This will mark the second year of the contest after a wildly popular inaugural season in 2020 that awarded 32 fans – one from every team – with various opportunities of a lifetime. That will once again be the case this time around, too, as each team’s nominee will enjoy a variety of prizes, including exclusive interactions with former players and a chance to attend Super Bowl LVI. It all builds up to the ultimate winner being crowned the league’s “Fan of the Year” during the NFL Honors ceremony in February.
Just last year, the Chiefs recognized Roger McCush - a cancer survivor who now spends his retirement teaching special needs youth – as their nominee for the national contest, ultimately providing him with the opportunity to announce the team’s fifth-round draft pick in Cleveland.
It’s simply a chance to show the rest of the league just how special Chiefs Kingdom really is. To enter or to nominate an individual who you believe deserves to be the Chiefs’ representative for the NFL “Fan of the Year” contest, visit NFL.com/FanoftheYear between now and Sept. 20.
Kansas City Chiefs • Patrick Mahomes • QB • Year 5
I refuse to overthink this one. I can wax poetic about the consistent greatness of Travis Kelce, or the peerless big-play ability of Tyreek Hill, or the infectious spirit of Tyrann Mathieu. But Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback on Earth and will be treated with the respect the designation demands. The former MVP is coming off a ho-hum season that included 40 total touchdowns, over 4,700 passing yards and a 14-1 regular season record. Kansas City doesn’t boast the same depth at wide receiver it’s had in the past, but the offensive line is unquestionably better after a series of upgrades. Mahomes with better protection means absolute death for the rest of football. Mahomes is more than just my pick for Chiefs MVP — I believe he’ll get the NFL honor, too.
The Kansas City Chiefs dominated Madden [21 ] with not one, but two players rated at 99. Patrick Mahomes had a 99 rating at the launch of Madden  and TE Travis Kelce achieved the 99 rating by the end of the season.
The Chiefs just lost the Super Bowl to the Buccaneers in a terrible performance, but they should still have one of the best overall ratings in Madden 22. Who else will join these two as the highest-rated players on the Chiefs?
Mahomes will surely keep his elite rating in Madden 22. Travis Kelce could remain a 99 but it’s not set in stone. Could another player rise through the ranks and give Kansas City a third 99?
Tyreek Hill has been inching toward that benchmark over the years. Tyrann Mathieu had one of his best seasons as a DB and could Chris Jones was already a 92 in Madden 21.
Le’Veon Bell, RB
Suggested landing spot: New Orleans Saints
Bell was once looked at as arguably the best running back in the NFL. As recently as 2017, the now 29-year-old put together an All-Pro season where he totaled 1,946 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns while also notching a career-high 85 receptions. His ability to patiently sit behind Pittsburgh’s offensive line and then swiftly find a hole was marveled by the rest of the league. However, he sat sat out the 2018 campaign over a contract dispute and ultimately found his way to the New York Jets where he only lasted a season and a half before forcing his way out of town. After he was released, he signed on with the Kansas City Chiefs but was largely put in a reserve role behind then-rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Those frustrations over a lack of playing time seemed to spill over into this offseason where he said he’d never play for head coach Andy Reid again.
With a reunion with the Chiefs seemingly out the window, linking up with the New Orleans Saints could make for an interesting pairing. Of course, Bell wouldn’t be the top dog in that backfield as Alvin Kamara would be the starter, but there could be snaps to be attained, especially if he can prove to be a better option than Latavius Murray. With Drew Brees retired and either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill about to take the reins as New Orleans’ newest starter, Sean Payton could use all the offensive weapons he can get his hands on to help whomever is under center. If Bell is willing to take on a secondary role, this has the potential to be everything he thought K.C. would provide him last year.
Today, the Kansas City Chiefs announced the hiring of Lara Krug as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. She joins the Chiefs after three years as Vice President of U.S. Marketing for Stella Artois, part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, and will oversee all club marketing functions, including brand marketing, community outreach, digital, social and website operations, event entertainment and content production.
The newly created Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer position is focused on building a visionary platform to grow the team’s global fanbase for decades to come, working proactively across the organization to identify opportunities to help internal and external stakeholders achieve key growth objectives. Short- and long-term strategies will focus on global engagement, brand extensions and loyalty, digital following and audience scale across all platforms.
Around the NFL
The Indianapolis Colts received approval Tuesday to host full capacity crowds at their home games this season, becoming the final NFL team to receive that approval from local government.
The team said that the decision came after consultation with the Marion County (Indiana) Public Health Department. Full capacity for Colts games at Lucas Oil Stadium is 63,000.
The NFL told its clubs in May that all but two of the league’s teams — the Denver Broncos and the Colts — had received approval from state and local governments to open their stadiums at full capacity when games resume. The Broncos announced earlier this month that they had been approved for full capacity for games at Empower Field at Mile High.
Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the NFL has the right to decide whether to conduct a supplemental draft each year. Last year, the league decided against holding the event largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the league cancelled last year’s supplemental draft, it informed prospective supplemental draft picks they would not gain free-agent status but could instead enter the 2021 NFL Draft. Essentially, those looking to latch on with a team in the summer instead had to wait nine months for a chance. It is realistic to expect the league to deliver the same directive to those hoping to enter the supplemental draft this year.
Supplemental drafts operate differently than the annual draft, with teams instead submitting bids on prospects based on the round in which they’d like to select a player. If they are awarded the player, they then forfeit their equivalent pick in the traditional draft in the following year. For example, Baylor receiver Josh Gordon entered the 2012 supplemental draft and was selected by the Cleveland Browns, who secured his rights by submitting a second-round bid on Gordon, the highest bid made by any team on Gordon. Cleveland then forfeited its second-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Just five years after being a first-round pick, Paxton Lynch is no longer seeking NFL work. Lynch reached a deal with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders on Monday, ending his NFL career — for now at least.
A 2016 first-round pick of the Broncos, Lynch started four games in two seasons with the team. He completed just 61.7% of his passes for 792 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions (76.7 rating) in five career games before the Broncos decided to cut their losses. Denver cut Lynch, once considered the heir apparent to Peyton Manning, prior to the start of the 2018 season. After sitting out the 2018 season, Lynch spent the 2019 offseason with the Seattle Seahawks before being released prior to final cuts.
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Lynch to the practice squad that September and he was later promoted to the active roster. Lynch was released by the Steelers in September 2020 and hasn’t been in the league since.
Tanya Snyder, wife of owner Dan Snyder, has been named co-CEO of the franchise, the team announced Tuesday. Mrs. Snyder becomes one of just a few females to ever serve in such capacity around the league.
“Tanya is one of the most important figures in this organization, and that has only become more true over the last 18 months as her involvement has deepened,” co-CEO Dan Snyder said in a statement. “Publicly, many know Tanya for her incredible and impactful work in breast cancer awareness and her leadership of our charitable foundation. But behind the scenes, she has had a profound impact on the direction of the Washington Football Team. She was instrumental in our decision to evolve the brand and modernize our fan experience — including the entertainment team.”
Mrs. Snyder has headed Washington’s philanthropic efforts since the Snyders purchased the team in 1999. That includes the Washington Football Charitable Foundation, which provides support and services to more than 178,000 individuals (primarily children) annually. She also founded the “Women of Washington” (WOW) fan club, which consists of about 135,000 women and works extensively with the foundation. A breast cancer survivor, Snyder helped introduce the “Think Pink” campaign to the NFL 22 years ago.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Just for starters, Barnwell appears to have forgotten that Blake Bell has returned to the Chiefs. Should Kelce be injured, Bell is far more likely to step in than Keizer — who might not make the final roster in September. And even that presumes that the Chiefs won’t believe Gray is ready to fill in. From their statements, they seem to think he will contribute in 2021 — but since Gray a rookie, it’s fair to be cautious about taking their confidence at face value. Barnwell’s point still holds, though: if Kelce is unavailable, there could be a significant drop-off. A year from now, it will be interesting to see how pundits like Barnwell see the situation.
Concerning Hill, Barnwell appears not to have noticed that with Sammy Watkins as the second wideout, the Chiefs have essentially been in that same situation for much of the last three seasons. Thankfully, Hill has missed only four games during that time. Should he miss significant time in 2021, the players available to replace him may not be household names outside of Kansas City — but they will still have Mahomes throwing them the ball. That should count for something.
Owners believe that, sooner rather later, the average, random team will be worth $8 billion to $10 billion, thanks to legalized gambling. https://t.co/jrt4nMnBKN— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 30, 2021
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