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Arrowheadlines: The Chiefs have 3 obvious needs

Chiefs headlines for Friday, March 10

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

AFC free agency needs: Las Vegas Raiders among teams with major quarterback questions |

Kansas City Chiefs

2022 record: 14-3 · 1st in AFC West

Needs: OT, WR, Edge

Cap space: $16,955,715

The reigning Super Bowl champions did just fine after letting shutdown cornerback Charvarius Ward walk and trading dynamic wide receiver Tyreek Hill last offseason. Young cornerbacks like Trent McDuffie, Jaylen Watson and L’Jarius Sneed held their own in coverage, while Patrick Mahomes squeezed all the juice out of his rag-tag group of wide receivers en route to his second MVP. The roster will continue to evolve this offseason as general manager Brett Veach tries to maintain flexibility while devoting nearly $50 million to his star quarterback in 2023. The Chiefs have already opted not to franchise tag left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and decided to release defensive end Frank Clark. Mahomes is adept at avoiding pressure with his mobility and Andy Reid’s well-designed quick game certainly helps, but finding a new left tackle to protect the No. 1 asset in the league will still be a huge priority for this team. While Travis Kelce remains the focal point of the passing game, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to upgrade the receiving corps. JuJu Smith-Schuster had a strong season on his one-year contract, finishing with +141 YAC over expected (eighth-most in the NFL). The Chiefs could choose to bring him back or look elsewhere to give Mahomes another weapon in the passing game. With the departure of Clark and Carlos Dunlap, 2022 first-round pick George Karlaftis remains as the most notable edge defender on the roster. Karlaftis had a productive first year in the league — his 33 pressures was tied for third among rookies — but pairing him with another disruptor could bring this defense to the next level.

2023 NFL free agency matchmaker for every AFC team: Ravens get top WR on market, Steelers land franchise LT | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs

Brandon Graham

After allowing Frank Clark to walk, the Chiefs are going to have to great creative at finding efficient options to get to the quarterback. Why not unite Graham with the head coach that drafted him in Andy Reid?

Graham is coming off a huge season at 34, having 11 sacks with 48 pressures. While Graham could return to the Eagles (he prefers to finish his career in Philadelphia), the Chiefs could use a steady presence on the edge that can get to the quarterback and help out Chris Jones and George Karlaftis.

Graham would thrive under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and he couldn’t cost a fortune either.

NFL free agency 2023: One player every NFL team must sign | Sports Illustrated

Kansas City Chiefs

• Yannick Ngakoue, edge rusher, Colts

With Frank Clark likely being released, the Chiefs will need help at edge rusher. Ngakoue would be a cheaper option for the reigning champions, and he could form a productive pairing with George Karlaftis.

Isiah Pacheco’s Puerto Rico roots celebrated by Hall of Fame | The Kansas City Star

The Hall of Fame noted that Pacheco’s helmet had a Puerto Rican flag next to the American flag. That was part of the NFL’s initiative to allow players to pay tribute to their heritage, which first took place in October.

Players were again allowed to put a flag [representing their heritage] on their helmet in Super Bowl LVII, and Pacheco had Puerto Rico’s added.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame took note of the diversity initiative in showcasing Pacheco’s helmet.

The display reads: “The NFL encouraged players across the league in 2022 to wear a helmet decal celebrating the country or territory that represents their heritage as part of its international diversity initiative. Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco, who is of Puerto Rican descent, wore this helmet featuring the Puerto Rican flag to celebrate his heritage in the Chiefs’ 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Over 200 players wore flags from countries such as Germany, Haiti, Italy and Nigeria this past season.”

NFL Mock Draft 2023: Texans trade up to block Colts’ QB selection; Cardinals acquire second first-round pick - C

Round 1 - Pick 31

Jalin Hyatt WR

Kansas City has wealth of underneath options but no long-term vision of deep speed. Jalin Hyatt allows the Chiefs to shed more expensive contracts and redistribute that cap space to more vital positions on the roster.

Around the NFL

Jets’ optimism growing in Aaron Rodgers chase, sources say | ESPN

The Jets’ increasing optimism follows their meeting this week with the Green Bay Packers quarterback. A contingent of Jets team officials, including owner Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, flew to California on Tuesday to meet in person with Rodgers, sources previously told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

Johnson left the meeting excited and satisfied about the potential match, sources told Russini.

The Jets and Packers remain engaged in conversations about possible trade compensation, sources said — discussions that had started before the Jets’ meeting with Rodgers.

Sources — Odell Beckham to hold workout for NFL teams Friday | ESPN

Free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be holding a workout for NFL teams on Friday in Arizona, sources told ESPN.

Beckham, 30, missed all of this past season because of a torn ACL that occurred in last year’s Super Bowl. He did go on a free-agent tour in which he visited the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills late in the season.

The Giants are among the teams expected to be represented at the workout, which will be an opportunity for Beckham to show teams where he is at physically. It has been 13 months since the injury.

Jets acquiring safety Chuck Clark from Ravens in exchange for 2024 seventh-round pick |

Baltimore will ship safety Chuck Clark to the New York Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday.

Clark, 28, has started for the past three years for the Ravens, signing a three-year extension in 2020 for $15.3 million. He’ll arrive in New York with one year left on that deal.

By trading Clark, the Ravens will save $4.14 million against the cap while taking a dead-money hit of $2.63 million, according to Over The Cap. Prior to the trade, the Ravens were more than $9 million over the 2023 cap.

The writing was on the wall when the Ravens used their 2022 first-round pick on Kyle Hamilton. Clark logged a career-high 101 tackles in 2022, starting all 17 regular-season games. In his career, he has five interceptions (one run back for a touchdown), 3.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 32 pass breakups.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs Free Agency 2023: 4 free-agent options at defensive tackle

2. Poona Ford

If Saunders leaves in free agency, the Seattle Seahawks’ Poona Ford would make sense as a potential replacement. Like Saunders, Ford is a shorter, stouter nose tackle (5’11” and 310 pounds) with elite explosiveness and mobility. Ford has consistently played around 60% of the Seahawks’ snaps. He tends to play with a penetrative style — rather than the more traditional anchor style.

At one point, Ford was seen as a potential star in Seattle’s defense, but concerns about his size left him limited in Seattle’s two-gapping system — and his play regressed. In Kansas City, he would be able to fill Saunders’s role perfectly, working more as a penetrator and pass rusher than as a traditional nose tackle.

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