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Arrowheadlines: Teams are concerned that Tyrann Mathieu may have ‘lost a step’

Chiefs headlines for Monday, April 4

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

The latest

Tyrann Mathieu Rumors: Teams Concerned Vet May Have ‘Lost a Step’; Steelers Scouted | Bleacher Report

Tyrann Mathieu is a three-time All-Pro, but some interested suitors might have reservations about the veteran safety, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Fowler reported on SportsCenter that “the concern from some teams I talk to is that maybe Mathieu has lost a step because he’s played nine years, a lot of mileage.”

Per Fowler, the 29-year-old may not rush into a decision and “probably wants to go to a contender.” The Pittsburgh Steelers have considered a pursuit but only have $13.5 million in salary-cap space.

Mathieu made his third Pro Bowl in 2021, finishing with 76 tackles, three interceptions and six pass deflections. However, his departure from the Kansas City Chiefs was a sign of how the perception of his value could be trending downward.

Top 10 craziest stories from NFL’s busy 2022 offseason: Tom Brady returns, Russell Wilson moves on, and more | CBS Sports

4. Chiefs trade Tyreek Hill to Dolphins

Speaking of big-name wideouts making abrupt moves, Hill quickly went from Patrick Mahomes’ most explosive weapon to the Dolphins’ new playmaker when talks with Kansas City for a new contract reached a standstill. Miami gave up five different draft picks for the speedster, and now K.C. is leaning on JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling out wide.

Team Needs | The Ringer

Kansas City Chiefs

TEAM NEEDS

Wide receiver, Right tackle, Corner

Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill to Miami for five draft picks, and now the Chiefs have more picks than any team this year (12), including back-to-back picks in the first round. The team signed receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency to pair with Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon, but receiver could still be an option for Brett Veach and Co. in the first two rounds. Beyond replacing Hill, the Chiefs also need to fill the right tackle spot, which was the lone position not adequately addressed by their O-line overhaul last year. They also need cornerbacks after losing Charvarius Ward to San Francisco. The Chiefs have a lot of picks, but also have a lot of holes in a suddenly loaded AFC West.

2022 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Big Trades Shake Up the Draft Order | SI

Projected trade: The Patriots send the No. 21 to the Chiefs. The Chiefs send No. 29 and No. 62 to the Patriots.

21. Kansas City Chiefs (via Patriots): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling together won’t replace what the Chiefs lost by trading Tyreek Hill, so there’s a strong chance that they’ll use one of their first-rounders to add to the position. Williams is the WR5 in this mock, but there’s a good chance he would have been WR1 if he hadn’t torn his ACL in January. The Ohio State transfer had a breakout season (79/1,572/15) in 2021 and his game-breaking speed would allow the Chiefs to use him similarly to how they used Hill.

JuJu Smith-Schuster made pouring water into a cup become an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride | For The Win

Newly signed Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has put together an active TikTok presence the past few years, and this weekend, he came in strong with the most riveting two minutes we’ve seen in a long time.

The game was simple: Each player pours water into a cup, and the one who gets the water to spill out onto the table is the loser. The stakes: The loser gets thrown into the pool. It’s a surface tension game.

Like, it was all so basic. And yet, it seemed so compelling. The anxiety was palpable.

Around the NFL

Veteran RB Frank Gore says he plans to sign one-day contract with San Francisco 49ers to retire with team | ESPN

“We’re still trying to figure out when I’m going to do my one-day contract. To sign, do my retirement,” Gore said on the SFNiners YouTube channel. He offered a timeline of a “couple months” for it to take place.

Gore, 38, said he hopes to work in the Niners’ front office.

There were five running backs taken before Frank Gore in the 2005 draft who combined to rush for 16,123 yards in their careers. Gore ran for an even 16,000 by himself and is third on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.

“I love looking at talent. I love evaluating talent and I love ball,” Gore said. “And they [the 49ers] know that I know football players, what it’s supposed to take to be a football player.”

7 Boom-or-Bust NFL Free Agents Who Are Worth the Risk in 2022 | Bleacher Report

Stephon Gilmore, CB

Back in 2019, cornerback Stephon Gilmore was the Defensive Player of the Year. Injuries hampered him in 2020, and the Patriots traded him to the Carolina Panthers midway through the 2021 season. Now, he is an aging corner who carries questions about his ceiling.

Gilmore, who will turn 32 in September, was more than serviceable for Carolina, but he wasn’t the playmaker fans have come to know.

He appeared in eight games and allowed an opposing passer rating of just 78.6. However, he only made three starts and logged a mere two passes defended and two interceptions. His opposing passer rating was the highest it has been in the past four years.

It’s fair to wonder if Gilmore can ever be the defensive centerpiece he was in New England and how much longer he can play at a high level. Unless he is willing to sign a short-term, “prove it” deal, there’s a lot of risk in signing him—and he wanted a new contract from the Patriots last offseason.

“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” he told Anderson.

Still, Gilmore is arguably the best cornerback remaining on the open market. If a team is willing to accept that his best years are behind him, he is worth the risk.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs’ offseason workout dates announced

First Day: April 18

OTA Offseason Workouts: May 25-26, May 31-June 2, June 7-10

Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

The league did not announce a date for the Chiefs’ rookie minicamp, but they typically like it the weekend following the draft, which — for 2022 — would be the weekend of Saturday, May 7. All the dates are tentative and subject to change at the Chiefs’ discretion.

As a reminder, each team’s program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as “perfect play drills,” and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players, conducted at a walk through pace. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

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