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Arrowheadlines: Improving the pass-rush has to be an offseason priority

Chiefs headlines for Tuesday, February 22

NFL: New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

NFL offseason previews for all 32 teams: Free agents to know, big questions, 2022 draft picks and best- and worst-case scenarios | ESPN

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs finished 29th in sacks last season, and making significant improvements there will be an offseason priority. The Chiefs have a lengthy list of free agents, and combined with a tight salary-cap situation, it’s almost guaranteed significant changes are coming.

NFL MVP odds: Early look at favorites, sleepers, dark-horses | DraftKings Nation

2022 NFL MVP odds

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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs +750

Mahomes is always going to be highly ranked in the MVP odds. In his short career, he’s already put up insane numbers and even when he doesn’t, watching him play is always insane. He’s previously won the MVP and Super Bowl MVP and has some impressive weapons around him like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. His coach, Andy Reid, also loves to air the ball out and let Mahomes do what he does best. Kansas City had a slow start to the year on offense through the first six or so weeks of 2021. If he comes out the gates firing like he was in the back end of this season and the playoffs, there are few players who can beat him.

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Jets take WR at No. 10 after four pass rushers and three OTs go in first nine picks | CBS Sports

George Karlaftis EDGE

Kansas City

The defense got better over the course of the season, but the Chiefs need to do a better job getting after the quarterback. Karlaftis looks the part and flashed at times last season for Purdue, and if he can play with more consistency he could end up as a steal at this point in the draft process.

5 targets for Colts in 2022 NFL free agency | FanSided

Melvin Ingram is one free agent who may want to play for Gus Bradley again

After splitting last season initially with the Pittsburgh Steelers and then finishing up with the Kansas City Chiefs, edge rusher Melvin Ingram is once again a free agent. The longtime San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers star has had a frustrating two last two seasons. From 2015 to 2019, Ingram was guaranteed at least seven sacks annually. He has had only two in the two years since.

The former South Carolina standout will be entering his age-33 season. He has made plenty of money with the Bolts, but he is still chasing a Super Bowl ring. Not to say the Colts are any closer of doing that than any of his three previous teams, Indianapolis did hire his former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He will be replacing Matt Eberflus on that side of the ball.

With the bulk of his success having come in this defensive scheme, it would make a ton of sense for Ingram to reunite with Bradley in Indianapolis. It may not be on a long-term deal, as Reich does enter 2022 on the hot seat. However, Ingram is one good offseason from getting back to the player he once was in his prime for the Chargers. Familiarity with Bradley gets him to Indianapolis.

Tanoh Kpassagnon Was an Underrated Addition to the Saints Defense in 2021 | Saints SI

Kpassagnon had a crucial sack in the Saints Week 6 Monday night victory over the Seahawks. He had another sack in an impressive win over Tampa Bay the following week.

Over the first half of the season, Kpassagnon led the Saints in sacks. He was second only to Jordan in QB pressures.

Like the rest of the New Orleans team in 2021, Kpassagnon was not excluded by the rash of injuries that ravaged the squad. An ankle injury suffered in the Buccaneers win limited his snaps over the next two contests. The injury would shelve him for the year after a Week 10 loss to Tennessee.

Dick Vermeil Will enter the HOF as an Eagle

Around the NFL

Outgoing Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert gives QB Mason Rudolph vote of confidence | ESPN

“If we started a season today, Mason would be our starter, and we’re excited to see where that can go,” Colbert said in his annual availability with local media prior to the NFL combine. “Mason’s 5-4-1 as an NFL starter, albeit in a backup kind of role, but we’re excited to see what is next for Mason.”

XFL to be ‘petri dish’ for football innovation, prospect development as part of partnership agreement with NFL | ESPN

The NFL and XFL have reached a partnership agreement that will focus on creating innovation programs and protecting the health of players, the XFL announced Monday.

XFL officials made clear that the collaboration will not include player sharing for developmental purposes, but the alignment is notable given the growing number of alternative leagues in the football landscape.

The XFL is scheduled to resume play in February 2023 under new owners Dany Garcia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners. News of the agreement comes as a revived USFL works toward its launch April. The deal is nonexclusive and does not prevent either league from working with others moving forward.

The NFL-XFL agreement will give the NFL a “petri dish” to experiment with proposed rules, test new equipment and develop prospective officials and coaches, XFL president Russ Brandon told ESPN.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Almost half of NFL Combine invitees intend to boycott the event

According to the memo, invitees will be “restricted to secure Combine venues during their entire time in Indianapolis for their protection.” It also states that players who violate the policy “will be disqualified from further participation and sent home.”

The memo says that invitees will be allowed to bring one “medical support person” (that is, a trainer) to Combine activities. These individuals will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — and will also be required to have received the appropriate booster shots. They must also be symptom-free and wear face coverings when they are around any players.

But the memo Pelissero obtained does not say that Combine invitees are required to be vaccinated. This is consistent with their rules for NFL players in 2021: players were strongly encouraged to be vaccinated, but not required to do so. However, unvaccinated players had to follow more restrictive rules with regard to testing, masks and team travel.

Essentially, all Combine invitees — regardless of their individual vaccination status — will have to follow rules similar to those under which unvaccinated NFL players operated during the 2021 season.

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