Kansas City Chiefs (12-5)
Patrick Mahomes had his first ‘human’ season, and still had the Kansas City Chiefs up 21-3 in the AFC Championship Game.
The point? The floor for Mahomes, and this Chiefs team, is so stupidly high that it’s hard to imagine them not going one better next year if they just sort out a few things.
“Several things. First of all, when you leave coordinating, you always have that hunger to get back and do it,” House told reporters. “I enjoy the part of the game, the scheme part, the building of a team, the building of a staff. I enjoy when you lock arms and get in a room together and you can put together a plan and I enjoy the development piece.
“It was fun for three years in Kansas City to go back and work with (Steve Spagnuolo) and learn from Coach (Andy) Reid. Obviously, you know, winning at a high level. At the end of the day, there was a hunger to come back and be a defensive coordinator. I miss the part of the relationships with the players. I had a great linebacker room in Kansas City, great guys. But one of the things that I did miss, I have four kids of my own and I missed the opportunity for my kids to get to know the people I was spending time with. Coming back to college affords you to do that.”
2022 Salary Cap Number: $26.3 million
2022 Compensation: $19.5 million
2022 Dead Money: $13.6 million
2022 Salary Cap Savings: $12.7 million
Frank Clark hasn’t been the pass rushing force the Chiefs expected when he signed a five-year, $104 million contract with $62.305 million in guarantees in connection with his trade from the Seahawks for a 2019 first round pick and a 2020 second round shortly before the 2019 Draft. His 18.5 sacks in three seasons with the Chiefs are the same as Bears edge rusher Robert Quinn had during the 2021 season.
The Chiefs moved on from Anthony Hitchens, who Chicago Bears fans have to at least consider the possibility that he will be the free agent that signs to play next to Smith.
This is because Hitchens started his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. His linebacker coach in 2014 just so happened to be Matt Eberflus. From 2014 through 2017 Eberflus and Anthony Hitchens were in the same room together.
You could assume that there is mutual respect, and considering Hitchens was drafted into the linebacker room, Eberflus approved of him.
When Eberflus moved on, it was not long until Hitchens moved on as well. This time Hitchens signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, do you know who else was working with the Chiefs at that time? The Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles was in the college scouting side, but in 2019 worked Pro Personnel, which meant evaluating Hitchens directly.
5. Orlando Brown Jr.
This one is unlikely but on the off chance that the Chiefs don’t extend Orlando Brown Jr. and he does indeed hit the market, the Bengals would be the perfect fit for his services.
Bengals fans are familiar with Brown, as he spent the first three years of his career in Baltimore and therefore faced Cincy twice a year. The Ravens traded Brown to Kansas City last offseason in exchange for a first-round pick and after some initial struggles, Brown finished the season strong on the left side for the Chiefs.
Kansas City didn’t give up what they did to have Brown for one year. They’ll get an extension worked out with him but if he hits the market, Cincinnati has to go all-in on the guy. He’d be the perfect solution to protect Joe Burrow’s blindside for years to come.
Around the NFL
Burrough’s family announced the death, saying he died at his home in Jacksonville, Florida.
Burrough was the 10th overall pick in 1970 by New Orleans, but played just one season for the Saints before being traded to the Oilers. He spent the next 11 seasons in Houston, where he was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1975 and 1977.
Burrough led the NFL in receiving yards in 1975 with a career-high 1,063. He piled up 6,906 yards receiving and 47 touchdowns with the Oilers, helping lead them during their Luv Ya Blue period where they twice reached the AFC Championship Game. The Oilers are now the Tennessee Titans.
Cornerback · Age 29
2021 record: 8-9
Peters’ 2022 cap number: $15,500,000
Peters’ dead cap number: $5,500,000
Ravens’ estimated cap space: $8,768,345
The Ravens currently project to have under $10 million in cap space, meaning they’ll likely have to make some tricky decisions. While Peters’ 74.5 passer rating allowed since 2016 ranks fifth in the NFL, per NGS, he just missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL. And his cap hit is the 11th-highest among all cornerbacks. So I have to imagine Baltimore, one of the savvier franchises in the league when it comes to finances, at least revisits this deal to create some cap space.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Running backs Darrel Williams, Jerrick McKinnon and Derrick Gore (ERFA); fullback Michael Burton
While all three running backs sometimes played key roles for Kansas City in 2021, none of them are likely to be highly sought-after free agents.
Even with his playoff heroics, McKinnon’s age and injury history will prevent him from receiving a contract offer the Chiefs cannot match. With Williams’ experience in the offense, he probably has more value to the Chiefs than he would to other teams.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs can keep Gore off the market by extending an exclusive rights tender to him. That would keep him from negotiating with other teams, but would not guarantee him a salary if he fails to earn a roster spot.
In 2021, Burton proved to be a reliable blocker and short-yardage option. The Chiefs are likely to be interested in a reunion — and with few teams rostering fullbacks, Burton will probably have very few options.
Prediction: One of McKinnon or Williams returns, the Chiefs extend an offer to Gore and then sign a low-cost free-agent running back. Burton returns on a minimum salary.
A tweet to make you think
Rob Gronkowski:— NFL UK (@NFLUK) February 24, 2022
▪️ Age: 32
▪️ 4x Super Bowl champ
▪️ 4x First-team All-Pro
▪️ 5x Pro Bowl
▪️ Most rec TDs in a season by a TE
▪️ Age: 32
▪️ 1x Super Bowl champ
▪️ 3x First-team All-Pro
▪️ 7x Pro Bowl
▪️ Most rec yds in a season by a TE
Who you got in their prime? pic.twitter.com/Eog9E4anTl