RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Best Team Fit: Seattle Seahawks
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 draft, but he tumbled down the running back depth chart this past season, falling behind Isiah Pacheco, who came out of Rutgers as a seventh-round pick in 2022.
By the end of the 2022 term, Pacheco handled the lion’s share of the Chiefs’ carries and finished with a team-leading 830 rushing yards with five touchdowns. In Super Bowl 57, Kansas City listed Edwards-Helaire as a healthy scratch, going with Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones at running back.
Buried in the running back rotation, Edwards-Helaire needs to go elsewhere for a bounce-back campaign. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, some teams will eye the Chiefs ball-carrier as a trade option.
Because of a sluggish running back market, Kansas City shouldn’t expect much in return for Edwards-Helaire—maybe a late-round pick.
The Seattle Seahawks should push to acquire Edwards-Helaire to replace Rashaad Penny, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency.
The Seahawks can pair Kenneth Walker III and Edwards-Helaire in their backfield. The former would handle early-down touches while the latter carves out a pass-catching role on third down. Edwards-Helaire has hauled in 72 passes for 577 yards and six touchdowns in 33 games.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Dawand Jones OT
The Chiefs lost left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency and signed Jawaan Taylor, the former Jaguars right tackle. The plan is to move Taylor to the left side, which means there’s a need on the right, even if Lucas Niang is currently penciled in there on the depth chart. Dawand Jones had a great season, and it was hard to overlook just how dominant he was in one day of practice at the Senior Bowl. Yes, his footwork needs some fine-tuning, but his huge frame, long arms and enormous wingspan more than make up for what he lacks in quickness. He’s block-out-the-sun big, even when standing next to his offensive linemates. (Kansas City gets pick No. 25; New York gets picks No. 31, 122, 217.)
2. Bengals Sign Orlando Brown Jr.
An argument could be made that this move deserves to be No. 1, but it doesn’t have quite the same big-picture impact as our next entry.
That said, there’s nothing not to like about the Cincinnati Bengals’ acquisition of offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. after his departure from Kansas City. Cincinnati has established itself as a perennial contender, and it features an offense loaded with legitimate stars like Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
What the Bengals have lacked is a reliable offensive line. Adding Brown helps change that.
The former Baltimore Ravens and Chiefs starter is coming off his fourth straight Pro Bowl campaign. This past season, he was responsible for eight penalties and four sacks allowed, according to Pro Football Focus. While those aren’t elite numbers, they’re far better than what the Bengals have been getting out of left tackle Jonah Williams.
Williams was responsible for four penalties and 12 sacks allowed this past season, according to PFF. Cincinnati can live with a few more penalties if it means keeping Burrow—who has been sacked 153 times in three years, including playoffs—upright.
Cincinnati also landed Brown at a very fair price. At four years and $64.1 million, Brown will not be significantly overpaid. The Chiefs, for example, just signed Jawaan Taylor to a deal worth $20 million annually
Brown will help protect Cincinnati’s biggest asset, Burrow, and it won’t hamstring the Bengals financially. Viewed from any angle, this acquisition was a veritable home run.
#Bills have also checked in on Odell Beckham, Jr., source says. There’s been real interest in the past - inc dinner at Josh Allen’s house, so this isn’t a surprise. The price would have to make sense, but Buffalo is worth monitoring as another potential OBJ suitor. @theScore pic.twitter.com/1pA0X1ZDRI— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 18, 2023
Around the NFL
Wanting to add speed and a complement to Pro Bowler CeeDee Lamb, the Dallas Cowboys acquired Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks on Sunday for a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024.
The trade for Cooks likely takes the Cowboys out of the competition for free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., a team source told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
“Hard to do Cooks and OBJ,” the source said.
In his first season in Philly, Gardner-Johnson had a career-high six interceptions. The fourth-year safety, who was acquired via trade from the Saints before the start of the 2022 season, played a big role in the Eagles’ defense as ball-hawk in the middle of the field to help lead the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since 2017.
Laremy Tunsil spoke openly of his desire to become the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL. He got his wish on Sunday.
Houston is signing Tunsil to a three-year, $75 million extension that includes $50 million in fully guaranteed money, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday, per a source. The deal is worth up to $60 million in total guarantees, per Rapoport.
The new extension makes the three-time Pro Bowler the highest-paid tackle in NFL history once again. Rapoport adds that Tunsil represented himself while resetting the market at his position.
The Panthers announced Sunday they reached a deal with Thielen. The deal is for three years, a league source told ESPN.
Thielen met with the Panthers in Charlotte last week as he began exploring free agency. Although he left without a contract, a league source said there was mutual interest between the parties in putting together a deal.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
3. DJ Chark
The youngest player on this list, the 26-year-old speedster is coming off an injury-shortened season with the Detroit Lions where he caught 30 passes (on 52 targets) for 502 yards and three touchdowns. Listed at 6’4” and 198 pounds, he isn’t a big wideout; with his slight frame, he’s struggled to hold up for full seasons. Over his five-year career, he’s missed 28 games with injuries.
Still, Chark can stretch the field vertically with the best of them. Coming out of LSU in 2018, he was a Scouting Combine hero, posting a 4.34-second 40-yard dash, a 40.5-inch vertical jump and an 11’3” broad jump. Even better, this athleticism shows up on tape. He is a legitimate deep threat.
As long as he’s healthy, Chark can replace what Kansas City would give up from Hardman’s loss — and maybe provide a little bit more. If the Chiefs can get him on a three-year deal with a reasonable average salary, he could make a lot of sense.