The Chiefs, fresh from lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the second time in the Reid/Mahomes/Travis Kelce era, simply seem deep in the process of attempting to do it again, free of the kind of encumbrances some other franchises are mired in.
Part of the key to success in the NFL is centered not around what you hear but what you don’t. We are conditioned to expect the teams that hit our airwaves, Twitter feeds and the talk radio circuit to be the ones best positioned to shine. It sort of makes sense; they wouldn’t be getting talked about if they weren’t good, and relevant, right?
But it doesn’t really play out that way.
Look at the championship teams over the past few seasons. There’s not much of a “we did it despite the drama” narrative going on. Even when Tom Brady led Tampa Bay to a title in his first season in Florida, all the focus and attention was based on the intrigue of seeing Brady in a fresh location after all those years in New England.
As for Kansas City, you almost want to feel sorry for the local newspaper and its beat writers, who are left with nothing much to talk about because nothing much is happening. Instead, the Kansas City Star was left to ruminate this week on what the team’s Super Bowl rings might look like when they are eventually revealed (bigger, bolder and blingier, apparently).
Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
The Chiefs performed well against the pass last year, allowing the seventh-fewest yards per pass attempt at 6.7. And they loaded up at cornerback in the 2022 draft, selecting Trent McDuffie, Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson. But I don’t think Kansas City could pass on the value of Banks, especially with L’Jarius Sneed in the last year of his deal. Banks performed well at the combine and allowed 20 completions last year. He has all the makings of a future starting corner. And you can never have enough of those, especially in the AFC West.
Just missed: Will McDonald IV (Iowa State), Adetomiwa Adebawore (Northwestern)
31 - Kansas City Chiefs
Northwestern · Edge · Senior
Finding a replacement for Frank Clark is a pressing need for the Chiefs. The Northwestern product is an outstanding athlete with cat-like quickness and dynamic pass-rush skills.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Jalin Hyatt WR
TENNESSEE • JR • 6’0” / 176 LBS
Big-play speed at wide receiver for an Andy Reid offense that’s continually morphing? Yes please.
Winkler’s visit to meet Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes sparked plenty of conversation on Twitter, leading to the 77-year-old actor being praised by tight end Travis Kelce on his podcast. Recently, Winkler spoke with KMBC News in Kansas City, reflecting on his love for Chiefs Kingdom and thoughts on Mahomes’ latest MVP season.
“Like, I was nine years old. The joy.” Winkler said of his moment with Mahomes “And he is going to go down in history as one of the greatest. And I’m just happy to be here in this city. Everybody, can I just say thank you Kansas City? Because since I have arrived, people have been so unbelievably warm.”
Around the NFL
While NFL owners opted not to vote on a rule that would allow games to be flexed into a Thursday night kickoff, they agreed Tuesday to modify the existing rule and allow teams to play a maximum of two short-week games.
That means that while some teams could play two Thursday night games, others would not have any. Back-to-back Thursday night games, such as a Thanksgiving game followed by a Thursday night game the next week, would only count as one short-week game, so some teams could wind up playing three Thursday games.
“We’re interested in making sure that we get exposure for all of our clubs,” said Brian Rolapp, NFL executive vice president and chief media and business officer.
If accepted, the deal would break the previous record sale for a franchise, set last August, when a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton bought the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion.
Steve Apostolopoulos, a Canadian billionaire, and Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, are among other groups interested in purchasing the Commanders. There is another anonymous group that has also toured the facilities, multiple sources involved in the process have told ESPN.
New York Jets Over 9.5 (-120)
Last year’s record: 7-10
My coworkers think I’m insane for believing the Jets could be one of the best teams in a loaded AFC with the looming addition of Aaron Rodgers, but maybe I’m just ahead of the curve. I’m going to throw a few dollars on the Jets to win the Super Bowl next year, and I like the Over 9.5 win total as well. Bet it before the line moves to 10 when Odell Beckham Jr. and others sign.
Why do I like the Jets? Well, they have the reigning Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, a top five defense with studs at all three levels, a talented wide receiving corps and then an underrated running back room. This team was held back by bad quarterback play last year, and Rodgers will obviously fix that.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
After cornerback Charvarius Ward signed with the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs made no attempt to find a veteran replacement; Veach appeared satisfied with a cornerback rotation of L’Jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton and former first-round player Deandre Baker, whom Kansas City had snagged from the New York Giants.
A year later, only Sneed remains. The team drafted five defensive backs — including an aggressive trade-up from Pick 29 to select Trent McDuffie at 21st overall.
Looking back, there was a clear sign that Veach was planning to throw numbers at the secondary: the Chiefs used at least 10 of their 30 in-person prospect visits to meet with defensive backs. Those included visits with Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson, who were both among Kansas City’s Day 3 selections — and ended up playing major roles in a championship season.
Even without trading up for McDuffie — an opportunity Veach later claimed he was surprised to receive — it’s likely that waiting until the draft for cost-controlled cornerback help would have been a wise strategy The next two cornerbacks selected after the 29th pick — Roger McCreary (2/35 Tennessee Titans) and Kyler Gordon (2/39 Bears) — both started as rookies. (McCreary actually played 100% of Tennessee’s defensive snaps). Two other second-round selections — Alontae Taylor (2/49 New Orleans Saints) and Cam Taylor-Britt (2/60 Bengals) — became starters during the second half of the season.