From our NFL Combine coverage: A look at some of the key DB storylines in free agency, including the value (money-wise and locker room-wise) of the Honey Badger. pic.twitter.com/tEsidChGJd— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2022
The Kansas City Chiefs have an important player on the defensive side of the ball that is set to hit unrestricted free agency in safety Tyrann Mathieu. At the NFL Honors, Mathieu said that he would like to remain with the team. The question that remains is if the team will do so with the start of the league year approaching.
On Saturday, Mathieu posted a message on Twitter that may or may not have thrown shade towards the Chiefs. You can read the message below.
But we already knew all of that. After the game, head coach Sean McDermott blamed it on “execution”, usually a term used for a mistake by a player. Everything has been hushed at One Bills Drive. No reporters were allowed into the building for locker room cleanout. No player had spoken about the 13 seconds in an interview because few had done interviews. General Brandon Beane and McDermott didn’t want to get into it any further.
Smoke started appearing shortly thereafter. Coaches film showed the coverage team attempting to cover a return instead of sprinting down the field as they normally do on touchbacks called by the coaching staff. One even looked to the sideline with his arms out when the kick landed in the end zone. Special teams coordinator Heath Farwell left a Super Bowl contender to join the Jacksonville Jaguars without a promotion.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Yet the purist in me (which I’m guessing may be overruled) suggests that this furor about changing the OT rule again represents a major overreaction.
I know about the coin toss stat, which is the best thing about the argument for changing the system. In 12 postseason games decided in overtime, 10 were won by the team that won the coin toss — seven in cases where the losers never got a possession.
Tough beans. A week after Kansas City won the toss and the game, the Chiefs won the overtime toss again in the AFC title game against the Cincinnati Bengals. But it did not result in an automatic trip to the Super Bowl. Not after the Bengals defense made a play (Vonn Bell’s interception) that led to the game-winning field goal.
The Kansas City Chiefs would reportedly be interested in Mike Williams if the Chargers let him hit the open market in free agency.
Here’s the thing: the Chargers aren’t going to allow that to happen. Even if they can’t reach agreement on a long-term deal to keep him next to Keenan Allen for the foreseeable future, the Chargers are reportedly set to use the franchise tag to maintain control of him (and to keep him from leaving for the very team that has won the last six AFC West titles).
Yes, the Chiefs would be interested in Williams. Every team would be. He’s a dynamic physical receiver with tremendous size and hands who is finally living up to his first-round potential. However, the Chargers would be idiots to let him hit the market. They should be doing anything they can to surround Justin Herbert with weapons, especially while on a rookie deal, and letting Williams go would set the franchise back when they need to progress forward.
Around the NFL
Jackson addressed the issue during an appearance on LeBron James’ YouTube interview show ”The Shop,” which had its season premiere Friday.
When the discussion turned to how there has been a historical bias against Black quarterbacks, James said, “It’s dying off, but it’s still there.”
Jackson responded, “It’s still there. That’s why I need that championship.”
The Cardinals don’t plan to tag Chandler Jones. Whether his days in Arizona are done remains to be seen.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that the club is not expected to use its franchise tag on the Pro Bowler. That will allow Jones to test the free-agent market after an impressive six-year run in the desert.
The former Patriot has recorded 71.5 sacks since 2016, third-most in the NFL over that span. The Cardinals are passing on his tag because of its $25 million bill but still want Jones back, per Rapoport.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Illinois OT Vederian Lowe
According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, the Chiefs had a formal interview with Illinois offensive tackle Vederian Lowe. A formal interview takes place with several Chiefs personnel and coaching staff members. The team is limited to 45 formal interviews for the week.
Lowe played in 45 games for the Fighting Illini from 2017-21. As a senior in 2021, the 6-foot-5, 314-pound lineman was named All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches and media), to the Pro Football Focus All-Big Ten second team and was a Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year semifinalist. Pro Football Focus rated him the No. 31 rated tackle in the nation and the No. 37 rated run-blocking tackle in the nation.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein noted Lowe “checks multiple boxes in both the traits and intangibles categories” and is someone he believes will receive middle-round consideration.
Speaking to offensive tackles makes a lot of sense for the Chiefs, who should be specifically interested in an upgrade at right tackle. Lucas Niang began the season as the Chiefs’ starter, but he was later replaced by Mike Remmers. Injuries to Niang and Remmers eventually led to Andrew Wylie manning the position for most of the season. Lowe played left tackle in college, but perhaps the Chiefs see him sliding to the right side or offering depth as a swing tackle or even guard depth.
A tweet to make you think
Most games with 100 receiving yards among TE since 2016— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) February 28, 2022
Travis Kelce 27
George Kittle 13
Rob Gronkowski 12
Darren Waller 12
Zach Ertz 9 pic.twitter.com/wHit9RAnh2