Those next steps, obviously, extend to the August practice after which I met with Mahomes, and he detailed exactly how he’s building off of what he saw on tape. He continued his thought on playing too much “backyard football” that night. “So,” Mahomes said, “I’ve been going back [working] on that. Making sure that I trust the guys around me and trust the pocket, make the read within the pocket and not try to make the big play happen.”
This tendency to, as Mahomes puts it, stop trusting his reads after hits, is something he’s said he’s always focused on fixing, but he said he noticed it particularly in that February game. Now comes fixing it. “Days like today,” he said, “we have long drive drills. We’re going 15 and 16 plays in a row of stepping up in the pocket and making the right reads and not just relying on scrambling and making all these different throws. That’s just stuff that comes with repetition and a lot of hard work that I’ve tried to put in every single year.”
Previous rank: No. 2
Does anyone else get the feeling that Patrick Mahomes is about to deliver a season for the ages? Soon to be 26, Mahomes is smack in his prime, and the makeover of the Chiefs’ offensive line should give the former MVP more time to do his magic. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will put up monster numbers per usual, but keep an eye on third-year pro Mecole Hardman, who should see more targets and nary a double-team as he steps into the role vacated by Sammy Watkins. Everyone on this offense is gonna eat.
Mahomes trails Allen at every juncture in new money despite his extension averaging $2 million more per year. This is because Mahomes’ contract is backloaded. High-end NFL contracts are usually frontloaded because of the lack of full guarantees.
With Mahomes’ deal, 43.9% of new money is in the first five new contract years (2022 through 2026) while $252.25 million of the $450 million (56.1%) is in the final five new years for an average of $50.45 million per year. In a neutral deal, one that’s neither frontloaded or backloaded, 50% of Mahomes’ new money or $225 million would be in the first five new years.
Allen’s deal is structured more conventionally. At the halfway point of his extension (after the first three new years), Allen has 53.47% of his new money.
Allen is the new NFL standard after the first three, first four and first five new years. At each of these respective points Allen’s extension averages $45,981,802, $44,111,351 and $43,289,081 per year. Obviously, beating Mahomes after six new years was a necessity for Allen’s camp considering his extension averages $50,000 more per year.
900.5 rushing yards: Over (-115) or Under (-115)
Our pick: Over
Edwards-Helaire should be the lead running back, but the Chiefs run enough gadget plays with Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman to take away from his production. Jerick McKinnon is now in the fold as well and Darrel Williams always seems to get some carries. Don’t expect a huge workload for Edwards-Helaire, but his yards per carry should improve and the additional game will help him reach the over on this line.
7.5 rushing TDs: Over (110) or Under (-120)
Our pick: Under
Unless Kansas City’s receivers have an uncanny ability to run out of bounds at the one-yard line, Edwards-Helaire probably isn’t going to hit the over here. The Chiefs are built around Patrick Mahomes and throwing the football. Expect that to take center stage when it comes to scoring. Edwards-Helaire should improve on his touchdown total, but eight seems a bit high.
Running Backs to Target (and Avoid)
GO GET HIM!
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (ADP: 17.5, RB13)
Last year, Edwards-Helaire was overvalued, and his top-10 price tag led the young back to be labeled a fantasy disappointment despite tallying 1,100 total yards. Now, Edwards-Helaire is being undervalued as a high-end RB2. Whether it’s as a second starter in the backfield or as a first back for teams that go with another position in Round 1, Edwards-Helaire is possibly my favorite Round 2 target in 2021.
Kansas City Chiefs picked as best fit for former Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Everson Griffen
With the regular season quickly approaching, teams around the NFL are beginning to figure out which areas of their roster still need some improvement.
For the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that has made it all the way to the Super Bowl in each of the last two seasons, they could actually use some additional pass-rushing help.
Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark is currently in some hot water after getting arrested this offseason and he could be facing a suspension from the NFL this year. Without Clark on the field, Kansas City’s ability to get to the opposing quarterback goes way down.
To help make up for Clark possibly having to miss some time this season, Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton believes Griffen would be a good player for the Chiefs to add to their roster. In fact, Moton thinks Kansas City is the “best fit” for the former Vikings defensive end.
30 — Jessie Bates III, Bengals S
Austin Ekeler is awesome for the Chargers when healthy, but Bates has quietly emerged as a steady playmaker.
31 — Justin Simmons, Broncos S
Look out for Antoine Winfield Jr. down the road.
32 — Tyrann Mathieu, Chiefs S
Apparently the 30s are made for rangy safeties. Seahawks RB Chris Carson gets honorable mention.
Around the NFL
The 31-year-old Smith has faced alcohol and legal issues for much of his NFL career, including an arrest in April on a second-degree battery charge in Louisiana. That incident occurred shortly after the Seahawks signed him to a minimum-salary deal hoping that he could keep his personal life in order and continue his career revival, which began last season with the Dallas Cowboys after he missed the previous four seasons because of NFL suspensions.
Smith has been staying in a sober living home in Seattle, as he did last season in Dallas. While speaking with reporters on July 31 for the first time since signing with the Seahawks, Smith said his “tremendous support staff” helps him with his ongoing attempt to remain sober.
2) Sam Darnold
Here’s the thing: We have no idea if Sam Darnold is A) a good quarterback or B) a wandering rube who somehow tricked the Jets into paying him $30 million guaranteed before landing with the Panthers. His collapse in Gotham was a trick to decipher because of the horrid coaching, bare-cupboard talent and ominous green-black cloud that — up until now — has blocked out the sun in Florham Park ever since Joe Namath starred alongside Ann-Margret in the 1970 film C.C. and Company. (This is a real thing: From 1970 through 1976, Namath never won more than seven games in a season for the Jets. Everything since has been mostly foul to the senses.)
We do know this: Carolina’s talent puts Darnold in a far brighter scenario. Christian McCaffrey is back in the fold. D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are quality targets. Buzzy second-rounder Terrace Marshall Jr. has turned heads while the Darnold-Dan Arnold connection appears to be more than an opportunity for clunky wordplay gags. The O-line is suspect, but play-caller Joe Brady has artistic flair. I sense we’re going to see a different version of Sam, one freed from the Adam Gase mad scientist act.
The Colts announced last week that Wentz and Nelson would be sidelined five to 12 weeks after operations to repair the same foot injury.
Wentz, who had surgery Aug. 2, will start his rehab next week but was at the Colts’ training camp practice Tuesday without a walking boot and without limping.
The Colts hope to have a better indication of both players’ rehabilitation status once they are two weeks post-surgery.
With Wentz out, sixth-round rookie Sam Ehlinger has split the first-team practice snaps with Jacob Eason and will continue to do so in Thursday and Friday’s joint practices with the Carolina Panthers.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. Lucas Niang starting at right tackle
In Mike Remmers’ injury-induced absence, (still) rookie Lucas Niang has been running with the first-team offense — along with veteran Andrew Wylie. Instead of keeping Remmers at the starter on the depth chart, they have listed Niang there — with Remmers as the backup left tackle.
Remmers was taking a vast majority of the first-team repetitions when he was healthy — so even as he continues to recover, it’s easy to slot him there on the depth chart. That said, Remmers is unlikely to play in the first preseason game — so this five-man unit just might be the one that will first take the field on Saturday.
A tweet to make you think
Thanos > The Avengers. We asked Mecole some hard-hitting questions after practice. pic.twitter.com/drg0uu5bKd— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 11, 2021