Frank Clark to the Lions
The Lions were already a feisty organization before their 2023 moves, but adding physical defenders like Cameron Sutton and C.J. Gardner-Johnson makes them even more imposing. Clark is of the same mold, thriving as a rough-and-tumble crunch-time performer in Kansas City. He may not be built to play every down like he once was, but the former Pro Bowler could easily slot in as a split-starter with John Cominsky opposite Aidan Hutchinson. He also went to Michigan, confirming the area connection.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. remains the most interesting of all the free-agent wide receivers. The 30-year-old comes with serious injury concerns but has a track record of production that can’t be matched by any available receiver.
OBJ tore his ACL for the second time since 2020 in Super Bowl LVI last year. He sat out all of 2022 but still entered the market as one of the few receivers who could be a high-end secondary option.
A report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted that the receiver was looking for $20 million per year. However, OBJ took to Twitter to deny that report while insinuating that a team offered him $4 million, a figure he found to be dissatisfactory.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported Sunday on an episode of SportsCenter that he didn’t know which franchise offered him a contract worth $4 million but that the Chiefs and Patriots have both been linked to the receiver.
The best landing spots for Beckham are going to be the ones that give him a good quarterback and the ability to contend. The Bills and Chiefs offer Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, respectively. He would be a great sidekick for Stefon Diggs in Buffalo or Travis Kelce in Kansas City.
The Ravens shouldn’t be discounted. Per Fowler, their scouts were at his workout earlier in March, and signing him could create some goodwill between them and their franchise-tagged quarterback Lamar Jackson.
CONTRACT: Four years, $80 million with $60 million guaranteed.
The Chiefs couldn’t agree to terms with Orlando Brown on a long-term contract, so they switched gears and added Taylor on a massive deal that includes $60 million guaranteed. That’s a big-money gamble. The more significant risk comes in moving Taylor from right tackle, where he’s played his entire pro career, to the blind side. The 25-year-old has played 18 career snaps at LT, all in 2022, and most of them in big packages for Jacksonville. Yes, the Chiefs had a former RT in Brown move permanently to the left side. But he had started 11 games at LT for Baltimore in 2020 before he joined K.C. Taylor is a good player and has the athleticism to possibly make a solid transition. Still, as Josh Sitton once famously said of O-linemen switching sides, it’s like wiping your butt with the other hand. The trust in Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and offensive line coach Andy Heck to mask any deficiencies will help mitigate the risk, but the guaranteed money is a gamble there won’t be serious hiccups.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: OT, EDGE, WR
Even after signing tackle Jawaan Taylor, with both Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie departed, the Chiefs will need to continue to look for new offensive tackle talent in the draft. Frank Clark’s release also opens up a need for speed at edge rusher along the defensive line (though we did like the Charles Omenihu signing). They could also use another big-bodied offensive weapon not named Travis Kelce.
4. Edwards was primarily a free safety for the Buccaneers.
Edwards recorded 476 of his total snaps as a free safety, which accounted for 54 percent of his time on the field. He’s also capable of playing elsewhere, however, as Edwards tallied significant snaps in the box (237) and at slot corner (108).
Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is known for often utilizing three (or even four) safeties on the field at once, so Edwards’ versatility should fit nicely within the Chiefs’ scheme.
Kansas City Chiefs: B
Key additions: T Jawaan Taylor, DE Charles Omenihu ; Key re-signings: DE Tershawn Wharton
The Chiefs needed to figure out their plans at left tackle with four-time Pro Bowler Orlando Brown hitting free agency, and general manager Brett Veach got to work quickly on Monday. He promptly signed Jaguars offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, a 25-year-old former second-round pick, to a four-year, $80 million deal that includes $60 million guaranteed. Now that looks like an overspend with Brown signing with the rival Bengals for $16 million less, four years and $64 million.
While Brown has the better pedigree, Taylor actually had a better individual season in 2022, registering the third-lowest pressure rate allowed among offensive tackles last season at 2.5%, according to CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr. He allowed 16 pressures and five sacks this past season, and Brown surrendered 39 pressures and four sacks. Unclear how much of an upgrade that will be. Veach has made all the right moves as the Chiefs have won two of the last four Super Bowls, and if he can continue to find ways to fill out the margins of the Chiefs roster in a relatively inexpensive way, Kansas City could get close to an A- by the end of free agency. Losing JuJu Smith-Schuster to the New England Patriots on a three-year, $33 million deal isn’t a big blow for Kansas City. Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore will just have bigger roles in 2023.
Around the NFL
Schultz’s deal is worth up to $9 million, according to NFL Network, which first reported his deal. Singletary’s deal is worth up to $3.75 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schultz, 26, will take over as the Texans’ starting tight end. Jordan Akins had agreed to a contract with the Cleveland Browns in free agency, while O.J. Howard signed with the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Edwards has a nose for the ball — and is not afraid to make contact. While lined up as the Buccaneers’ strong safety, he displayed the ability (and willingness) to play in the box, stopping runs at the line of scrimmage.
Mike Edwards flies into the box to help bring down Chubb. Gets around the corner and puts a solid hit on the RB. Definitely some traits the Chiefs would look for in the box safety role. pic.twitter.com/dUk38nWiUc— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) March 18, 2023
On this play, Edwards uses his natural instincts to quickly read the play and blaze into the backfield to help bring down the Cleveland Browns‘ Nick Chubb. Accelerating around the end, he cuts down his angle to blast the running back just as the defensive line is about to meet him.
At 5’10” and 205 pounds, Edwards may be slightly undersized to be playing as a box safety, but his willingness to tackle still goes a long way. Even Kareem Hunt — who has made a career of demoralizing would-be tacklers with his physical style of running — can’t always get past him.
Kareem Hunt is a hard man to bring down. Mike Edwards pays the toll, but he prevents Hunt from scoring a touchdown here. Not afraid of the contact and wraps up even after he gets knocked down. pic.twitter.com/qaJQe7JTQl— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) March 18, 2023
As the single-high safety on this rep, Edwards is responsible for preventing a big play. Up front, the Browns block well. Hunt has a big seam — with only Edwards between him and the end zone. Although Hunt bowls Edwards over, the safety is still able to latch on. He prevents a touchdown by wrapping up the running back’s lower half, giving his teammates the time to swarm in and stop the play.
A tweet to make you think
It's that time of the week: what's your most unpopular #Chiefs take of the moment?— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) March 20, 2023