With the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term deals looming on Friday, July 15 at 1 p.m. ET, and four players left seeking contract extensions, the sleepiest summer days of the NFL calendar could awaken.
Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates, Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki and Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz are aiming for long-term pacts, but deals do not appear imminent for any of the quartet, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Friday.
The most optimism likely surrounds Brown and Schultz, while Bates’ situation portends to be the trickiest.
Brown, who the Chiefs acquired via trade with the Baltimore Ravens ahead of last season, has yet to sign his franchise tag and there hasn’t been any talks lately, but Garafolo expects conversations to heat up early next week to see if a long-term pact can get done. On the tag, Brown would be due $16.6 million in 2022, but the Chiefs left tackle wants to be paid among the top in his position, which is in the neighborhood of $22-$23 million per season.
Kelce was asked about money raised at the golf tournament going to a charitable organization in Kansas City. Then Kelce, who grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was asked about representing Kansas City in the tournament.
I thought Kelce gave an insightful answer.
“It’s the best. I love KC. It’s home for me now,” Kelce said. “Over the past 10 years, I’ve grown a lot of love for it because of how much the community really feeds off each other and how much they support each other. That’s the best, man.
“When we can come together for a good cause and really make a difference. That’s everything to me, and Kansas City’s always for that.”
One player Chiefs fans can look to is rookie safety Bryan Cook, who was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft.
In 2021 with the Cincinnati Bearcats, Cook played 196 snaps in the slot and 370 snaps in the box. In college, Cook showed the ability to match up with tight ends and receivers in the slot, which could prove valuable for snap-to-snap scheme changes.
He has the ball production, size and speed to be effective in the two roles that Mathieu most frequently occupied.
The truth is, it’s likely going to take a village to replicate all of what Mathieu brought to the table. From his leadership in the locker room to his on-field production, Kansas City will need several players to step up in 2022. If they do, perhaps the Chiefs’ secondary will be better represented on Touchdown Wire’s positional lists in a year’s time.
1. AFC West
Sure, the AFC West lost Tyreek Hill. But it added Adams, Smith-Schuster, Valdes-Scantling, and Moore, while retaining the Allen-Williams duo, Renfrow, and a Broncos wide receiver trio that is only beginning to scratch the surface of its potential and should reach a new level with Russell Wilson in town. We have been talking all offseason about the various reasons the AFC West should be the best, most exciting division in football, and its wide receivers are among the many reasons that’s the case.
Here is the part of Pompei’s story that caught our eye:
“Beane spoke of how the Bills fell short of their goal last season mainly because they couldn’t get to Patrick Mahomes in the divisional playoff loss to the Chiefs. Miller could change that. Beane also told Miller he would bring value to a young locker room because he knows how to win Super Bowls. McDermott stressed that he wanted Miller to be himself and nothing else. Frazier and Washington spoke of using him in matchups on both sides of the line.”
Kansas City Chiefs
With Hill gone, Patrick Mahomes will likely lean more on Travis Kelce, at least until he gets more comfortable with his revamped receiving corps. The Chiefs are hoping that JuJu Smith-Schuster can return to the form that made him one of the league’s most complete receivers during his first few years with the Steelers. Along with Smith-Schuster, the Chiefs also brought in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was likely signed to help fill the voids left by Robinson and Byron Pringle’s offseason departures.
Similar to Green Bay, Kansas City will look to a high draft pick to help replace its departed star. For the Chiefs, that player is Skyy Moore, who was selected with the 54th overall pick. The 5-foot-10 Moore caught 95 passes for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns during his final season at Western Michigan.
Around the NFL
In April, Robbie Anderson responded to an NFL Network report that Carolina was a potential landing spot for the then-Cleveland Browns quarterback with an emphatic ”Nooooo” on Instagram before deleting the comment. Anderson told local reporters in June that he was trying to be a ”good teammate” to Sam Darnold, Carolina’s incumbent starter and Anderson’s longtime quarterback dating back to their two seasons together with the New York Jets.
In a sit-down with the I AM ATHLETE podcast taped before Wednesday’s trade, Anderson doubled down on his response to Mayfield’s then-impending arrival.
“What I was doing, that was in defense of Sam, you know what I’m saying?” Anderson said. “Because I feel like, at the end of the day, me and Sam do have chemistry, but it’s like I gotta start all over again, you know what I’m saying? It wasn’t no disrespect to him. It was really in defense of who my quarterback is right now.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
According to NBC’s “Pro Football Talk,” during a recent CNBC interview, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had big news for out-of-market Kansas City Chiefs fans: beginning in 2023, the “NFL Sunday Ticket” package will no longer be available on the DirecTV satellite television service. Instead, it will be available through an Internet streaming service.
CNBC recently reported that Apple, Disney, and Amazon have made bids for the out-of-market viewing package, with the three corporate behemoths waiting for the NFL’s next move.
As also reported by CNBC, the contracts between the NFL and CBS/Fox prevent the DirecTV successor from significantly slashing the $300 per year price for the package. This protects the companies that have paid big money for the ability to put games on the local affiliates available in a given area.
This is big news for two different reasons.
First, when Sunday Ticket becomes a streaming package, subscribers will be able to watch NFL games of their choosing on any kind of Internet-capable device — a television, computer, tablet or cellular phone — that will work during poor weather conditions; satellite services like DirecTV can fail during thunderstorms and snowstorms.
A tweet to make you think
Some fun from the @ACChampionship - Travis Kelce kicking the ball into the gallery in Lake Tahoe .. and Patrick Mahomes with a left handed throw to a fan near the lake. #Chiefs - Video: Peacock pic.twitter.com/bVo559OyxI— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) July 8, 2022