In an interview with ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco admitted his team needs to get past the Chiefs this season.
“You like to be a little bit more on the offensive and ‘Hey, this is how we’re going to play and this is how teams have to stop us,’” Telesco said before adding: “But you can’t help but to see the Super Bowl champions in our division. We have to beat them.”
The Chargers are 3-7 against the Chiefs since quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the starter. And one of those victories came in the 2020 regular-season finale when Mahomes and many of the Chiefs starters were rested.
Each of those three victories has come at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, and Mahomes is 5-0 in games in the Chargers’ stadium.
The last four meetings between the Chiefs and Chargers have been decided by one score.
Telesco was asked if he builds the Chargers’ roster to beat everyone in the NFL or the Chiefs. It’s the former, as you would expect, but Telesco admitted he’s also cognizant of the Chiefs.
“You talk about both because you want to balance it,” Telesco told Thiry. “You don’t want to be a team that’s just building to beat one other team and forget that we got to play the way we think we need to play to win, to beat the other teams in the division and everybody else that we play.”
From Henry Matthews (@henrymHuss26H): Thought Chiefs and Chris Jones were going to get an extension done? Is that no longer happening?
Henry, I certainly wouldn’t say it’s no longer happening—I think this negotiation, like a lot of them, is probably back-burnered until after the draft. I could still see the Chiefs adding a veteran receiver over the next couple of weeks, and there could be an extra need or two to be addressed coming out of the draft, and all of that can affect how you’d structure a big deal like Jones’s promises to be.
Jones is in a really good spot. The post–Frank Clark Chiefs need him. He’s still just 28 years old. He’s better than defensive tackles that have gotten between $20 million and $25 million this offseason. There’s the Aaron Donald deal out there to shoot for, too. So Jones, who was smart to limit his deal in 2020 to four years, will get another bite at the apple.
Round 1: No. 31 overall — Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Round 2: No. 63 overall — Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
Hyatt walks into a great situation, using his 4.40 speed (1.5 10-yard split) to create separation on crossers, deep overs and nine routes. Rush’s 4.36 speed at 6-2, 198 pounds and physical play as a senior have made him a lock to come off the board in the top 75 selections, and the Chiefs need to build depth at corner.
1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Remaining starter needs: T, DI
Remaining depth needs: WR, ED
As long as Kansas City has quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid, they’ll be just fine. But they do have a few spots along their roster where they could stand to improve. Another interior defender to play alongside Chris Jones, who is entering the last year of his contract and likely looking for a major raise, would make a lot of sense. Free-agent addition Charles Omenihu could kick inside at times, but a long-term answer there is needed.
The addition of tackle Jawaan Taylor doesn’t completely solve Kansas City’s problems at the bookends, with Andrew Wylie departing in free agency alongside Orlando Brown Jr. The Chiefs have some young talent from recent draft classes they may believe in, but more depth there could always be smart to protect Mahomes.
31. Chiefs: Trade up
Brett Veach could just as easily move down, preferring more darts as he lets the Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes contingent fuel the entire operation. But Kansas City has relatively prominent needs at WR and pass rusher, and there could be several names floating into the 20s that justify a move up. Imagine, for example, if they’re able to slide up a few spots and give Mahomes a potential future No. 1 wideout in Quentin Johnston.
2. He did the majority of his damage on short routes over the middle of the field.
The 27-year-old wide receiver did the majority of his work over the middle of the field last season, hauling in 30 passes (or 53% of his total receptions) between the numbers and beyond the line of scrimmage. Specifically, 19 of those catches took place within nine yards of the snap.
James was also sure-handed overall, dropping just three passes on 67 targets.
31 - Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas State · Edge · Junior
Looking to build one of the better defenses in football with young talent on reasonable contracts continues to be the trend for the defending Super Bowl champions. FAU gives the Chiefs a pass rusher to help fill the void left by the release of Frank Clark — and at a much more palatable cap number.
Around the NFL
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported the news on the Wilde and Tausch show (36:40 mark) and added that the Packers are willing to give the Jets some draft compensation back in 2025 if Rodgers retires after the 2023 campaign.
However, Robinson reported Jets owner Woody Johnson refuses to deal a guaranteed first-round pick.
Per Robinson, Johnson has cold feet after the Denver Broncos traded a haul of picks (including 2022 and 2023 first-rounders) to the Seattle Seahawks for quarterback Russell Wilson only to finish in last place in the AFC West last year.
The Giants designated Barkley as their franchise player last month but have continued contract negotiations with the former No. 2 overall draft selection.
Giants owner John Mara said last month that he hoped to reach a long-term deal and that he wants Barkley “to be a Giant for his entire career.”
But the negotiations remained at a stalemate as of Wednesday morning and Barkley would not be eligible to participate in the offseason program unless he is under contract.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
1 - How would you recap Taylor’s time with the Jaguars?
ACOSTA: Taylor’s time with the Jaguars was one of improvement each year, though none as big as the jump he took from 2021 to 2022. He struggled against power in the pass-blocking department early in his career and drew a lot of ire from Jaguars fans, including myself. However, Taylor was always loyal to Jacksonville (he has a Jaguars tattoo on his leg), and his improvement was really cool to see each year. He made a massive jump this previous year, becoming one of the Jaguars best offensive linemen, and he showed up in the biggest moments. His improvement is definitely something that was noticeable and helped the Jaguars get to where they are now.
2 - How do Jaguars fans feel about the team not retaining him?
ACOSTA: Despite all I said in the first question, I think Jaguars fans are OK with not retaining him. The main reason for that is the price tag. The Chiefs signed him to an $80 million deal, including $40 million guaranteed, way above what I thought he would get. With Evan Engram getting the franchise tag, it felt like Taylor was on the way out, and the team was ready to start Walker Little, whether that be at right tackle or inside. Taylor just got priced out of where they wanted him at, and I think Jaguars fans are OK with that.
A tweet to make you think
Already in the lab cooking pic.twitter.com/K6IbLGmlUG— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 12, 2023