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Arrowheadlines: The Chiefs are the NFL’s 22nd most valuable team

Chiefs headlines for Friday, August 6

NFL: Super Bowl LIV-Kansas City Chiefs Champions Parade Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

The NFL’s Most Valuable Teams 2021: Average Team Value Soars To $3.5 Billion As League Shrugs Off Pandemic Year | Forbes

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Value: $2.94 billion

One-Year Change: 29%

Owner: Glazer family

Operating Income: $1.9 million

22. Kansas City Chiefs

Value: $2.93 billion

One-Year Change: 17%

Owner: Hunt family

Operating Income: $9 million

2021 NFL Survivor Squad: Building a 32-man juggernaut with one pick from every single team | CBS Sports

Head coach: Andy Reid (Chiefs)

Last year (ineligible): Bill Belichick (Patriots)

If your team can’t be coached by the best coach in NFL history, you might as well get yourself arguably the coach doing the best job right now. Reid has routinely raised the efficiency of his passers throughout his career. He’s aggressive in all the right ways you want a modern NFL coach to be. He knows what wins offensively in the NFL and is unafraid to commit fully to just putting his best players in position to succeed and keeping the game on their shoulders. That’s exactly the kind of coach we want here.

2021 NFL training camps: 14 first-stringers who could lose starting jobs | NFL.com

Juan Thornhill

Kansas City Chiefs · S

A standout as a rookie, Thornhill never quite looked the same in 2020 after returning from a torn ACL. Even before leaving practice this week with a groin injury, Thornhill was lining up behind Daniel Sorensen on the Chiefs’ safety depth chart.

Five Observations from Thursday’s Practice | Chiefs Training Camp 8/5 | The Mothership

3. Chris Jones deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage in team drills.

Much has been made about Jones’ new role as an edge rusher heading into the upcoming season – and for good reason - but it’s important to remember that he’ll still line up quite a bit as an interior defensive lineman this year, and he demonstrated the value of that versatility during Thursday’s practice.

Lining up as an inside lineman during a team drill in the red zone, Jones shed a block and got his hands up just as Mahomes unloaded a pass, deflecting the ball at the line of scrimmage and thwarting the play.

It was a great example of just how disruptive Jones can be. In fact, the two-time Pro Bowler has defended 20 passes since 2017, which are the fifth-most among all defensive linemen in that span.

Stefon Diggs tops list of five who could break Calvin Johnson’s receiving record in 2021 | CBS Sports

One of these players could become the NFL’s first 2,000-yard receiver

3. Tyreek Hill

In 15 games last season, the explosive Hill caught 15 touchdowns while recording 1,276 receiving yards. Hill is capable of putting up monster stat lines, as evidenced by his 269-yard, three-touchdown performance in Kansas City’s regular-season win over Tampa Bay. If he can improve his catch rate (he caught 64.4% of his targets in 2020), Hill could definitely challenge Johnson’s record in 2021.

With Sammy Watkins now in Baltimore, look for Hill to receive more targets in 2021. Hill will continue to compete for targets with Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ leader in receptions and receiving yards last season.

Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs, Bears’ Jaylon Johnson among cornerbacks set for Year 2 breakout in 2021 | NFL.com

4 L’Jarius Sneed

Kansas City Chiefs

Year 1: 9 games | 3 interceptions | 7 passes defensed | 2 sacks | 41 tackles

Sneed spent 2019 as a free safety at Louisiana Tech but returned to his natural position of cornerback in 2020 — and he proceeded to become a surprise starter in Kansas City, working both in the slot and outside, with only a midseason collarbone injury slowing him down. The fourth-rounder will surely continue to benefit from the tutelage of consummate pro Tyrann Mathieu as he further develops his game. Sneed can also blitz off the edge, as demonstrated by the two sacks he logged during the 2020 playoffs.

Ten KC Chiefs who deserve to be in Pro Football Hall of Fame | Arrowhead Addict

No. 9: OLB Tamba Hali

Tamba Hali was a ferocious pass rusher during the 2010s. As a defensive end, Hali collected 18.5 sacks in his first three years. After the Chiefs transitioned to a 3-4 defensive front, Hali evolved into an elite pass rusher as an outside linebacker.

In 2010, Hali came away with double-digit sacks for the first time in his career, finishing with an AFC-leading 14.5 sacks. As a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time second-team All-Pro player, Hali was successful in beating pass-blockers and getting to the quarterback and one of the best to do it during his time in the NFL. Hali finished his career with 89.5 sacks, which is the second most in Chiefs history, being behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.

In order to be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a player or coach must be retired for five seasons. Hali’s last season was 2017, but he did not announce his retirement until 2021. It may be safe to assume he won’t be eligible until 2026.

Around the NFL

Six preseason NFL trades that teams should make: Imagining deals for Nick Foles, Xavien Howard, more | ESPN.com

Jaguars add a veteran weapon to help their rookie quarterback

Jacksonville Jaguars get: TE Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles get: Conditional 2022 fifth-round pick (can become a third- or fourth-round pick based on production)

Steelers use strong 2nd half to beat Cowboys 16-3 | ESPN

The Pittsburgh Steelers followed a stumbling first half with a strong final 30 minutes to beat the Dallas Cowboys 16-3 on Thursday night in the first NFL preseason game in two years.

Matthew Sexton’s 36-yard punt return early in the third quarter jump-started the Steelers, and the Cowboys never challenged after it.

Last season’s exhibition games were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So maybe the enthusiastic crowd was an indication that even for a match between teams using few regulars, the hunger for pro football has not faded.

2021 Hall of Fame Game: The good, the not so good and the ugly during Steelers’ 16-3 win over Cowboys | CBS Sports

The good

Najee Harris: The first-round pick was solid in his preseason debut. He ran seven times for 22 yards that included a 6-yard run on his first carry. His 3-yard catch on the ensuing play gave Pittsburgh its first first down. Harris, running primarily through the interior of the Steelers offensive line, had consecutive runs of 5 and 6 yards on Pittsburgh’s second possession. Harris’ one negative run was a reminder of some of the growing pains the young running back will experience while playing behind a young offensive line.

Chicago Bears TE Jimmy Graham airs frustration with NFLPA on COVID-19 testing, 17th game | ESPN

Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham vented about the NFLPA on a variety of topics Thursday, including the union’s proposal to increase the frequency of COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players and the addition of a 17th regular-season game.

“I’ve been in the league going on 12 years now, and it’s been kind of frustrating at times with them [the NFLPA],” Graham said. “I’m not going to hold back. I’m a grown man. And I wish somebody would talk to me and speak to me like a grown man and let me have a little bit of say in some things. I’m about to go onto Week 17 playing for free as well. How does that make any sense? Who even petitioned for that? I certainly didn’t.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs safety Devon Key is earning all the attention he’s getting

In recent days, Chiefs coaches and players have been praising him.

“Real smart,” said head coach Andy Reid. “He’s done a nice job on the back end there — kind of controlling things and making sure everybody is doing the right things. Then he has enough skill there where he can go make some plays.”

“I think he’s an instinctive guy,” said defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “He’s in tune to everything. We’ve got him playing a couple [of] spots just to find out what he’s all about — and I’m really impressed right now.”

Fellow safety Daniel Sorensen weighed in, too.

“[Key is] picking up the defense really well,” he said, “which is probably the first hurdle for any rookie — being able to understand the scheme and how to play in this system — and he’s done that very well.”

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