The BUF/KC playoff game was a turning point moment in the NFL. The quality of QB play was off the charts and it had to hit home with every HC/GM/Owner. Is my QB good enough to compete with that???— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 19, 2022
Jordan Davis DL
Davis won’t provide much of anything as a pass rusher, at least not right away, but playing him on the same defensive line as Chris Jones and Frank Clark will make everyone’s life easier (and everyone else in the AFC West’s lives harder).
Safety: Tyrann Mathieu
With the Chiefs signing safety Justin Reid this week, Tyrann Mathieu’s time in Kansas City looks like it has reached its end. While the safety may be embarking on a new chapter in his career, he’s still playing at a high level, which should garner him some interest throughout the league. Mathieu put together another Pro Bowl season in 2021 where he totaled 76 tackles, had six pass breakups and three picks.
How does a team with a +14 turnover ratio in 2021 get even better? Lock down a ball-hawking safety who intercepted 13 passes on his last contract. The Indianapolis Colts defense is a unit to be reckoned with, but it can become better with Mathieu.
The Colts defended well against the run but were in the league’s bottom half against the pass. The front seven is loaded with talent. The Colts’ defensive line features DEs Kwity Paye and Yannick Ngakoue and DT DeForest Buckner. Behind them is three-time first-team All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard.
However, the secondary does not quite have that go-to guy like the other units. Mathieu gives a light safety room more depth and gives the secondary an experienced voice of leadership. The Super Bowl LIV winner would slide right into a unit with a knack for turnovers. The best part for Indianapolis? They can still outprice anyone with the most available cap space left in the league.
Justin Reid adds firepower to Chiefs defense
The Kansas City Chiefs let popular safety Tyrann Mathieu walk in free agency. However, they didn’t waste time finding his replacement. The Chiefs agreed to a three-year deal with former Houston Texans safety Justin Reid.
Reid, 25, is a talented defender and steps into a better system. He can elevate his game alongside his new supporting cast. Reid totaled 66 tackles, four passes deflections and two interceptions last season. He brings a tenacity needed with the high-level quarterbacks in the AFC West.
This could be a value signing for the Chiefs. Reid can thrive under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. He likes to mix coverages with his secondary.
Expect Reid to move across the defensive schemes. His best years are still on the horizon with the Chiefs.
“For The past 5 years, I’ve been working out and staying ready in case an opportunity to play presented itself. I’m really grateful to my trainer, who I’ve been throwing to all this time. But man, do I miss throwing to professional route runners. Who’s working?? I will pull up,” Kaepernick shared on Twitter.
At least one member of the Kansas City Chiefs has taken Kaepernick up on his offer. On Saturday, photographer Knarly Designs snapped some photos of Chiefs WR Daurice Fountain, Philadelphia Eagles WR Jalen Reagor and soon-to-be NFL draft pick Danny Gray out of Southern Methodist working with Kaepernick in Dallas, Texas.
Check it out:
Fountain, 26, came on strong for the Chiefs late last season. The team made Josh Gordon a healthy scratch several times, eventually cutting him from the 53-man roster, in favor of elevating Fountain from the practice squad. He mostly played on special teams, but with the departure of Byron Pringle and potentially Demarcus Robinson, Fountain has a big opportunity ahead of him in Kansas City next year.
Around the NFL
The Bengals are finalizing an agreement with the former Cowboys offensive tackle, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. The team later confirmed it’s a three-year deal.
With a clear offseason onus of improving the offensive line in front of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals pounced on Collins once he became a free agent.
Hours removed from Collins’ release, it was reported he would be visiting the Bengals, and he’s staying. In fact, the veteran was scheduled to leave town Sunday for another visit but the two sides struck a deal before Collins departed, Garafolo noted.
With Josh Allen the only quarterback under contract for the Bills, the team agreed to trade for Cleveland Browns backup quarterback Case Keenum in exchange for one of Buffalo’s two 2022 seventh-round picks, the Bills announced Sunday. The Bills will have eight picks remaining in the 2022 NFL draft.
The Bills are also working to re-sign quarterback Matt Barkley, sources told ESPN. Barkley, 31, was previously in Buffalo from 2018 to 2020. He spent 2021 on multiple teams with stints in Tennessee, Carolina, and Atlanta.
“I’ve got some things in the works for there,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said about the backup quarterback spot Friday. “Hopefully early next week we’ll have that resolved, but [I] do have some things. It’s an important position. I feel pretty good that we’re going to find the right fit.”
The man they call Bobby Trees is a strong fit for Tennessee’s offense.
Widely considered one of the best run-blocking wide receivers in football, Woods should fit seamlessly into the Titans’ Derrick Henry-led attack. He also has familiarity with the scheme Tennessee runs, as both the Rams and Titans utilize offshoots of the Shanahan-style offense. He’s very experienced at running the types of intermediate, in-breaking routes on which Ryan Tannehill excels, and he should be a good possession receiver complement to the explosive A.J. Brown on the opposite side.
Woods’ salary ($10 million base, $3.5 million roster bonus) is affordable, and nothing is guaranteed beyond this season. To acquire him for only a sixth-round selection next year makes this an excellent deal for Tennessee.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
As the story goes, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid got Smith-Schuster’s phone number and began texting him photos of the Lombardi Trophy. In his own playful way, Reid was telling the receiver that if he came to Kansas City, he would be provided the opportunity to win a championship.
“It’s one thing for a head coach who just won the Lombardi Trophy, and for them to text me personally, it means a lot,” said Smith-Schuster during his opening press conference as a Chief on Sunday. “Going into this year’s process, KC has been on me for the past two years. Obviously, I feel welcome here and appreciated. So, coming here and having the opportunity to play here for him is a great experience.”
This time around, Smith-Schuster chose the Chiefs, agreeing to a one-year deal with the club on Friday. The receiver explained how he’s looking forward to 2022 after a shoulder injury cost him most of his 2021 season. Playing only five regular-season games, he recorded just 15 catches for 129 yards, the lowest output of his five-year career.
Smith-Schuster rehabbed extremely hard to make it back in time for one final game in a Steelers uniform, a 42-21 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in the Wild Card Round. He had five catches for 26 yards in the return.