3 - Kansas City Chiefs
Previous rank: No. 2
The Chiefs are rolling the dice by parting ways with a respected veteran leader like Tyrann Mathieu, but they are banking on the younger, potentially less expensive Justin Reid filling the void. The wide receiver room, meanwhile, received a nice upgrade with the acquisition of JuJu Smith-Schuster, a rugged and dependable wideout who was trapped in Big Ben purgatory in recent seasons. Smith-Schuster produced at a Pro Bowl level early in his career, and now he gets to play with one of the best quarterbacks on the planet against defenses that will be preoccupied by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Translation: JuJu gonna eat.
After the first week of the 2022 NFL free agency period, it’s clear that one need still remains for the Chiefs: the pass rush. Kansas City ranked 27th against the pass during the 2021 regular season and one of the big reasons for that was the fact that too often, the defense couldn’t get home to the quarterback. The Chiefs registered one of the highest-pressure rates and blitz percentages in the league, though they recorded the fourth-fewest sacks. This suggests that the Kansas City was able to put pressure on opposing signal-callers, though they only really had success when they brought extra defenders on the blitz. The Chiefs simply didn’t have the secondary to consistently get away with that- and they may not be much better in that area next year if free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu walks out the door.
Don’t expect Landry to sign with the Bills or Chiefs
Following Landry’s release, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Chiefs and Bills were interested. Landry immediately being linked to the two teams with the shortest odds to win the Super Bowl was not exactly surprising, especially given their wide receiver situations.
However, the Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster, and the Bills recently signed Jamison Crowder. This was on top of extending Isaiah McKenzie. I feel comfortable crossing both of these teams off the list as Landry would now be quite the redundant asset.
Tuesday on ESPN’s “Get Up,” former Ravens and Jets linebacker Bart Scott made his way, way too early prediction for the 2022 AFC playoff field.
Two AFC West teams made the list, and the Chiefs weren’t one of them. Oddly, Scott had the Chargers ranked higher than the Broncos on his AFC Top 5 list, but he picked Denver to win the AFC West.
When the three other co-hosts reminded Scott that the Chiefs have quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a loaded roster and coach Andy Reid. Scott defended his pick by taking a closer look at the Chiefs’ schedule. He said the Chiefs have to face those AFC West teams that have reloaded (he also incorrectly noted John Elway brought Russell Wilson to Denver).
But Scott’s central argument was the Chiefs’ NFC West opponents in 2022. “They have the NFC West,” Scott said, noting the NFL’s rotating scheduling. “So they have the Rams, that’s going to be a tough matchup. They had the Arizona Cardinals, that’s gonna be a tough matchup. They have the San Francisco 49ers. If they have Jimmy G (Garoppolo) that will be a tough matchup.”
EDGE RUSHER PENN STATE
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Kansas City retained pass rusher Frank Clark on a reworked deal, but the Chiefs can’t stop there in building their defensive line. Ebiketie is an ascending playmaker off the edge who could rotate into the pass-rush rotation early on.
30 - Kansas City Chiefs
Penn State · Edge · Senior (RS)
The Chiefs need more pass-rush pop. Ebiketie can win with speed or power.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Boye Mafe DL
This is a player on the rise, a speed rusher, which is something the Chiefs need. He is raw, but the talent is there.
Around the NFL
Former New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead is signing a five-year, $75 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. The deal can reach up to $87.5 million with incentives, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.
Ranked atop the NFL’s 101 free agents list, Armstead immediately bolsters the Tua Tagovailoa-quarterbacked Dolphins offense.
When he’s on the field, Armstead is one of the finest left tackles in the NFL. Heading into his age-31 season, Armstead should have plenty of good-to-great campaigns ahead of him to anchor a Miami offensive line that has been a weakness for the club in recent years.
The deal includes $11 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Jenna Laine, and it could reach $24 million with incentives.
Fournette ranked sixth among all NFL running backs with 1,266 yards from scrimmage, averaging a career-best 4.5 yards per carry, when the Bucs placed him on injured reserve with a hamstring injury after Week 15. He missed the wild-card game and returned for the Bucs’ divisional-round loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
After signing his second one-year deal with the Bucs last offseason, Fournette, 27, rushed for 812 yards and scored 10 total touchdowns (eight in the regular season). He also caught 69 passes for 454 yards.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
The Chiefs originally drafted Robinson, 27, in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-1, 203-pound receiver has played more than 50% of the offensive snaps in four out of the last five seasons, including the last three in a row.
Following his four-year rookie contract, Robinson signed back-to-back veteran salary benefit (VSB) deals with the Chiefs. He earned $2.3 million in those contracts, but the Chiefs had a cap hit of just over $1 million. He had been seeking a more lucrative deal both times but ended up back with the Chiefs.
In 17 games and 10 starts in 2021, Robinson had 25 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns. If he lands with the Raiders in free agency, he will finish his Chiefs career with 97 games played (42 starts), 145 catches for 1,679 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 13 playoff games (seven starts), he had 14 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown.
Robinson has been a solid player for Kansas City, especially when it comes to durability, but he has failed to break out into an above-average contributor in six seasons. The Chiefs already have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman to feed, and now with JuJu Smith-Schuster entering the fold, Robinson conceivably understands the targets are likely to be heavily limited in 2022.
A tweet to make you think
I’ve always believed this chip needed to fall to get the Orlando Brown talks cooking. https://t.co/OPnFBrpPxB— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) March 22, 2022