43 (tie). Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)
• Value: $2.5 billion
• Five-Year Change In Value: 63%
• Owner: Hunt family
• Year Purchased: 1960
• Price Paid: $25,000
Kansas City Chiefs
Major Additions: OG Joe Thuney, OT Orlando Brown (trade), OG Kyle Long, DT Jarran Reed, LB Nick Bolton (second-round pick), OL Creed Humphrey (second-round pick)
Is it possible to make a case that a team that went to the Super Bowl in February is “most improved” after free agency and the draft?
The Chiefs were, clearly, already in much better shape heading into this offseason than the majority of teams in the league. However, if just a handful of key signings (spoiler alert: mostly along the offensive line) means the difference between losing to the wild-card Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl and returning to win it in 2022, then the degree of improvement doesn’t matter as much as the outcome.
Indeed, the Chiefs threw as much money and resources at the offensive line as they could this offseason after it proved to the whole world in primetime that it could not stand up to the Bucs front seven in the Super Bowl. When you have a once-in-a-generation talent like Patrick Mahomes, you are essentially obligated to give him the best offensive line possible. The Chiefs proved they know that in a big way with Joe Thuney’s five-year, $80-million dollar contract.
And though they were known to be in the Trent Williams market, ultimately that deal not working out allowed the Chiefs to sign defensive tackle Jarran Reed and improve on the other side of the ball as well.
Kansas City also took a flier on two potential new weapons for Mahomes in fifth-round tight end Noah Gray and wide receiver Cornell Powell.
Mahomes and Co. didn’t need much to have the best chance possible to return to the Super Bowl this season. General manager Brett Veach made sure he got it.
With the schedule release three days away, there’s a new version of the commercial. And “Rodgers vs Mahomes” is gone.
Replacing “Rodgers vs Mahomes” is “Jackson vs Mahomes,” a reference to the Chiefs-Ravens game set for 2021, which will pit 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson against 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes.
It’s an unofficial acknowledgement by the NFL of the uncertainty as to the question of whether 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers actually will be playing for the Packers in 2021. And it underscores the eleventh-hour complications to the scheduling process regarding the placement of the Packers-Chiefs game — and of the two games between Kansas City and Denver, the most likely Rodgers destination (if he’s traded).
The Buffalo Bills are coming off of a successful 2020 campaign, as they won the AFC East with a 13-3 record and made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game before their season was ended by the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo gave Kansas City a game, however, as the Bills even held a 9-0 lead through the first quarter. This team was playing through some injuries, however, and another star player recently revealed he was playing hurt as well.
Not long after the Bills’ loss to the Chiefs, wide receiver Cole Beasley told reporters that he played through a broken fibula during the late stages of the season. On Saturday, fellow Bills wideout Stefon Diggs took to Twitter to praise his teammate for his toughness, but also revealed he played through a torn oblique.
So what would a Rodgers trade to Denver do to the AFC West, AFC and the NFL? It would make the Broncos instantaneous contenders. The Kansas City Chiefs would more than likely remain the favorite in the division and the conference, but Rodgers and the Broncos would be right behind them. As for the Super Bowl, perhaps Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have better odds than Denver? Aside from those two teams, Rodgers and the Broncos would at least be on par the rest of in the NFL.
When you have the chance to get a player of the caliber of Rodgers, you do whatever it takes to get him. Broncos Country needs no reminder that Patrick Mahomes has never lost to the Broncos. Since Mahomes became the starting quarterback for the Chiefs, he’s never tasted a Denver defeat. That needs to change.
The best way to ensure that happens is to get Rodgers. Can you imagine those two games a season between the Broncos and Kansas City?
Around the NFL
“In this position, the coaches want to play the best player. That position has to be earned,” the No. 2 pick said Saturday on the second day of rookie minicamp. “I have to do what I’m supposed to do. That’ll take care of itself.”
Wilson said starting is “important” to him but not the priority. He said his main focus is learning the offense and getting acclimated to his new teammates. At BYU, he was a backup for his first six games as a freshman before becoming the youngest starter in school history at 19 years, 2 months.
The former New England Patriot hand-delivered a $1.2 million check on Friday to renovate the aging Charlesbank Playground in Boston’s Charles River Esplanade.
“The Patriots taught me the importance of giving back from the very first day I stepped in that organization,” said Gronkowski, via Lisa Kashinsky of the Boston Herald. “A huge shout-out to Mr. Kraft and the Patriots for instilling that into me and showing me the importance of what it’s like to give back.”
“I’m just happy to be here, excited to have the opportunity, thank God for the opportunity to run against world-class athletes like this,” Metcalf said afterward, via NBC Sports. “Just to test my speed against world-class athletes like this.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Here are two of our many suggestions:
Brad’s first choice: The Cleveland Browns at GEHA Field at Arrowhead
There has been plenty of talk about the Cleveland Browns being the team next in line to the Chiefs’ AFC crown. With the instability at coach and quarterback now a thing of the past, the Browns are poised to be in a position to hang with the NFL’s elite.
There will still be some sour taste in the mouth of Cleveland fans after Baker Mayfield and the Browns failed to capitalize on the Patrick Mahomes injury in the 2020 Divisional round playoff game. Revenge will be in their minds.
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