the potential to be a complete outside receiver who can score every time he touches the ball.
Just texted with an NFL head coach about the upcoming cuts and what he expects…— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 3, 2021
“It’s going to be a massacre next week all around the league”
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