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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs named a potential landing spot for Michael Thomas should Saints seek a trade

Chiefs headlines for Tuesday, August 10

New Orleans Saints v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The latest

Michael Thomas rumors: Ranking seven potential landing spots if Saints look to trade disgruntled receiver | CBS Sports

5. Chiefs

Can you imagine? We can, because somehow the Chiefs consistently find ways to remain video-game dominant. A little salary cap maneuvering would be in order, but it’s not like Kansas City couldn’t find a spot for him, even if just for one year: Tyreek Hill can play inside and outside, and while Mecole Hardman has flashed, Andy Reid’s offense could still use a more proven outside target.

Ranking active NFL QBs by shot at Hall of Fame: Tom Brady and 11 others’ chances of future enshrinement | CBS Sports

Safe bets

Patrick Mahomes

KC • QB • 15

In almost any other scenario, it would be insane to safely predict a Hall of Fame induction after just four seasons, one of which included just one game appearance. Mahomes, however, is otherworldly. Not only because of his backyard style and rocket arm but historic early-career deliverance. At 25, he’s already won NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP, led the league with 50 TD passes and appeared in a second Super Bowl. He’s already set a new standard for modern-day passing, and he might just be getting started.

NFL season projections 2021: Win-loss records, playoff and Super Bowl chances from Football Power Index | ESPN

The Chiefs rank No. 1 in just about every projection you can imagine, including projected wins (11.5) and chances to reach the playoffs (89%), win their division (72%), be the No. 1 seed in the AFC (32%) and reach the Super Bowl (30%).

With a 19% chance to win the Super Bowl, the Chiefs are a bit above average for the league’s favorite heading into the season. FPI has created preseason projections every year since 2015, and the 2021 Chiefs rank third out of the seven favorites, behind the 2017 Patriots (32%) and 2020 Chiefs (22%). Both of those teams went on to lose in the Super Bowl.

2021 NFL training camps: 21 things we learned after first 2 weeks | NFL.com

12) Josh Allen’s contract ultimately had more guarantees than Patrick Mahomes’ deal with the Chiefs, looking like a five-year, $164.5 million contract before Buffalo could realistically move on. While that’s riskier for the Bills in some respects, it also gives them a ton of leverage in any future Allen renegotiations. If Allen remains a top-10 quarterback, he will be underpaid quite early in the contract. I’m a little surprised that young quarterbacks are so willing to lock in their flexibility long-term like this when the clearest path to the highest amount of money — with the most leverage — is a shorter contract like Kirk Cousins’ pact or even Prescott’s deal.

Garth Brooks calls Arrowhead a ‘true definition of home field advantage’ for Chiefs | Kansas City Star

Brooks retweeted a photo of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his mother, Randi, when they previously met Brooks. The picture appears to be from 2000 when Brooks was in the New York Mets training camp to raise money for his Touch ‘Em All Foundation.

Mahomes would have been 4 years old at the time and his dad was pitching for the Mets.

In his message, Brooks wrote that Arrowhead must give the Chiefs a big boost from the fans.

Every Travis Kelce touchdown will mean so much more than six points

Around the NFL

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson doesn’t want to ‘dwell’ on vaccination decision | NFL.com

Lamar Jackson is back from his second bout with COVID-19 and is happy to return to the Ravens before the start of their preseason slate.

His time away did not come without frustration.

“Again?! It was crazy,” Jackson said when asked how he reacted to the news he’d caught COVID-19 a second time. “I was heartbroken. Because I wasn’t looking forward to that at all, right before camp, it was like ‘not again. Not right now.’ But it’s over with.”

Three bold predictions for Patriots in 2021: Damien Harris enjoys breakout season out of the backfield | CBS Sports

Mac Jones starts a playoff game

The torch will eventually be passed to Mac Jones. While I do believe Cam Newton will be an improved signal-caller from what we saw a year ago, whenever the kid is ready, it’s in the best interest of the franchise to get him in there to begin this new era. With that in mind, a midseason change should be expected at some point, especially if the offense’s ceiling continues to be capped with Newton under center. There will certainly be some bumps along the way with Jones, but New England’s offensive line, defense and coaching should be enough to squeak them into the postseason as a wild card contender, meaning that Jones will get a taste of playoff football very early in his development. As for when the change could happen, here are three spots in the Patriots schedule where it may make sense.

QB Deshaun Watson back practicing with Houston Texans after 5-day absence | ESPN

Watson, who reported to camp on July 25 after requesting a trade in January, practiced for the first five days of training camp and then was not on the field for the next five days.

Less than two months after his trade request, the first of 23 lawsuits were filed against Watson. Watson currently faces 22 active lawsuits with allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. Had Watson not shown up for training camp, he would have been fined $50,000 for each day of training camp he missed.

Texans head coach David Culley has refused to give details about Watson’s participation in practice, often saying, “nothing has changed” with the quarterback.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Mecole Hardman adjusted his mindset for the critical season he’s facing

As the team’s training camp got underway at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he was seeing something different about Hardman.

“With Mecole, I don’t know the best way [to put it],” he said. “The maturity — of how he practices, of how he goes about his business — is completely different. We’ve always seen the talent. We’ve always seen the speed — the way he’s able to make plays happen — but him being so comfortable with the offense and with just how we do things, I think it’s going to take his game to a new level.”

Reminded of Mahomes’ remarks when he met with reporters after Monday’s practice, Hardman gave his own perspective.

“[It’s] my third year [after] coming into the league,” he noted. “[I’m] getting older — and when you get older comes maturity. So I think my mindset when I came in here was different than the past two years. So I guess he’s just looking at somebody that’s eager to get down and [get] working and playing — trying to solidify himself on the field.”

Taco Charlton could be primed for a breakout season in 2021

Charlton made his presence known in multiple games in 2020. But his biggest roadblock remains his nagging injuries. The ankle injury he suffered last season is reportedly still not 100%.

Defensive line play goes a long way towards a team’s overall success — and good pass rushers are at an all-time premium in the NFL. Former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed’s presence is allowing the Chiefs to sometimes move Chris Jones outside and rush the passer from multiple spots — which is a good thing for both the defense and Charlton.

If he is able to nab the starting job, he will benefit greatly from Jones’ newfound versatility. Due to his past health issues, Charlton’s reps must be limited so he can get through a full season. There is depth — and plenty of it — along the defensive line, but if there is an All-Pro player like Jones who can reduce the wear and tear on Charlton, that is a great situation.

This is because his pass-rushing ability was missed in the latter part of 2020. In the six games he played, he left a big enough mark for the front office to bring him back for another season.

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