WR Antonio Brown
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get back all 22 starters from their Super Bowl roster, and Antonio Brown wants to rejoin the team as well. For now, he’s at odds with the front office on the parameters of a new deal.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians left the door open for the 32-year-old receiver’s return, but he’s approaching the situation with patience.
Tampa Bay has starting wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin under contract. Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson can provide quality depth. Last season, the former recorded 501 receiving yards, while the latter hauled in two touchdown passes.
According to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times, Brown wants “something closer to market value” than the one-year, $1 million prove-it deal he took last season. If that’s the case, he’ll need to look elsewhere, as the Buccaneers have just $1.1 million in cap space.
Assuming Brown enjoyed the feeling of playing for a contender, he could start for the Super Bowl LV runner-up Kansas City Chiefs and take a chunk of their $11.7 million in cap space.
The Chiefs lost wideout Sammy Watkins to the Baltimore Ravens in free agency, which frees some snaps opposite Tyreek Hill on the perimeter. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson could fill that role, but neither player has a comparable resume to that of Brown, who’s a four-time All-Pro.
In 2020, Brown showed he could still perform at a high level, scoring touchdowns in four consecutive games from Week 15 through the Buccaneers’ wild-card matchup against the Washington Football Team. With him in the fold, the Chiefs would have arguably the best pass-catching group in the NFL.
Best Fit: Kansas City Chiefs
Round 1 - Pick 31
Jalen Mayfield OL
The Chiefs parted ways with both of their offensive tackles this past season, and Jalen Mayfield is a versatile lineman that offensive line coach Andy Heck is likely a fan of. Keeping Patrick Mahomes upright is priority No. 1.
The play looked like Madden glitch with Villanova QB Daniel Smith throwing a touchdown pass to TE Charlie Gilroy while tumbling to the ground. It happened with Wildcats down by two scores and under four minutes remaining. While the team couldn’t rally to win the game, Smith certainly has a highlight-reel moment to be proud of.
Check it out:
Man that is some crazy stuff https://t.co/BAoU6DIsnW— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) April 17, 2021
4. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback
Team(s): Kansas City (2017-current)
Yes, an active player belongs on this list. Mahomes was a controversial choice in the 2017 draft when the Chiefs moved all the way from No. 27 overall to pick the wild but talented quarterback from Texas Tech. After a redshirt season as a rookie, Mahomes erupted onto the scene in 2018 with 50 touchdown passes and an MVP award en route to the Chiefs earning the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and advancing to the AFC title game.
He won the Super Bowl the following season while eclipsing the 4,000-yard passing yard plateau in just 14 games. In 2020, Mahomes led the Chiefs to another Super Bowl appearance while tossing 38 touchdowns to just six picks during the regular season. He also led the league in passing yards per game. On a consistent basis, Mahomes makes the most ridiculous completions look ordinary while scrambling or when he needs to launch the ball 60-plus yards down the field.
To date, Mahomes has 114 passing touchdowns to just 24 interceptions and a bulky 8.4 yards-per-attempt average.
Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive Tackles
The Chiefs cut starting offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz this offseason and have yet to replace them. The team did vastly improve the interior of the offensive line by signing Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, and Austin Blythe, but the edges will need addressing to protect star Patrick Mahomes.
Around the NFL
The 49ers reportedly offered the Jets their first-round pick — 12th overall in this year’s draft — in the hopes of acquiring Darnold, per Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan in Denver, but the timing of the offer is a key reason the Jets didn’t accept it. At the time, as in earlier this offseason, the Jets were seemingly still concerned about the shoulder of Zach Wilson, whom they’ve continuously been eyeing as potentially the new face of their franchise.
Those concerns were laid to rest when they watched him at the BYU pro day on March 26, and suddenly felt great about the decision to move on from Darnold and to pull the trigger on a QB (read: Wilson?) with the second-overall pick.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said it is the union’s position that it is in the best interest of players to not participate in voluntary offseason workouts.
“I think what a lot of players have said that they’ve heard from their coaches is that they need to show up,” Smith said Saturday on SportsCenter. “We’ve known for years that this is a voluntary workout where a lot of coaches put their finger on the scale and, while they call it voluntary, they expect players to show up.
In a recent interview with Denver 7’s Troy Renck, Gordon detailed the challenges he faced during the 2020 campaign.
“It was probably one of my most difficult seasons. I am not going to lie,” he told Renck. “Just ‘cause a lot of fans and a lot of people weren’t too happy with me coming in and Phil wanting to get paid and everything like that. I was like, ‘Look man, I had no parts in that.’ I wanted to be here, and they wanted me to be here. It was a mutual thing and it kind of just happened. It was tough, man, because I felt like a lot of people didn’t accept me.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
He was a member of the Dallas Texans team that won the AFL championship in 1962 — and the Chiefs teams that appeared in Super Bowl I in 1967 and won Super Bowl IV in 1970. He retired after the subsequent 1970 season, completing a nine-year career in which he had played in every game from 1962 through 1969 — and he started in all but two of them.
And when the Chiefs ran 65 Toss Power Trap in Super Bowl IV — perhaps the team’s most famous play before 2-3 Jet Chip Wasp in their Super Bowl victory 50 years later — it was Arbanas who pancaked Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Lonnie Warwick, allowing Kansas City running back Mike Garrett to run into the end zone untouched.
A tweet to make you think
The @Chiefs proposed to expand jersey number options as a part of this year’s rules proposals – here’s a look at which numbers would be available by position if it passes ⬇️— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) April 17, 2021
Check out the full list of 2021 proposals: https://t.co/xT8OojuwIz pic.twitter.com/Xn302KPh4H
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