Chiefs: Franchise tagging OT Orlando Brown Jr.
In a few years, we might look back and actually applaud their trade of star speedster Tyreek Hill, simply for the draft haul it may produce. And cheap replacement JuJu Smith-Schuster has the stuff to break out (again). But Brown, with or without a long-term deal, is the most important, giving Patrick Mahomes a rock-solid bodyguard for his blind side.
Style Of Other Sports Has Helped To Shape Karlaftis
Throughout his athletic career, George Karlaftis has always been built by power, endurance and instincts. In all of the other sports outside of football, he was able to quickly rise with those attributes. Karlaftis learned how to take care of his pacing during his time in water polo. On the other hand, his ability to rely on mental toughness and reactionary movements grew as well. Karlaftis became rather diversified in a sport like water polo. Therefore, his ability to wear different hats on the defensive line did not come as a large surprise, once his football career expanded.
In track and field, Karlaftis was able to build up his power even further by working in the throwing events. He was a state champion in shot put during back-to-back years. Throughout those two seasons, it was not just his strength that was being built up and helping him to win titles. George Karlaftis had to fine tune his throwing technique for countless hours during the season. Because of the mix of force and routine that he had undergone, the defender was able to translate this into a vast amount of pass rush hand counter moves at the point of attack.
Kansas City Chiefs: CB Joshua Williams
As the Kansas City Chiefs gear up for another run at the Super Bowl, their ability to load the roster with good defensive backs will be key.
After losing Charvarius Ward in free agency, the Chiefs made a big investment in cornerback by drafting Trent McDuffie with the 21st pick. They may have also found a hidden gem in fourth-round corner Joshua Williams.
Williams, who played at HBCU Fayetteville State, has taken advantage of early opportunities to cover veteran wide receivers. Nate Taylor of The Athletic called him the winner of a recent practice after he recorded pass breakups against Josh Gordon and Cornell Powell and picked off a pass intended for Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the red zone.
The nearly 6’3” Williams brings great length to the table and has already shown a nose for the ball. B/R NFL scout Cory Giddings wrote that “his long limbs allow him to control receivers when in press, although he can struggle with shiftier athletes.”
Williams is showing in OTAs that he isn’t only a project with good traits. He’s already hanging with some of the best receivers on the roster.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been the gold standard at the position over the past half-decade. He turned in yet another excellent fantasy season in 2021, finishing with 92 catches for 1,125 yards and nine touchdowns. Kelce will be all that remains of Patrick Mahomes’ favorite targets over the past few years after the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins during the offseason. Hill soaked up 159 targets in 2021, vacating a 25.1% target share in Kansas City. The Chiefs added JuJu Smith-Schuster as a free-agent and drafted Skyy Moore in the second round, but it is Kelce who has the rapport and chemistry with Mahomes. Despite him entering his age 32 season, Kelce remains an elite fantasy asset worth taking as the first tight end off the board as early as the second round in drafts.
Around the NFL
The Walton-Penner group that agreed to buy the Denver Broncos this week has contacted Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning about a role in the organization that could eventually lead to an equity stake in the franchise, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.
Sources told Schefter that the group reached out to Manning about an advisory role with the team that could lead to his joining the ownership group.
Manning was contacted by multiple groups during the bidding process to acquire the Broncos, sources told ESPN.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, the newly acquired Raiders wide receiver said he still has a good relationship with his former teammate despite Rodgers’ uncertain playing status playing a factor in his exit out of Green Bay.
“Oh, yeah. We’ve talked multiple times. We talked throughout the whole process, too, and he was aware of where I stood, and I was aware of where he stood,” Adams said. “We had talks just like what he said the other day. He mentioned we had talks about his future and what he thinks his duration in Green Bay or just football in general would look like, and that played into my decision, as well. Because where I am in my career — and this isn’t a shot at anybody, any other quarterbacks, in Green Bay, I love Jordan Love especially, he’s a great guy — I got aspirations of doing really, really big things and being remembered, and it just wasn’t really a point in my career that I was willing to sacrifice Aaron not being there after a year or two.
“So my decision was to be here, and he respected that, he understood that it has a lot to do with where I want to raise my kids, family, being closer to home. ... We’ve had a lot of good talks, man. He understands where I’m coming from, I understood where he was coming from, so we kind of just left it at that.”
The Browns did the math in March. They knew getting Watson meant burning the bridge with Mayfield. It’s over and done with.
But Mayfield is still under the Browns’ employ, and even if there’s an interested party in Carolina (and a somewhat interested party in Seattle), if both sides wanted the deal to be done, it’d be done by now.
The sticking point in Carolina is and has been the salary. Panthers owner David Tepper won’t pay all of Mayfield’s $18.85 million in guaranteed money this season. I’m not sure he’d even pay half, especially considering he’s paying the same amount to Sam Darnold.
If Mayfield wants out — I mean really wants out — an option exists where he could take a pay cut.
“That’s a lot of pride to swallow,” one source said of the idea.
A quarterback taking a pay cut to facilitate a trade is a familiar one to the Panthers. They did it just more than a year ago.
Teddy Bridgewater originally signed a three-year, $63 million deal in 2020. The Panthers paid out $24 million in Year 1 but got out before the 2021 NFL Draft. Bridgewater agreed to a significant pay cut in order to facilitate a trade out of Carolina.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Speaking with the media on Thursday, Bolton said that while he feels like he is making improvements every day, he believes that he still has a long way to go.
“I definitely feel like I’m trending in the right direction,” he said. “Playing the MIKE is different from being on the outside.”
In most defenses, it’s the MIKE linebacker’s responsibility to make sure the unit is in the correct alignment — and before the snap, to call out reads and make adjustments. This is why the MIKE linebacker is often referred to as the “quarterback of the defense.”
Bolton said he is ready for the increased responsibility — and also noted that Kansas City has numerous other young defenders who are ready to step up.
“I feel like it’s our time,” said the second-year linebacker. “It’s not just me. [It’s] Willie [Gay Jr.]. We got Justin Reid, who’s come in to join. [It’s also] our young guys on the D-line. It’s our time to step up and lead as a group. It’s not one person.
“Nobody should be able to replace Hitch or Tyrann Mathieu. Those guys are special guys; there is a reason those guys wore C’s. And so it’s up to us to come in as a group, and try to get guys in the best position possible to play.”
A tweet to make you think
The greatest Chiefs photo of all time? pic.twitter.com/tO8ApXYKvm— Tom Childs (@tomchilds56) June 10, 2022