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Arrowheadlines: JuJu Smith-Schuster named an ideal free agency fit for the Chiefs

Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, March 9

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The latest

NFL 2022 free agent fit for each AFC team: Chiefs get No. 2 WR, Bengals land franchise OT | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Patrick Mahomes tried to convince Smith-Schuster to sign with the Chiefs last year, but he decided to pass on joining the best offense in the league and re-sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Smith-Schuster’s 2021 season was a disaster, as he finished with 15 catches for 129 yards and zero touchdowns in just five games. A shoulder injury didn’t help matters, and hurt his free agent market in the process.

Will the Chiefs be interested in Smith-Schuster again? Kansas City needs a No. 2 wide receiver and a reliable third option to pair with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in order to win another Super Bowl. Smith-Schuster in the slot would be an incredible asset for this offense and he could sign a one-year deal with the intent on a big season and raise his stock for next year.

Smith-Schuster would be more than ideal for this offense in 2022.

2022 NFL mock draft: Titans and Broncos trade up for QBs, four different passers go in the first round | CBS Sports

Devonte Wyatt DL

GEORGIA • SR • 6’3” / 315 LBS

Kansas City

The secondary needs work, and Patrick Mahomes could use another weapon (why not?), but Wyatt is exactly the kind of pass-rushing interior man they’re looking to add alongside Chris Jones.

Lance Zierlein 2022 NFL mock draft 2.0: Steelers nab Kenny Pickett; Travon Walker first defender selected | NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs

Devonte Wyatt

Georgia · DT · Senior

Wyatt is a three-down defensive tackle with excellent hands and explosive take-off as a rusher. The Chiefs can find an edge rusher later in the draft.

Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to change their narrative at cornerback | ESPN

Veach and the Chiefs have a chance to change the cornerback narrative this year in free agency and the draft. Charvarius Ward was acquired by the Chiefs in a typical way for a cornerback, off the figurative scrap heap in a 2018 preseason trade with the Dallas Cowboys in return for a backup offensive lineman. He became a starter by the end of that season and has been a reliable, if not spectacular, player ever since, but is a prospective free agent.

The Chiefs would like to re-sign Ward, but he may be out of their price range. Their situation is fluid because the Chiefs have many options available to create cap space. But according to Roster Management, the Chiefs have about $12.8 million in available cap room. That does not account for the approximately $16.5 million it will take for them to place the franchise tag on offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

So, depending on what moves the Chiefs make to acquire cap space, they may not be able to meet Ward’s demands.

Mecole Hardman knows where he stands in the Chiefs’ receiving pecking order

Chiefs Free Agent Anthony Hitchens Wants to Sign With Micah Parsons’ Cowboys? | Cowboys Country

But is Hitchens still a starting linebacker, as he was in both Dallas and Kansas City? A player who could help a unit that is led by star rookie Micah Parsons but that is a bit thin otherwise?

Maybe so.

He started 59 games for the team over the past four years, leading the Chiefs in tackles in 2018 and ‘19, a run that included a career-best 135 tackles in 2018.

He is still highly-regarded in Kansas City.

“When I first became general manager, one of the first moves I wanted to make was to bring in Anthony Hitchens from Dallas,” Chiefs exec Brett Veach said in a statement. “We knew how intelligent, hard working and consistent he was as a player, and we knew he’d become a selfless leader. He was that and more. He has all the intangibles and was an integral piece in our franchise winning a Super Bowl title.’’

Josh Gordon is back with the Chiefs

Around the NFL

Seattle Seahawks releasing longtime defensive captain Bobby Wagner, source says | ESPN

The news came hours after Schefter’s report that the Seahawks have agreed to trade quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. The two franchise cornerstones who were drafted on the same day in 2012 now depart Seattle on the same day 10 years later.

In releasing Wagner, the Seahawks are moving on from their longtime defensive captain and another player who was among the most impactful in franchise history.

The move will save the Seahawks $16.6 million in cash and salary cap space while leaving a massive hole in the middle of their defense. And it comes as no surprise given Wagner’s contract, age (he’ll be 32 in June) and the noncommittal comments coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider made at last week’s NFL scouting combine.

Titans signing OLB Harold Landry to 5-year, $87.5M extension | NFL.com

The Tennessee Titans are signing Landry to a massive five-year, $87.5 million extension with $52.5 million guaranteed, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday night. The team later announced it ahd agreed to terms with Landry on a multiyear deal.

Landry will receive $20.5 million in the first season of his new deal, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported, which will be more than $2 million more than the $18.702 million he would have received had the Titans applied the franchise tag prior to Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Instead, the 25-year-old is coming off the best season of his career and broke the bank with a huge extension.

Grand jury will hear evidence on Friday in case involving Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson | ESPN

Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin confirmed the timing of the criminal and civil proceedings to ESPN and added he’ll instruct Watson to assert his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself during his testimony in the civil case Friday, given that he could be criminally charged that same day.

“I’m not going to let him answer questions from anybody before that grand jury has made its decision. There’s not a lawyer in the country that would,” Hardin told ESPN on Tuesday night.

The New York Times first reported Tuesday that several of the women who have filed criminal complaints against Watson have been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury Friday.

NFL’s five greatest trades of all-time: Where Russell Wilson going to Broncos ranks on list | CBS Sports

2. Rams acquire Matthew Stafford from Lions

In the middle of winter, the Rams pulled off a trade that a year later would result in a Super Bowl victory. On January 31, 2021, the Rams sent Jared Goff, two first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Lions in exchange for quarterback Matthew Stafford.

After 12 years with the Lions, Stafford quickly settled in with his new team. He threw 41 touchdowns during the regular season while helping the Rams capture the NFC West title. Stafford then led the Rams to playoff victories over the Cardinals, Buccaneers and 49ers en route to throwing three touchdowns in Los Angeles’ 23-20 win over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

Mike Williams is staying in LA

Aaron Rodgers, Packers agree to terms on four-year, $200M extension | NFL.com

Green Bay is putting its money where its mouth is, agreeing with the 38-year-old Rodgers on a four-year extension worth $200 million, including $153 million in guaranteed money, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. The deal makes Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history on an annual basis while also reducing his salary-cap number for 2022.

The latter detail is especially important to Green Bay’s chances of victory in the upcoming season. Green Bay was over the cap by roughly $26 million, and Rodgers’ existing deal accounted for a cap number of $46.6 million in 2022, making retaining receiver Davante Adams quite a challenge. With Rodgers’ new, lower cap number now factored in, Green Bay can place the franchise tag on Adams before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, which Rapoport reported is what the Packers are expected to do.

Pat McAfee of “The Pat McAfee Show” first reported the news of Rodgers’ deal. The QB later confirmed via Twitter that he “will be playing for the Packers” this upcoming season and is “very excited to be back.”

Although...

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

3 under-the-radar prospects that impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine

Bryan: Bo Melton | Wide receiver | Rutgers

Before Bo Melton’s standout combine performance, I hadn’t had a deep dive into his game tape. Now, with a little more background information to add, it’s important to note that quarterback play was a legitimate problem for the 5-foot-11, 190-pound offensive weapon at Rutgers.

Last week, Melton was toward the top of the wide receiver list for some very important tests, running a 4.34 40-yard dash, jumping 38 inches on the vertical, and turning in a 6.98-second 3-cone drill. Since then, in the bits of game action I’ve watched, Melton shows some really impressive body control when making tough catches. He looks like he could be a solid selection on Day 3 of the draft that isn’t pressured to perform initially but has the physical upside to become a starting WR in this offensive scheme.

Kansas City is one of the best fits for the kid in many ways, where he would be able to add to his toolkit in terms of releases to defeat NFL-level cornerbacks under tutelage from Tyreek Hill and the coaching staff. Once that part is figured out, his natural athletic burst can elevate him from there. At worst, Melton looks the part of a plus special teams player in a gunner role.

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