Mark Gunnels began the week by examining the latest hot takes about the Kansas City Chiefs — including every season’s biggest question.
I love the energy of this take.
There are obviously a lot of question marks surrounding the Kansas City roster — which is fair. There are a ton of moving parts and a lot of young players.
Having said that, as long as Mahomes is under center, the Chiefs’ expectation should always be Super Bowl or bust.
And while the roster has less experience with all these young players, there’s no denying the upgrade in talent and physicality across the board. If things start clicking on all cylinders, you’ll be hard-pressed to pick against Kansas City in the playoffs.
Negotiations with the team’s left tackle for a new long-term contract started late — and over several weeks, we had learned little about any progress. On Tuesday, we finally got a clear indication from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Speaking on the network’s “NFL Total Access” program on Tuesday, Garafalo said his information his coming from the left tackle’s longtime mentor.
“He and his representation have spoken to the Chiefs in recent days regarding a potential [new contract], which must be done before Friday,” said Garafolo. “Otherwise, he can only play on the one-year franchise tender.
“I spoke to Jammal Brown, the former NFL offensive tackle who is serving as a mentor for Orlando. He said that the sides are nowhere close on a deal — and that they’re not just going to, ‘Do a deal just to do a deal.’
“Jammal Brown did not get into specifics, but my understanding is the offers to Orlando Brown — who wants to be paid at the top of the left tackle market,
Then Rocky Magaña investgated what’s now happening in the lives of several former Chiefs players.
Since retirement after the 2002 season, Alexander has continued to be an active member of Chiefs Kingdom through his philanthropic work as a member of the Chiefs Ambassadors, a select group of former players that support the Kansas City community with scholarship programs and charity work.
Alexander also worked as a systems engineer for Cerner and as an IT analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. As a person who has worked in the IT industry, I can’t imagine what I would do if I walked into work on a random Tuesday and found him sitting at the desk next to me. I would do my best not to go total fanboy — but I make no promises.
Thankfully, it doesn’t look like my self-control will ever be put to the test. In 2015, Alexander returned to the football field, first as wide receivers coach at Wilmington College, and then as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Avila University from 2016 through 2018.
With the news that the Chiefs and their left tackle weren’t close to a new deal, John Dixon worked through what could happen if a new contract wasn't signed before Friday’s deadline.
Brown could play for the Chiefs on the franchise tag
This is the most likely outcome. When Kansas City placed its non-exclusive franchise tag on Brown in March, they gave him a contract tender worth $16.7 million to play for the team in 2022. If the two sides don’t make a long-term deal before Friday’s deadline, Brown could immediately sign the tender, report to training camp and hope to turn in a stellar 2022 season, giving him another opportunity to sign a long-term deal with Kansas City (or another team) next season.
Brown could refuse to sign the franchise tag
While Brown is not required to sign his contract tender, most players do sign them after the July 15 deadline. The reason is simple: no matter what, the team retains its rights to the player for the coming season; as long as the tender offer remains unsigned, the player can’t sign a contract with another team until at least the following year. The player has until the Tuesday following Week 10’s games to sign the contract tender. If they don’t, they may not play for any team in that season — and no matter what happens, the team has the option to once again apply the franchise tag to them for the following year.
We also heard from Kansas City’s new safety, who made bold predictions about the team’s offense during an interview on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”
“The Chiefs offense is going to do what we always do,” declared Reid, via NFL.com. “We’re going to come out [and] we’re going to put up 100 points. We have the greatest football quarterback in the game.
“The top three — in no particular order, although I’m sure you guys can guess who is my No. 1 — [are] Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. And when you have a quarterback — and you have an offensive system [and] a coordinator that is able to just mix things up all the time — you’re always going to put up points.”
But Reid said that the team’s success wouldn’t be just because of its offense.
“We’re going to combine that with great football across the board: complementary offense, defense and special teams. We’re going to go out and win games. We’re in the toughest division in the NFL; that’s no secret. It’s gonna be fireworks every time anybody plays [us] — and you’re going to want to watch that.”
On Thursday, the Las Vegas tight end spoke about the player Reid is replacing.
“I feel like it’s just the dog nature,” Waller said during a recent episode of Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast, per NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. “That dude is like a lion out there, you know? There’s not many people who can replicate that level of raising everybody’s intensity level and energy level and just a collective confidence. So I wonder who’s going to be that for them now, because there’s few people — if any — who can do it the way that he does. And I feel like he gave them identity.
“Especially when, I feel like they struggled during the season, but then when it came time during the playoffs, they were just able to flip a switch almost. And I knew who had to have been leading them on the front lines of that mindset and that mental shift. So, we’ll see how that works for them.”
Then Kristian Gumminger laid out which Chiefs deserved to be immortalized on a team monument.
I’m sorry, but you can’t start any list of Kansas City greats without first including the man who was the visionary behind it all. Lamar Hunt’s resilience after being turned down for an NFL expansion team — and the purchase of the Chicago Cardinals — back in 1959 led to his formation of the rival American Football League in 1960. After moving his Dallas Texans to Kansas City in 1963, Hunt led the Chiefs and AFL towards a merger with the NFL, eventually coining the term “Super Bowl” for the championship game between the two leagues.
He wasn’t just a visionary for football. Hunt is also a member of the Soccer Hall of Fame for his contributions to start the MLS — and owning two of the original 10 teams: the Kansas City Wiz and the Columbus Crew. Hunt is also in the Tennis Hall of Fame for his contributions to World Championship Tennis, for which he recruited some of the best amateur players in the world and made changes to how the sport is played today — including colored clothing and a tie-breaker system.
When Friday’s deadline finally passed, the team and their left tackle had been unable to agree on a new long-term contract.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo, the two sides made an honest effort to get it done, but the negotiations fell short.
The #Chiefs and LT Orlando Brown made a final run at a long-term deal before this afternoon’s deadline but couldn’t reach an agreement. I spoke to Jammal Brown, who is serving as Orlando’s mentor. He said they didn’t feel comfortable with the lack of security in the deal.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 15, 2022
According to Garafalo’s colleague Ian Rapoport, the team “made a strong effort to get the deal done,” offering Brown an average of more per year than San Francisco offensive tackle Trent Williams.
NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero said that a six-year deal was on the table.
#Chiefs franchise-tagged OT Orlando Brown Jr.’s agent, Michael Portner, tells me the sides weren’t able to reach a long-term deal.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 15, 2022
KC offered Brown the highest signing bonus and APY on 6-year deal, but Brown’s team decided there wasn’t enough security over the life of the deal.
UPDATE at 12:27 p.m. According to Garafalo, the contract was actually worth an average of just $18.2 million over five years. The sixth year added $40 million — which would likely never be paid — to the deal. That additional year is what sent the APY of the contract into Trent Williams territory.
After ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported more detailed figures on the contract offer, John Dixon broke down how it had all worked out.