clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arrowheadlines: It’s too soon to call this offseason a success or failure

Chiefs headlines for Friday, March 17

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs, Super Bowl LIV Set Number: X163164 TK1

The latest

2023 NFL free agency: Questions on Aaron Rodgers, Austin Ekeler | ESPN

Taylor, on the other hand, has never started an NFL game at left tackle. When the Jaguars lost left tackle Cam Robinson to an injury last December, they installed swing tackle Walker Little on Trevor Lawrence’s blind side and kept Taylor on the right side. Taylor took only a handful of snaps at left tackle during his time in college. The Chiefs are about to protect the most valuable blind side in football with a guy who has not played left tackle regularly since high school. This seems aggressive!

Switching from one side to the other isn’t impossible by any means, but it’s harder than you might think. Footwork changes. The angles and timing as a blocker are unfamiliar. Right tackles typically get help more often from tight ends than left tackles — they’re out on an island more often.

The Chiefs will have a new right tackle after losing Andrew Wylie in free agency to the Commanders, so Taylor is going to be the tackle they lean on in 2023. He’s also moving from a quarterback who threw the ball at the league’s third-fastest rate in 2022 to Mahomes, who got rid of the ball at the 24th-fastest rate. The Chiefs are making a very big bet with this move.

NFL free agency winners, losers: Which players, teams made out best? | USA Today


Patrick Mahomes: Kansas City Chiefs HC Andy Reid and GM Brett Veach know a thing or two about offensive line play, so this is probably a touch premature. Nevertheless, the champs moved away from the starting tackles, Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie, who anchored a front that shut the Philadelphia Eagles out in the sack department in Super Bowl 57. The new plan seems to be installing Jawaan Taylor, who signed a four-year, $80 million contract, on Mahomes’ blind side. It should be noted Taylor was a decidedly average right tackle, where he’s played 99.5% of his NFL snaps, during four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seems like quite the roll of the dice – particularly since Brown evidently agreed to significantly less while joining the Cincinnati Bengals – when you’re talking about safeguarding the league and Super Bowl MVP. But maybe someone else is coming? Laremy Tunsil? Maybe even Odell Beckham as an alternative prize?

Former KC Chiefs’ Juan Thornhill heading to Cleveland Browns | The Kansas City Star

Thornhill cashed in after posting career-high figures in multiple statistical categories, including tackles (71), passes defensed (9) and quarterback hits (2). He also recorded his first career sack in 2022 and tied a career high with three interceptions.

The 6-foot, 203-pound Thornhill originally joined the Chiefs in 2019 out of Virginia as a second-round pick. He went to appear in 65 games with 52 starts, totaling 161 tackles, a sack, four quarterback hits, eight interceptions and 20 passes defended.

While the Chiefs lose a starting safety, they appear to be equipped to deal with it. They used a second-round draft pick last year on safety Bryan Cook, who’s now a plug-and-play option alongside Justin Reid.

Five Things to Know About New Chiefs OT Jawaan Taylor | The Mothership

4. He hasn’t missed a start in his four-year career.

Taylor has been as dependable as they come throughout his young career. He never missed a start during his four years in Jacksonville – suiting up for 66 consecutive games – and he logged at least 1,000 snaps in each of the last four seasons.

The 25-year-old Taylor is one of only seven offensive linemen (regardless of position) to start all 66 possible games since 2019.

2023 NFL Three-Round Mock Draft: Carolina Panthers select QB C.J. Stroud, Indianapolis Colts snag QB Anthony Richardson | NFL Draft | PFF


With JuJu Smith-Schuster gone, the Chiefs could try to replace him with one of the wide receivers left. But the best options on this board are players of smaller size, which the Chiefs still have. Instead, they could switch it up and take a chance on a receiving tight end to pair with Travis Kelce. I like the size option with Kincaid.

NFL Mock Draft 2023: QBs taken with top four picks after Cardinals trade back; Cowboys select pass-catcher | CBS Sports

Nolan Smith EDGE

GEORGIA • SR • 6’3” / 235 LBS

I believe that Smith is likely to go higher than this in the actual draft, but it is difficult finding a landing spot because he is a bit more scheme-specific. Smith is a bit undersized but an athletic, quick-twitched pass-rusher.

Around the NFL

Chargers safety Nasir Adderley retires after 4 seasons | ESPN

“After a period of self reflection, I have decided it’s time for me to walk away from the game of football,” Adderley wrote. “Over the past couple of years I have denied this realization, but I’m finally going to put myself first for once. My health is above anything and everyone around me knows that.”

The Chargers selected Adderley, 25, with a second-round pick in 2019. He became an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year on Wednesday and was not expected to be re-signed

Adderley experienced an uneven final season with the team.

Agents - Eagles reach $42M extension with star CB Darius Slay | ESPN

The Philadelphia Eagles and star cornerback Darius Slay agreed to a $42 million extension that includes $23 million fully guaranteed, his agents told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.

Slay had been scheduled to enter the final year of his three-year, $50 million deal that he signed in 2020. With the extension, which is for two years, he is now under contract for the next three seasons.

The extension, which was negotiated by Drew Rosenhaus and Robert Bailey, comes a day after a source told ESPN that Slay was going to be released.

Top 2023 NFL Draft prospect Jalen Carter pleads no contest to reckless driving, racing charges |

Top 2023 NFL Draft prospect Jalen Carter entered no contest pleas on Thursday to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing, per a statement from his attorney that was obtained by NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.

Carter, 21, was sentenced to serve 12 months of probation, pay a $1,000 fine, perform 80 hours of community service and complete a state-approved defensive driving course, according to attorney Kim T. Stephens.

“In entering his plea, Mr. Carter chose not to contest the charges lodged against him by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in order to resolve this matter in the most efficient manner possible,” Stephens stated, in part. “With entry of his plea, the State is forever barred from bringing any additional charges against Jalen Carter for conduct alleged to have occurred on January 15, 2023.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs NFL Draft 2023: Signing the class won’t take as much cap space as people think

How rookies count against the cap

When players are drafted — or when undrafted free agents (UDFAs) are signed after the draft — they immediately count against the salary cap. But whether they are drafted with the first pick or are the last UDFA signed, all of these rookies initially go into the system at the same salary: $750,000. (Small detail: Some UDFAs may be paid relatively small signing bonuses, which also count against the cap).

But until the regular season begins, each team’s salary-cap space is calculated using only the 51 largest cap hits on its roster. So as a practical matter, this means that virtually none of these rookie contracts will immediately reduce any team’s cap space — simply because any team’s 51st-largest cap hit is almost guaranteed to be equal to (or greater than) than $750,000.

For example: at this writing, the Chiefs’ 46th through 51st hits are $750,000; the 43rd through 45th are $870,000. So as free agents are signed over the next few weeks, the 51st-highest cap hit will only increase.

Of course, some of the newly-drafted players will eventually sign contracts for more than the league’s rookie minimum — and some (but not all) will ultimately be among the 51- highest hits. But until those contracts are signed, the drafted players will have no impact on the team’s cap space.

A tweet to make you think

Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social Media

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.