Allen Robinson II to the Chiefs
The Los Angeles Rams are open to moving wideout Allen Robinson II, who had only 339 yards and three touchdowns this past season.
Trading Robinson now would generate only $1.6 million in cap space, but it would presumably give the Rams something in return. Trading Robinson after June 1, though, would clear $10 million in 2023 cap space.
Robinson could serve as a backup plan for the Chiefs if they don’t land a receiver like DeAndre Hopkins and can’t adequately address the position in the draft. While Robinson has struggled to produce over the past few seasons, he caught 102 passes for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns with the Chicago Bears back in 2020.
Chicago’s head coach in 2020, Matt Nagy, is now the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. Nagy knows how to get the most out of Robinson. While Robinson might not fill the No. 1 receiver role, he could be a fine complementary piece in Kansas City’s offense.
Given the cap savings L.A. could acquire in a post-June 1 deal, a Day 3 selection in 2024 would probably be enough to get a deal done here.
In an attempt to improve the unit’s rating, Reid and Veach have added more defenders than offensive players so far during the league’s free-agent period. Three of the team’s four biggest acquisitions are defensive end Charles Omenihu (age 25), linebacker Drue Tranquill (age 27) and safety Mike Edwards (age 26). All three players are in the prime 0f their careers and joined the team by signing either one-year or two-year deals. The Chiefs believe the trio offers positional versatility and are still ascending to where they could each reach their full potential in their roles to enhance Spagnuolo’s complex scheme.
“I’m really familiar with the organization, playing them twice a year and I know they’re about winning championships,” Tranquill, who played the previous four seasons with the AFC West-rival Chargers, said earlier this month. “As a competitor, that’s what you grow up hoping for. That’s what you grow up dreaming about. Coach Reid has certainly built and sustained an incredible championship culture. I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of that and to learn from these guys and grow myself.”
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.
5. Kansas City Chiefs Sign OT Jawaan Taylor
The Kansas City Chiefs are making a sizable bet that Jawaan Taylor can transition to left tackle seamlessly.
It isn’t uncommon for teams to bet on a player’s trajectory. That’s essentially what the draft is, but it isn’t often that a team bets $80 million over four years.
Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star reported the franchise believes Taylor is athletic enough to switch from right tackle, where he played in Jacksonville, to left.
It might be true that the 25-year-old is an exceptional athlete. It might even be true that he can go to the left side. But he has yet to show elite play, and that’s where the concern should be.
Taylor has gotten better each year he’s been in the league. He gave up 23 sacks over the first two seasons of his career and has cut that number to 12 over the last two years, per Sports Info Solutions.
But he still gave up six sacks and committed 11 holding penalties in 2021.
Now the Chiefs are making him the fifth-highest-paid tackle in the league, by average annual value.
The fact that former Chief Orlando Brown Jr. took a deal for less money to play with Cincinnati and will likely see Kansas City in the playoffs multiple times over the next five years makes this move even harder to like.
The long-lasting impact at a key position puts it above the decisions before it. Taylor’s youth and the potential for the move to ultimately work out keep it below the ones that come after it.
Around the NFL
With the opportunity to choose his next team in free agency, Rapp explained that Buffalo was the right fit for him.
“I think everyone in the free agency process is trying to find the right fit and right opportunity,” Rapp told the team’s website this week. “This is a very special team, very special defense, very special back end, back seven, especially the guys that I will be joining in the room in Micah (Hyde) and Jordan (Poyer). They are obviously two great players, two former All-Pros and have had great careers. So, just a great opportunity to come in there and contribute in any way I can, just pick them apart and learn and soak up as much about the game as I can from those guys.”
“I was almost — this close — a Baltimore Raven. This close,” said Slay, holding up two fingers close together. “But I wanted to be an Eagle. I stayed an Eagle because I know we were going to figure something out.”
The anonymous owner said the league doesn’t know if the international division will start within two years or five years, not providing a timetable for the division to take place. The league will tie a record five international games in 2003, three in London and two in Germany. The NFL had five international games last season, three in London, one in Germany, and one in Mexico.
An expansion of more than two teams would be a first in league history. The last expansion team was the Houston Texans in 2002 and the last time the league expansion was two teams with the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995. While the league hasn’t added an expansion team in 21 years, the NFL added four expansion teams from 1995 to 2002 to get to the current 32-team format.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Quentin Johnston graduated from Temple High School and was a top-100 recruit. He was the third-ranked receiver recruit from Texas and the second-highest recruit to sign with TCU in 2020.
Johnston measures 6’2” and 208 lbs. with 33’5/8” arms. This fits the ideal length and size that most NFL teams look for in an outside receiver.
His first two years at TCU were decent but not great. As a freshman, he had 22 catches for 487 yards (22.1 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. As a sophomore, Johnston had 33 catches for 634 yards (19.2 yards per catch) and six touchdowns (his season ended early due to injury).
A head coaching and position coach change before his junior year really helped Johnston, but the most significant boost may have been the switch from “Y” receiver to “X.” Johnston had his best year, finishing with 60 catches for 1,089 yards (18.2 yards per catch) and six touchdowns. His play helped TCU reach the College Football Playoff. In the semifinal victory over Michigan, he turned in six catches for 163 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown.
Johnston is slotted to go in the first round of the draft by most experts. Some have him going as high as No. 9, while others have him falling into the early 20s.