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What we learned about the Chiefs this week

Taking a look at the week of May 16 on Arrowhead Pride...

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

Dolphins signing former Chiefs defensive end Melvin Ingram

On Sunday, news had broken that the Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive end wouldn’t be returning for 2022 after all. Additional details emerged on Monday.

According to NFL reporter Jordan Schultz, the Miami Dolphins have agreed to terms with former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Melvin Ingram.

Terms of Ingram’s deal with Miami are not yet known.

UPDATE at 1:53 p.m. Monday: According to NFL.com, Ingram is signing a one-year deal with Miami that is worth $5 million.

Ingram, 33, was traded to the Chiefs from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick just before the 2021 mid-season trade deadline.

After spending nine seasons (and making three Pro Bowls) with the Los Angeles Chargers, Ingram had signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Steelers that paid him the minimum NFL salary ($1.1 million) plus a signing bonus of $2.9 million spread across 2021 and four void years from 2022 through 2025.

Chiefs fall in ESPN’s post-draft power rankings

Despite the fact that the Chiefs were widely considered to have done a spectacular job in the draft, an ESPN poll of its writers and beat reporters on Monday dropped Kansas City one spot below where it was ranked following the free agency period.

It’s fascinating that the Super Bowl champions aren’t ranked at the top of this list — and that the team that does occupy the top spot didn’t make it past 2021’s Divisional round playoff game. Meanwhile, the team that defeated Kansas City in the AFC championship is ranked below the Chiefs.

Most national writers assumed Kansas City needed either a top wide receiver, cornerback or defensive back in the draft. The Chiefs addressed all three of those positions within the top 54 picks of the draft — and they are downgraded from the previous ranking?

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney says only 4 NFL teams ‘cleared Justyn Ross medically’

On Tuesday, we learned of recent statements made by the undrafted Kansas City receiver’s college coach.

“I knew he could be anywhere from fourth round to free agent,” Swinney told reporters, according to ClemsonSports.com’s Matt Connolly. “I didn’t know that only four teams actually cleared him medically. That’s a pretty small group... He’s super excited about the opportunity that he has. If he stays healthy, he belongs and the rest will take care of itself.”

Swinney may have unintentionally broke a little news — the fact that only four teams in the NFL were comfortable enough for Ross to take the field. Still, the longtime Clemson coach is high on Ross, one of the key players in the 2018 national title win over Alabama.

“I mean he’s Justyn Ross,” Swinney added. “There’s no questions about Justyn Ross when it comes to playing football. But there’s obvious questions when it comes to, ‘OK, where is he health wise?’ He broke his foot. Obviously he missed all that time with surgical procedures in his neck and back area. He’ll do just fine. If the good lord keeps him healthy, football will come easy for him.”

Chiefs land one player on Pro Football Focus ‘25 under 25’ list

Then the popular football analytics site named the Chiefs’ second-year center among the league’s top young players.

16. C CREED HUMPHREY, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Humphrey’s rookie campaign was sensational. He played the most snaps of any rookie offensive lineman (1,184) and notched the best grade, too (91.4). In fact, his elite overall grade was fourth-highest for all offensive linemen and first among all centers. He and fellow rookie Trey Smith were a big reason the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line was as improved as it was in 2021.

It was an incredible start to Humphrey’s career, especially considering he opted out of the 2020 college football season.

James Bradberry signing one-year contract with Philadelphia Eagles

Wednesday brought news that a veteran free-agent cornerback that many had thought would land in Kansas City was also headed elsewhere.

The Chiefs had been connected to the 28-year-old back in March, but as time went on, the understanding became that they would not trade with the New York Giants for him considering his scheduled $13.5 million salary for 2022. As it turned out, no team was willing to trade for him at that cap number, and the Giants parted ways last week.

Once he became a free agent, there had been some thought that the Chiefs could be interested once again. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that 11 teams showed interest, though it’s unclear at this time as to whether the Chiefs were one of them. Over the Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald’s early estimate is that the cap hit for the Eagles will be between $2.5 million and $3.2 million. At this writing, Arrowhead Pride estimates the Chiefs’ cap space to be around $11.4 million.

Chiefs chose future flexibility over Tyreek Hill

On Thursday, we covered an interview that Kansas City general manager Brett Veach gave to NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, in which he again discussed the recent big trade with the Miami Dolphins.

Veach specifically mentioned the Jacksonville Jaguars’ contract for wide receiver Christian Kirk and the Las Vegas Raiders’ contract for wide receiver Davante Adams as the pivot point of the offseason.

“I felt like if we do [a contract for Tyreek Hill] here, we might be out of free agency the next two to three years,” explained Veach. “This game — gosh, it’s so hard to be good year in and year out. More than anything, you have to have a roster that can handle the physicality of this game and the injuries. Year in and year out, teams are just holding on to get to the bye week so they can take a breath. It’s hard, and so, like I said, when we thought about this opportunity long and hard and [considered] not just the pick but the cap space over the next few years, it made a lot of sense to us.

Melvin Ingram’s Dolphins contract isn’t quite as rich as originally reported

Then we got the contract details for the former Chiefs defensive end in Miami, which guaranteed him less than what Kansas City’s unrestricted free agent tender had been reported to be.

What seems more likely is that despite the multiple reports, Kansas City’s tender offer was nowhere close to $4.4 million.

Under Section 9(b) of the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the minimum Kansas City contract tender was actually just $1.8 million, based on 110% of his $1.1 million base salary and $585,000 pro-rated signing bonus from 2021. The rest of the $4 million Ingram was paid last season was the remaining portion of his $2.9 million signing bonus, which was spread across four void contract years from 2022 through 2025. After trading Ingram to Kansas City, the rest of that signing bonus ($2.3 million) accelerated into the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 cap calculation.

It’s possible that the Chiefs’ tender offer was for more than $1.8 million — and maybe even could have been as high as the $4.4 million that was reported. But that’s not how those reports were worded. They said that the tender was based on “110% of Ingram’s $4 million salary.”

Besides... if that had been the case, why didn’t Ingram accept that tender when it was offered on the day after the draft, guaranteeing himself a bigger payday without the NLTBE incentives?

ESPN’s Louis Riddick has ‘his eye’ on one Chiefs rookie

On Friday, the longtime Brett Veach confidant said that he thinks the Chiefs’ fifth-round rookie Darian Kinnard could be a big contributor to the team.

Around this time last year, Riddick became the first to identify that then-rookie offensive linemen Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith might be starters. He was right about that — though he wasn’t so right about tight end Noah Gray... yet.

On Friday, Riddick tweeted a list of Day 2 and Day 3 players from the 2022 NFL Draft that he’s keeping “an eye on” — rookies that could be “major impact players by Year 3 or sooner.”

In his first media opportunity after he was drafted, Kinnard seemed peeved that it took all 32 teams to the fifth round to select him. He compared his own situation to that of his new teammate Smith, who fell to last year’s sixth round. Despite many believing the Kentucky product would need to move to guard at the pro level, the Chiefs — including Veach and head coach Andy Reid — have insisted he will get a fair shake at right tackle.

L’Jarius Sneed’s car ‘shot up’ in Louisiana; cornerback not accused of wrongdoing by police — according to a report

Then there was an unpleasant TMZ news report from the Kansas City cornerback’s hometown of Minden.

TMZ: “According to a department spokesperson, Sneed’s Ford Bronco — which the 25-year-old football player was not an occupant in at the time — was hit by bullets ... and Sneed later showed up on the scene to check things out.

We’re told Sneed and others were detained on the scene and questioned by officers, but ultimately, Sneed was not arrested and not charged with a crime ... and was let go.

Sources close to Sneed say two of his friends were driving the vehicle at the time ... and believe the shooting was random.”

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo relayed a statement from Sneed’s agent, Saffarah Lawson, while also noting that Sneed was not arrested but only detained for questioning.

“A random and unnecessary act of violence occurred while Mr. Sneed was visiting his home town. No one was injured, but gunshots damaged his vehicle. He was briefly questioned and released without incident.

There is a $5,000.00 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the act.”

Garafolo added that Minden police told him the investigation is ongoing. He also said that a Chiefs’ spokesman stated the team is aware of the incident and gathering information.