“It’s tough man. Obviously, I mean, the past like two years we’ve struggled beating the Bengals,” Kelce said. “So there’s been a lot of like build up in emotion of like, I would say, not necessarily hate but just like dislike towards the Bengals because they keep beating us, and they keep talking about it every time they do. So it’s like, man, to see him go to the dark side, man, it’s an awkward feeling.
“Obviously I hope that he has an absolute Hall of Fame career. You know what I mean? I wish nothing but the best for OB. He was an unbelievable leader. An unbelievable teammate on and off the field.”
14-3 · .453
Biggest needs: WR, OT, Edge
EE: One way or another, I figure the Chiefs will address the wide receiver position. The right tackle spot seems to be Lucas Niang’s right now, but they need to add talent and competition there. And why not add one more pass rusher to the mix, even with Charles Omenihu on board? That would give the Chiefs a quality quartet at edge rusher.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Favorite: Adding edge defender Charles Omenihu
Omenihu is one of the more intriguing, young inside-outside pass-rushers. At 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds, he took a leap once landing with the San Francisco 49ers at the 2021 trade deadline. The former fifth-round pick of the Houston Texans earned a 75.3 pass-rush grade with 54 quarterback pressures on a 13% pressure rate in 2022.
Least favorite: Plan to move Jawaan Taylor to left tackle
We’ve seen players successfully make this transition in the past, but oftentimes the NFL right tackle had experience at left tackle in college. This is not the case with Taylor, who has been a right tackle for the better part of a decade. Perhaps Kansas City still has plans to add a left tackle, and perhaps we’re worrying about something we shouldn’t, but it could prove to be a bold strategy to take your huge swing in free agency on a player you then ask to switch positions.
Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs
Kadarius Toney going over to the Kansas City Chiefs and making plays in the Super Bowl, and just showing the type of guy he is, the type of playmaker he can be, I think he’s going to continue to elevate his game in 2023 after a full offseason with the team. Things are nothing but up for him this year, he is definitely going to be a Pro Bowl player, and will have a great year.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Mazi Smith DL
MICHIGAN • SR • 6’3” / 323 LBS
The Chiefs go interior instead of edge here, pairing the ultra-athletic Mazi Smith with All-Pro Chris Jones.
Around the NFL
The Seattle Seahawks have withdrawn the restricted free agent tender on safety Ryan Neal, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
The unexpected move makes Neal an unrestricted free agent and clears $2.627 million in much-needed salary cap space for Seattle.
The Seahawks assigned Neal the low RFA tender earlier this month, which meant a one-year offer for $2.627 million and secured their right to match any offer sheet that he might sign with another team. But their depth chart and salary cap picture have since changed.
But Bowles still doesn’t support adopting a rule that would limit defenders who already are punished for blows to the helmets, hits around or below the quarterback’s knees, collisions against defenseless players and other violations.
“There’s going to be collateral damage,” Bowles said. “You want to limit it as much as possible. You don’t want nobody getting hurt, but it’s hard to tell somebody how to tackle. The angles are different. The speed is different. I don’t know how you stop it. ‘Don’t tackle high. Don’t tackle low. Don’t hip-drop.’ What are you going to tell a guy? Some guys are more athletic than others. Where does it stop?
“I mean, goddamn. Just play 7-on-7 and the game will be over.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Cam Newton should come to the Chiefs as Patrick Mahomes’ backup.
With Chad Henne retiring, many are wondering about the Chiefs’ plans at backup quarterback. Are they ready to hand those duties to Shane Buechele?
Buechele has never thrown a pass in a regular-season game and he’s 25 years old. Obviously, you hope to never see the backup in the game unless the Chiefs are blowing out their opponent.
Having said that, we’ve seen Mahomes have to leave two Divisional Round games in his career. Henne was able to hold it down both times. Considering the lack of experience from Buechele, I expect the Chiefs to bring in another veteran to back up the best quarterback in the game.
Newton does not seem like a perfect fit for the role; I like Teddy Bridgewater.