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Arrowheadlines: The AFC West keeps getting stronger

Chiefs headlines for Friday, March 11

Kansas City Chiefs v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The latest

How Khalil Mack fits with the Chargers | Bolts from the Blue (LA Chargers SB Nation site)

For starters, Mack has been a stud at rushing the passer for his entire eight-year NFL career. After four sacks his rookie season in Oakland, Mack went on to record double-digit sacks for the next four consecutive seasons, including a career-high 15 in 2015.

During his time with both the Raiders and Bears, Mack played in both a 4-3 and 3-4 defensive front. He has shown on numerous occasions he can rush from a three-point stance or as a stand-up rusher. During the 2016 season where he was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, he was also named a First-Team All-Pro at BOTH defensive end and outside linebacker.

That’s absolutely unheard of.

So in terms of Mack’s schematic fit with the Chargers, you don’t have to think very hard about it. He’s going to be a bookend of the pass rush opposite Joey Bosa in what should be the league’s best pass-rushing duo from the second the step on the field together. Of course, this means the team is either not going to re-sign Uchenna Nwosu or they hope to use him as an impactful rotational player up front.

3 ideal Chandler Jones landing spots in NFL free agency | Sports Naut

Jones gives Kansas City Chiefs an elite pass rusher

Jones landing with the Kansas City Chiefs may be a long shot currently since the fellas from KC are $5 million over the cap. But that could change sooner than later. Especially since the Arizona star would help cure a defense that has cost the team a Super Bowl in 2020, and a return trip this past season.

For as good as the Chiefs offense has been with superstar QB Patrick Maholmes, their defense has nearly been the complete opposite at times in recent seasons. In 2021, they were fourth-worst in sacks, gave up the sixth-most yards, and gave up the fourth-most plays of 40-yards or more. Sure, that might also be a product of poor tackling, but Jones is pretty good at that too.

AFC free agency needs: Bengals, Titans, Ravens among teams that must address offensive line | NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs

2021 record: 12-5 · 1st in AFC West

Needs: DB, DL, WR

Cap space: -$5,990,465

Re-signing Tyrann Mathieu is the priority. Getting it done is a different matter. What the multifaceted safety brings to the table makes the Chiefs’ defense function. If K.C. loses him to a higher bidder, it would create a massive hole. Corner is also an area of concern with Mike Hughes and Charvarius Ward heading to free agency. Sticking with the defense, how the Chiefs replace Melvin Ingram’s production will be key after he became a crucial cog following the midseason trade. On offense, finding a productive second-fiddle to Tyreek Hill is a need. Sorry, but continually praying Josh Gordon finally finds the fountain of youth, ain’t it. Last year, the Chiefs tried to lure JuJu Smith-Schuster to K.C. We’ll see if they succeed in such an endeavor this time around.

NFL free agency 2022: Top players available, best fits, deal predictions, teams to watch, quarterbacks who could sign big contracts, more | ESPN

Which free agents will break the bank?

Tyrann Mathieu, S: Named to three consecutive Pro Bowls, Mathieu is one of the top safeties and perhaps the best leader on the market. And despite being 30 years old when the 2022 season begins, he should have several more productive years left. — Seifert

One Buccaneers Free Agency Target from Each AFC West Team | The Pewter Plank

Kansas City Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu – S

Tampa Bay’s secondary needs some juice. Jordan Whitehead, Andrew Adams, and Carlton Davis are all hitting the free agency market, and the Bucs could certainly use a tremendous tone-setting player to lead whatever the defense looks like when the season starts. And Tyrann Mathieu is that player.

He’s passionate, fiery, smart, and most importantly he still plays at a very high level. He has been the anchor of a much-improved Chiefs defense these past several years, and is likely looking to sign with a team that can use his talents to get him back to the big game. The Bucs can be that team.

Without the impassioned veteran leadership of the insanely competitive Tom Brady, the Bucs need another player like that to keep the energy up and to make big plays. There has been no one better than Mathieu at that in his storied career.

To Jason Licht and the Bucs, the only hesitation should be price. If the price is reasonable, Mathieu would be a game-changing addition to the Buccaneers’ defense in 2022.

2022 NFL Mock Draft: What Seahawks, Commanders do in wake of Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz trades | CBS Sports

Treylon Burks WR

Kansas City

Burks is an interesting case. He did not test well in vertical speed, explosion or change of direction. We can talk about running the gauntlet and other on-field drills, but those raw athletic testing results are going to be a bit concerning for teams. Do I think his talent is any different today than it was two weeks ago? No, but when everyone is talking about the wide receiver group being clustered, teams will rely on testing results to break ties. It could result in Burks going later than what many initially expected, and Kansas City is not asking too many questions.

Around the NFL

Darius Leonard laments Colts looking to start fifth different QB in five years: ‘Here we go again’ | NFL.com

“Here we go again!” Leonard wrote on Wednesday. “About to be 5 years with the Colts and 5 different QBs! Thank you Carson for everything this year my guy! Wish you nothing but the best!”

In 2018, Andrew Luck started 16 games under center. In 2019, after the QB’s stunning retirement, it was Jacoby Brissett for 15 starts. In 2020, Philip Rivers (16 starts) moved in. And Wentz started all 17 games in 2021.

Cowboys having active trade conversations involving tackle La’el Collins | NFL.com

Collins has been a productive tackle when on the field, but has struggled to remain available in the last two seasons. Collins missed all of 2020 due to injury, landing on injured reserve in early September, and was suspended five games in 2021 for violating the league’s policy and program on substances of abuse.

When he hasn’t been forced out of action, Collins has been an important part of the Cowboys’ offensive line. Collins has graded at 80 or better, per Pro Football Focus, in each of the last two seasons in which he’s played (2019 and 2021), showing premier ability in the run game and serving as a solid tackle when it comes to pass protection.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

5 reasons Chiefs fans can look forward to Russell Wilson on the Broncos

1. Iron sharpens iron

The Chiefs have now won six consecutive AFC West championships. Kansas City has appeared in four straight AFC championship games — all of them at home — winning two of them. And the team has split its two Super Bowl appearances during these streaks.

In the last four seasons, the Chiefs are 50-15 against the rest of the division. There’s no doubt that the team’s dominance against its division opponents — which under the NFL’s scheduling formula, account for six of every team’s games — has been one of the primary reasons that in these seasons, Kansas City has entered the postseason with nothing less than the AFC’s second seed.

With a better Broncos team, getting that kind of postseason placement is bound to be more difficult. But in each of the last two seasons, the Super Bowl winner has not been one of the top two seeds in their conference. It’s possible to argue that with stronger competition during the regular season, the Chiefs will be better positioned to succeed in the postseason. For fans who have been arguing that nothing less than a Super Bowl victory represents a successful campaign, this could be welcome news.

A tweet to make you think

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