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Arrowheadlines: ESPN compare soccer greats to Travis Kelce

Chiefs headlines for Saturday, April 8

Kansas City Chiefs Victory Parade Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

The latest

What Real Madrid’s Benzema, Kroos, Modric share with NFL’s Kelce | ESPN

So, the stats: Kelce has played 18 playoff games — one more than a standard regular season. And those games are coming against the best teams in the NFL. He’s caught 133 passes for 1,548 yards and 16 touchdowns. Per game, that’s 7.4 catches, 86 yards, and 0.9 touchdowns — numbers that would’ve ranked, respectively, third, eighth, and first in the NFL this past regular season.

Is there a soccer equivalent of Kelce’s dominance against elite opposition? In one sense, not really — or, at least, it doesn’t matter. The way the domestic season works, goals against Real Valladolid are just as valuable against goals against Real Madrid. But we do have one strand of competition that theoretically includes only the best teams in the world: the Champions League knockout rounds. (No offense to Helsingborgs, Ferecvaros and FC Sheriff, but the group stages do not include only the best teams in the world.)

2023 NFL draft buzz, rumors: Latest news on No. 1 pick, QBs, prospects | ESPN

Which teams are you hearing could trade up in Round 1?

Reid: I have my eye on the Kansas City Chiefs. We saw them trade up for cornerback Trent McDuffie last year (No. 29 to No. 21), and I could see general manager Brett Veach moving up again this year. With 10 draft picks and a roster that doesn’t have many open spots, it makes sense if the team sees an opportunity to land an impact player. Kansas City has holes at offensive tackle and edge rusher, two positions that are plentiful in the first round. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs move up from No. 31 into the early 20s for a top-tier prospect at one of those spots.

2023 NFL Draft: The best pick in history for all 32 teams | Sports Illustrated

Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes, QB, 2017

Let’s not make this more complicated than it needs to be. While the Chiefs have had other phenomenal players over the years, none transformed the franchise the way Mahomes has.

Since becoming the starting quarterback in 2018, Mahomes has twice been named both league MVP and Super Bowl MVP, and won two championships despite being only 27 years old. The only other players in league history to match those credentials? Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Mahomes has also thrown for more than 5,000 yards twice, and at least 35 touchdowns on four occasions.

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Seahawks move up to grab eventual Geno Smith replacement; three big mock trades in top 10 | CBS Sports

Round 1 - Pick 31

Anton Harrison OT

OKLAHOMA • JR • 6’4” / 315 LBS

Harrison has improved every year at Oklahoma, and while he’s probably never going to be an elite run-blocker, the priority for a Kansas City offensive lineman will always be protecting Patrick Mahomes, not opening run lanes. Harrison will do that.

‘No surrender, no retreat:’ Jody Fortson, a Buffalo story | Go Long TD

Jody Fortson is no different. He was 10 years old when parts of Buffalo received 24 inches in October 2006. Looking outside of his window, in awe, there was at least a foot that AM. Sidewalks weren’t plowed yet. His mother’s brother spoke up. Woods instructed his nephew to strap up his Timberland boots and start running laps around the block because it’d strengthen his ankles. Huh? Come again? There were no cars, no humans at all outside in the freezing cold. Fortson didn’t protest and, soon, this became a habit. After growing up on the east side, he moved to Altruria Street in South Buffalo around eighth grade. That’s when Fortson started running around Delaware Park at 6 a.m. Didn’t matter if it was five degrees or 95.

Early dreams of becoming the next Kobe Bryant quickly changed. Seeing how aggressive his nephew was on the court, Woods convinced Jody to pour his energy into football. He started playing organized football for the first time that fall of ’06 which, ironically enough, was the last time Fortson played tight end before the NFL.

Granted, the coach could only feed him the ball via reverses because he couldn’t catch.

“I used to not be able to catch a cold butt-naked in Alaska,” Fortson says. “It was so bad.”

Around the NFL

Police charge Bengals’ Joe Mixon with aggravated menacing | ESPN

Mixon allegedly pointed a gun at a woman on Jan. 21, the day the Bengals traveled to face the Buffalo Bills. The initial charge was dismissed less than 24 hours after it was filed, with authorities stating during the court proceeding that they reserved the right to refile the case upon gathering new information.

“This decision was reached following the discovery of new evidence during the investigative process,” the Cincinnati Police Department said in a statement Friday. “To preserve a fair and impartial judicial process for all parties involved, no investigatory details or evidence will be disclosed outside of official court proceedings.”

The Bengals on Friday said that “the club is aware misdemeanor charges have been raised against Joe Mixon” and that the team will monitor the situation and refrain from further comment

Sources — Titans, DL Jeffery Simmons agree to 4-year, $94M deal | ESPN

The deal worth $94 million has $66 million in guarantees, including a $24 million signing bonus, sources said.

“We are not done yet,” Simmons said on Twitter. “We have so much work to do!”

The deal provides long-term security for Simmons, who had been set to play on the fifth-year option at $10.75 million. Titans general manager Ran Carthon prioritized signing Simmons to the extension when he came to Tennessee in January.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

NFL Free Agency 2023: Chiefs signing former 49ers, Giants wide receiver Richie James

James, 27, first entered the league as a seventh-round pick out of Middle Tennesee made by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2018 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 183-pound receiver appeared in 40 games (10 starts) during three years with the 49ers, compiling 38 catches for 689 yards and three touchdowns. James suffered a knee injury in August prior to the 2021 season, and he was waived by San Francisco before missing it entirely.

James caught on with the New York Giants in 2022, nearly matching his career totals in a single season in New York. James finished with 57 catches for 569 yards and four touchdowns.

James’ NFL career includes 75 punt returns for 547 yards (7.3 yards per return), as well as 47 kick returns for 1,081 yards (23.0 yards per return) and a touchdown. In 2022, he only returned punts for the Giants.

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