1. Andy Reid (Chiefs)
Season: 10th with Chiefs, 24th as HC
Career record: 233-135-1 (.633) | Playoffs: 19-16 (1-2 in Super Bowls)
Almost 25 years into the job, Reid still isn’t immune to clock miscues or slow starts, and his post-Philadelphia renaissance certainly has something to do with Patrick Mahomes. But he always gets the best out of his QBs, and that’s never been more apparent than with No. 15, whose backyard style blends perfectly with Reid’s fancy for trickery. He could stand to put the pedal to the metal earlier (both in games and on the schedule), but it’s astounding how unfazed his entire team has become as he’s extended his stay in K.C. Even while churning out coveted assistants, Reid oversees machine-like production both on the stat sheet and the win column, logging at least 11 wins in seven of his last nine seasons. Everyone wants to score at will, let alone host annual home playoff games, and until Big Red’s teams stop doing that, it’s hard to crown anyone else.
“The Boulevard team could not be more thrilled to welcome Creed Humphrey to our squad,” Vice President of Marketing Brian Reames said in a press release Wednesday. “It has been great getting to know Creed throughout this collaboration. He is a true team player and the perfect fit to protect Boulevard’s most valuable teammates … our beers!”
As an official partner of Boulevard, Creed Humphrey will cohost a Tailgate Gala event at Boulevard Brewing Company later in the year, which will raise funds for KC Pet Project and include opportunities for fans to win tickets.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: TE ARIK GILBERT, GEORGIA
Travis Kelce isn’t a spring chicken — he turns 33 this fall, and his cap numbers start escalating rapidly thereafter. Even if he does have more years in him, getting a talent like Gilbert in the fold to learn from Kelce is a long-term win. Gilbert was the highest-rated TE recruit ever, as he moves just like a wide receiver despite being 250 pounds. He’s had his fair share of off-field issues, though, that included missing all of last season for personal reasons.
1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Is this an anticlimactic finish to this article? Yes.
Can you pick any player in the NFL under age 28 who is more important for his franchise than Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City? No.
It seems inconceivable that some pundits were equal parts surprised and unimpressed when the Chiefs traded up to draft Mahomes 10th in 2017. But there were plenty of draftniks who shook their heads at the selection.
By the end of Mahomes’ second season, there weren’t enough crows on Earth to feed all the people who were wrong (this writer included). After sitting during his rookie season, all Mahomes did in his first year as Kansas City’s starter was become the second quarterback in NFL history to hit 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns in a season. He was named the NFL’s MVP that year.
The following year, Mahomes won another award—this time the MVP of Super Bowl LIV, leading the Chiefs to their first championship in half a century. He was back in the Super Bowl the year after that. The Chiefs have hosted the AFC Championship Game in all four of Mahomes’ seasons as starter.
Sure, it helps that he has an excellent team around him. But there have been numerous times when he has taken that team and put it on his back. Made a play on the run while throwing the ball from a funky angle that leaves fans and opposing defenses alike in disbelief.
Just look at these throws!
It may still be premature to call Mahomes an all-time great.
But he’s an all-time talent throwing a football.
“I’ll say this, so I made the transition in college from quarterback to tight end, and I had no idea what I was doing,” Travis said. “I was literally just a slappy in the quarterback room just back there said ‘HUT’ and try and just make something shake. I was not very calculated, which is why I wasn’t a very good quarterback. But when I moved the tight end, and my last two years, I had to really figure it out. I asked Jason about defenses, ‘How are you looking at defenses?’ He gave me his understanding or his dissertation on, you know, the safeties, the movement of the front. And, all of a sudden, I started to find a little more love in the game because I’m in somebody’s head now more than I’m just playing the game running around having fun.”
It will be interesting to see if there’s any real competition for Henne at all this offseason or whether Buechele is simply earning reps as a future practice squad QB once again. At some point, the Chiefs will go young there but the timing is yet uncertain.
Recently, Moore has been down in Texas training and getting extra work in with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. When he was at OTAs and mandatory minicamp, he tried to take some cues from the veteran receivers in the building as he looks to continue to push his game to the next level.
“Right now, I’m taking from JuJu (Smith-Schuster), Mecole (Hardman), MVS (Marquez Valdes-Scantling),” Moore continued. “I’ll take from everybody’s game.”
Around the NFL
Post-hearing briefs from Watson’s and the NFL’s representation are due the week of July 11, with a ruling to follow thereafter, Rapoport reported. Although there is no set timeline for when Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association, will make her decision on whether Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero previously reported that all parties expect a ruling before Browns veterans report to training camp on July 26.
Any potential appeal to Robinson’s ruling, by either side, would be handled by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a person he designates. The ensuing ruling would then be final.
The league announced Thursday that it is partnering with Contract with Black America Institute, an economic-inclusion initiative led by artist and entrepreneur O’Shea Jackson, who is known as Ice Cube.
“We feel like if you tackle the huge wealth gap between Black people and white people in this country, that should solve a lot of problems that’s there,” Ice Cube said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “Our thing was to go after some of the biggest companies in the country that rely on Black consumers or Black workers, and the biggest one that we focused in on was the NFL.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
4. Chris Jones dominates the Cowboys
Dak Prescott sacked by and Chris Jones for -2 yards and Jarran Reed for -2 yards.
This may be cheating... a little.
This is more about the complete game Jones had against the Dallas Cowboys, but it was special. Jones showcased a complete game and reminded people why he was one of the best defensive players in the league in this game. With three and a half sacks and a fumble recovery, Jones put on a clinic with a wide array of moves. The sack in the fourth quarter to force a late three-and-out was terrific. What made it a little better was who it was against: All-Pro Zach Martin. Jones bullied Martin before knocking him off balance and finished the play with a sack on quarterback Dak Prescott.
On the game’s final drive, Jones tipped the pass in the red zone to assist in the game-sealing interception made by cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.
A tweet to make you think
NBA Salary Cap this year is $123.6 million.— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) June 30, 2022
NFL Salary Cap this year is $208.2 million.
NBA Cap is 60% of NFL Cap, with 25% the number of players.