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Arrowheadlines: History is repeating itself as the Chiefs look to youth

Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, March 16

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

Kansas City Chiefs’ move away from Tyrann Mathieu follows a pattern | ESPN

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Replacing Mathieu, who turns 30 in May, with Reid fits general manager Brett Veach’s pattern of big-dollar free-agent signings. The Chiefs throw their significant free-agent money at younger players theoretically on the rise and not older players who have already been at the top.

Since Veach was promoted to GM in 2017, the Chiefs’ major free-agent signings or trade acquisitions had one thing in common when they arrived in Kansas City: their age. Receiver Sammy Watkins was 24 when he joined the Chiefs. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens was 25, Mathieu himself was 26. Defensive end Frank Clark was 25, offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. 24. Joe Thuney was 28 but as an offensive linemen, he can be expected to play well into his 30s.

In many cases, those players replaced aging stars. Hitchens replaced Derrick Johnson. Mathieu replaced Eric Berry, Clark replaced Justin Houston, Brown replaced Eric Fisher.

Every NFL team’s greatest free agent signing: Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Drew Brees headline all-time list | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs — QB Len Dawson

The Chiefs have a long history of successful free agent acquisitions that include Tyrann Mathieu (2019), Marcus Allen (1993), Emmitt Thomas (1966), and Priest Holmes (2001). But the top spot goes to Dawson, who attempted just 45 passes during his first five NFL seasons. After being a backup in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Dawson signed with the AFL’s Texans (re-named the Chiefs the following season) in 1962. Dawson won league MVP that year while leading Kansas City to its first of three AFL titles. Dawson, who led the NFL in completion percentage seven times, led the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl IV, the last game played before the AFL-NFL merger. Dawson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Broncos, Chargers gain ground on AFC West, rest of conference with aggressive start to offseason | NFL.com

The Kansas City Chiefs have won the AFC West six years running, but they showed signs of slippage last season. It will be interesting to see what impact the loss of safety Tyrann Mathieu will have. Justin Reid will come in as a free agent to replace him on the field, but Mathieu brought immeasurable leadership in the locker room. And the loss of cornerback Charvarius Ward to the 49ers could be felt. There also is the issue of finding a consistent pass rush. Frank Clark signed a restructured deal this week, but his performance has fallen off every year he has been in Kansas City. Melvin Ingram, who remains unsigned, was a bigger factor in pass-rush situations last season. The question I keep coming back to with the Chiefs is, are they better able to make a defensive stand than the Broncos or Chargers, both of whose offenses should be able to keep pace with anyone? To this point, the answer is no.

2 NFL Teams Reportedly Circling In On Jarvis Landry | Cold Wire

Great Landing Spots For Landry

The Chiefs just missed out on a third consecutive Super Bowl stint.

However, they’ve been in the last four AFC Championship Games, making them the top choice for Landry’s championship hopes.

Acquiring him will give Kansas City a second receiver that will take some pressure off Tyreek Hill.

If Landry joins the Chiefs and Josh Gordon returns to his old explosive form, they will be hard to beat.

3 running backs Commanders can sign to replace J.D. McKissic | NBC Sports Washington

Jerick McKinnon

Anyone who watched the Kansas City Chiefs during the last month or so of the 2021 season saw firsthand just how impactful Jerick McKinnon can be.

During the playoffs, McKinnon stepped in as the starting running back with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams not 100% healthy. He thrived in that role, totaling 150 rushing yards on 34 carries, 14 receptions for 165 receiving yards and a touchdown over that three-game stretch.

At this point in his career, McKinnon isn’t suited to fill the RB1 role for an entire season. In Washington, he wouldn’t be asked to be the feature back, either. McKinnon has the skill set to fill McKissic’s void as the team’s pass-catching back rather nicely and shouldn’t be too expensive of a signing, either.

Around the NFL

Browns QB Baker Mayfield releases statement: ‘I have no clue what happens next’ | NFL.com

“Cleveland,

“The past 4 years have been nothing short of truly life changing since I heard my name called in the draft to go to Cleveland. This is not a message with hidden meaning. This is strictly to thank the city of Cleveland for embracing my family and me. We have made many memories and shared growing in this process through all the ups and downs. I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process. I can only control what I can, which is trusting in God’s plan throughout this process.

“I have given the franchise everything I have. That is something I’ve always done at every stage, and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap. Whatever happens.. I just want to say thank you to the fans who truly embraced who I am and the mentality that aligned so well with this city’s hard working people.

“Cleveland will always be a part of Emily and my story. And we will always be thankful for the impact it has had and will have in our lives.

Sources: Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign WR Russell Gage, acquire OG Shaq Mason from New England Patriots for draft pick | ESPN

The free-agent receiver intends to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year, $30 million contract that includes $20 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Buccaneers also addressed a major need at guard on Tuesday, acquiring Shaq Mason from the New England Patriots for a 2022 fifth-round draft pick, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.

The Buccaneers inherit the remaining two years of Mason’s contract, which calls for Mason to earn a base salary of $6.5 million in 2022 and $7.5 million in 2023.

The Buccaneers had openings at both starting guard spots after Alex Cappa agreed to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals and Ali Marpet announced his retirement.

2022 NFL free agency winners and losers, Day 2: Buccaneers find way to reload, Cowboys take massive step back | CBS Sports

Winners

Marcus Williams

Williams was the top safety in free agency, and he certainly was paid like one of the elite players on the market. Williams agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens — joining a secondary that already features Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and Chris Clark (Williams is expected to play free safety).

In terms of total value, Williams is the third-highest paid safety in football (behind Kevin Byard and Jamal Adams). The $37 million guaranteed trails only Adams for the most in the league. What’s even better for Williams is how Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald will use him in his scheme. as he can roam in center field and create more turnovers while also lining up in the box in short-yardage situations.

The Ravens have a history of prioritizing safety with Ed Reed and Eric Weddle. They were able to land Williams, who chose them over multiple suitors

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Film review: Justin Reid brings aggression, playmaking to the Chiefs defense

The basics

Reid was originally picked towards the top of the third round in the 2018 NFL Draft, reflecting a good college career at Stanford that ended as a second-team All-American. As a prospect, he had exceptional test results in the three-cone drill, broad jump, and 40-yard dash — where he earned a 4.40-second time.

That speed at 6 feet 1 and roughly 205 pounds have resulted in becoming the starting free safety in Houston for 53 of the 57 games he played there. Reid has aligned as a free safety for 57% of his career snaps, with 26% of those being in the box and 12% from the slot as well; last season, he aligned as a free safety for 70% of his snaps.

Where Reid fits in

Reid has the athleticism and football IQ to play any position an NFL team will ask a safety to play — whether that is as a free safety, strong safety, slot defender or box player that can be a help against the run or as a pass rusher.

He can competently play any of them, but his strengths would project him to play primarily as a free safety.

A tweet to make you think

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