Ahead of Super Bowl LV, Bucs QB Tom Brady was referred to as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) and Mahomes the baby GOAT. They even had some strange GOAT and baby GOAT emojis on Twitter when you used hashtags with their respective names. This tease seems to suggest that both Brady and Mahomes will share the cover on “Madden NFL 22.”
Kansas City Chiefs: 2019*
15-4 overall record
Won franchise’s first Super Bowl since AFL-NFL merger
First team in NFL history to overcome three double-digit deficits in the playoffs
After a 7-4 start, the Chiefs won their final nine games that included a 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Patrick Mahomes, the league’s MVP the previous season, became the first player in league history to win a league and Super Bowl MVP before his 25th birthday. And while Mahomes was a major reason for their first championship in 50 years, the Chiefs were hardly a one-man show. Along with Mahomes, the Chiefs’ 2019 roster featured five other Pro Bowlers in receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce (97 catches, 1,229 yards), defensive linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark, and safety Tyrann Mathieu.
While the ‘19 Chiefs won the title as the franchise’s best team, a tip of the cap goes out to the ‘69 Chiefs, the second and final AFL team to win the Super Bowl. The ‘69 Chiefs featured eight Hall of Famers in coach Hank Stram, quarterback Len Dawson, defensive tackles Curly Culp and Buck Buchanan, linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier and safety Johnny Robinson.
2. Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs
You could put Mathieu on a few top defensive lists, as he has proven to be one of the most effectively versatile defensive players in the NFL. He certainly merits high praise for his work as both a free and strong safety — last season, Mathieu played 60 snaps on the defensive line, 399 in the box, 287 at free safety, 414 in the slot, and 25 at outside corner. Mathieu also allows defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to run all kinds of coverage disguises because Mathieu is so adept at moving from position to position pre- and post-snap. In 2020 overall, Mathieu allowed 45 catches on 69 targets for 581 yards, 257 yards after the catch, four touchdowns, seven interceptions, two pass breakups, and an opponent passer rating of 71.3. Mathieu’s breakneck play style will lead to the occasional big play allowed, but when you can bait a quarterback as Mathieu does to Baker Mayfield here… well, the Chiefs will take that all day.
But during recent offseason practices, the Kansas City Chiefs have toyed with the idea of trying to invigorate their slumping pass rush by moving Jones to a new position, defensive end.
“He is an imposing player inside,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “We all know that. ... Hopefully, we will gain something on the edge. When somebody changes a position, obviously the first part of it is the mental part of it. Chris is working through that. That’s important when you change a position. It’s just not that easy to pick up a whole new spot. There are some different things with a defensive end.
“He’ll play out there a little bit. We’ll move him back inside when we have to.”
Kansas City Chiefs: Re-signed OT Mike Remmers
Remmers did a nice job replacing the injured Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle last season, but was completely out of place as the left tackle in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs re-signed Remmers to an incentive-laden one-year deal before a rush of other offensive line moves that included adding Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, Orlando Brown, Austin Blythe, and draftees Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith. With the return of 2021 optouts Laurent Durvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang, it’s unclear how Remmers fits and the team could have used the money on another wideout.
Around the NFL
Crowder was due to make a non-guaranteed $10 million in base pay for 2021, the final year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract. Details of the renegotiated contract weren’t immediately available, but the new deal is expected to significantly lower his $11.4 million salary-cap charge.
The Jets are among the league leaders in cap space (about $27 million), but they approached Crowder recently about a reduction. Crowder, who turns 28 on Thursday, skipped the voluntary portion of the offseason as the two sides haggled over the contract. NFL Network first reported the agreement.
Bill Belichick was asked Monday about whether Gilmore would attend minicamp. The coach was predictably evasive on the subject, noting severe weather hampered some players getting into town and didn’t specifically address the CB’s plans.
“Had a little weather here, we’re working through some travel arrangements,” Belichick said. “We’ll see what the full level of participation is here today and for this week. I’m sure we’ll have a pretty full roster.”
Asked if Gilmore was one player whose plans were affected, Belichick responded: “Like I said we were kind of scrambling to get things going this morning, so I didn’t really have a chance to see everyone myself, so we’ll see where we’re at.”
Gilmore is set to earn a $7 million base salary this season after the Patriots moved up $4.5 million last year during training camp to appease the corner. The Pro Bowler’s salary this season is 24th among corners, per Over The Cap. From that evaluation standpoint, he’s clearly underpaid. His cap number this season, however, is highest among CBs at $16.265 million, per OTC.
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The Kansas City Chiefs will conclude Phase Three of their offseason program this week with their mandatory minicamp, which will run from Tuesday through Thursday at the team’s practice facility on the grounds of the Truman Sports Complex. This follows 10 days of voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTAs) over the last three weeks.
Unlike previous portions of Phase Three, all Chiefs players are required to be in attendance — or they will be subject to daily fines mandated by the league’s 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA): $15,500 on the first day, $31,000 for the second day and $46,500 for the third. Under previous CBAs, clubs were allowed to waive these fines — or even to reimburse players for them when they signed new contracts. This is no longer allowed.
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