The Kansas City Chiefs’ interest in wide receiver Kadarius Toney goes back well before they acquired him in a trade last season with the New York Giants. They were hopeful he would fall to them in the 2021 draft and then tried to trade for him last spring before finally getting him out of New York last fall.
It’s no surprise then that the Chiefs believe Toney is first in line to be their next No. 1 wide receiver.
“He’s predominately been a guy that is a slot receiver, returner, runner — a gadget guy, if you will — but I don’t know if there is a limit on his game because he has a vertical game,’’ Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. “I don’t know if [his collegiate team at Florida was] one that vertically pushed the ball down the field, and his time early on in New York, I don’t know if they were a team that really vertically pushed the ball down the field.
“It’s a fair question to [ask]: ‘Has he ever played with a quarterback that likes to push the ball down the field?’ We have a lot of high hopes for him. He was a first-round pick for a reason. There’s a reason why we traded for him and we felt like he was first-round talent.”
The Chiefs need Veach to be right about Toney. They don’t have anyone who’s ever been a No. 1 NFL wide receiver, a first for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In his early seasons as starting quarterback, the Chiefs had Tyreek Hill at wide receiver and had JuJu Smith-Schuster last year.
Once his rookie contract expired in 2018, Landry took to free agency and received a five-year, $75.5 million contract from the Cleveland Browns. The following season, Landry had a 81-976-4 stat line in his first season with the Browns. During the 2022 season, he had a career-high 1,174 receiving yards and 6 receiving touchdowns on 83 receptions.
Inconsistent play from the quarterback position in Cleveland led to underwhelming performances for Landy during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, as he accumulated just 1,410 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns during that timeframe.
At 29 years old, Landry took to free agency once again in 2022 and signed with the New Orleans Saints on May 16. During his lone season in New Orleans, Landry played in just nine regular seasons games and registered career lows in targets (39), receptions (25), receiving yards (272), and touchdowns (1).
During his nine-year NFL career, Landry has been named a Pro Bowler five times.
The NFL’s big waves of offseason player movement have come and gone, and now the league is set to officially turn the page to the 2023 season, with expectations of releasing the full regular-season schedule on Thursday, May 11.
In total, the schedule release will account for 272 different matchups. Here, in anticipation of the unveiling, we decided to predict the games that will be featured on some of the NFL’s most anticipated calendar dates:
The only thing guaranteed about the Week 1 kickoff right now is Kansas City as the host. There are other intriguing possibilities, such as high-octane playoff rematches with the Bengals and Bills. But fresh off a start-to-finish shootout with the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, the Chiefs would draw a sure audience by welcoming a motivated Jalen Hurts to Arrowhead.
The Miami Grand Prix quickly has become a premier event in American racing, as celebrities from all over the country have come together in south Florida. Plenty of famous athletes decided to spend their off time attending the race, which is only in its second year of existence.
Among those in attendance are two prominent NFL quarterbacks. First is Patrick Mahomes, who had a busy week attending the Met Gala and Kentucky Derby before arriving in Miami. While entering the stadium with his wife and friends, Mahomes had two words to describe his busy schedule.
“I’m everywhere,” he said.
Chamarri Conner vs. Mike Edwards
The safety position has undergone several changes this offseason and has been completely remade in the last 18 months. Tyrann Mathieu left last season and Juan Thornhill departed this spring, leaving the team without two longtime starters after successive offseason. Instead, Justin Reid is the veteran leader heading into his second season, and his new tandem partner should be last year’s second-round pick, Bryan Cook.
As much as the Chiefs play a third safety on defense, the battle for S3 is going to be an important one. Last year, the defense was a lot better on the back end by upgrading from Dan Sorensen to Bryan Cook. In free agency, the Chiefs brought in Mike Edwards from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a breakout season on a one-year deal. But the draft also brought Chamarri Conner, a versatile, well-coached defensive back from Virginia Tech.
Edwards should have a leg up due to his experience, but he was only playing last year because Antoine Winfield was injured for the Bucs. Edwards responded with a strong season, but the Chiefs clearly liked Conner in the draft after trading up in the fourth to get him. If Conner takes quickly to instruction, he could surprise in training camp. The Chiefs aren’t shy about asking a lot from their rookie defensive backs.
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has had an entertaining offseason after winning his second Super Bowl.
After the Super Bowl, Butker spent a week at a monastery for silence, prayer and reflection.
This weekend, he gave the commencement speech at his alma mater Georgia Tech’s graduation.
In his speech, Butker mixed a little humor in with some life lessons.
“I am someone not much older than all of you, yet I’ve been asked to speak, not because I am a great orator or because I have a number of impressive accolades. Well, I guess I do have two Super Bowl rings,” Butker said to a laugh from the crowd. “I just happen to be blessed by God to be really good at kicking a funny-shaped ball between two yellow posts.”
“No matter how much money you attain, none of it will matter if you are alone and devoid of purpose.”
Banana Ball comes with a lot of rule variations from standard baseball, but it’s all intended to be fast and fun. Each inning is its own mini-game. The game will only last two hours. If a fan catches a foul, the batter is out. No walks. No bunts. No stepping out of the batter’s box. There’s a lot more where that came from, including the 3-2-2 dance (you can Google things yourself).
Beyond that, the Bananas have invented a ton of memorable moments at the ballpark. There’s the time the entire team wore kilts during a game. There are the team’s cheerleaders of women aged 65+ only (Banana-Nanas). There’s the first-base coach who’s actually a professional dancer. Everyone gets a hug, a high-five, or a handshake when entering the park.
Yeah, you can see why the Bananas are all the rage these days.
While in town for a series versus the Monarchs, former Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie helped the Bananas coordinate a tribute to one of the most memorable plays in recent Chiefs history: “Snowglobe”.
The Domino Effect: Rice’s arrival in Kansas City will make it much harder for guys like Justin Watson, Cornell Powell and Justyn Ross to make the roster this summer. But it’s hard to fathom whether he’ll crack the starting lineup. Kansas City’s receiving depth chart is filled with question marks, most notably whether last year’s rookie addition Skyy Moore can take a big leap in his second season. And while Rice has the makings of being a complete wideout, he’s arguably the most inconsistent receiver prospect in the class, and the Chiefs aren’t in the business of being patient as they look to maximize their championship window. Expect Rice to factor in on four and five-wide sets, but it might be tough to take out the incumbents for a starting job.
Around the NFL
Colts owner Jim Irsay wants to make it clear that Andrew Luck is off-limits.
After learning the availability of Luck was the subject of an inquiry last year by the Washington Commanders, Irsay took to social media Sunday night to warn teams about any correspondence regarding the long-retired Colts quarterback.
“If any NFL team attempted to contact Andrew Luck (or any associate of him) ... to play for their Franchise — it would be a clear violation of the League’s Tampering Policy,” Irsay posted on Twitter.
Luck, 33, who retired in 2019 with three seasons remaining on his contract, technically remains the property of the Colts. The contract tolled after his departure, meaning that if he ever elects to return to the NFL, the Colts would own his rights.
By selecting Michigan’s Jake Moody at No. 99 overall, the Niners made him the earliest kicker selected since Robert Aguayo in 2016 and just the sixth kicker since the turn of the century to go in the top 100 of a draft. According to the GM, the club wouldn’t have had a chance if he waited any longer.
“I can tell you, since then, that a lot of teams have called and said, you know, shortly thereafter they were going there,” Lynch said Thursday on KNBR’s Murph & Mac show. “And in fact, teams tried to trade up to get in front of us. So, something we feel really good about. Time will tell, as it will with all these guys. But we think he has the makings of a really cornerstone, foundational-type player for years to come for us, and we’re proud to have him a part of us.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Conner said that in Kansas City, he expects to be playing deep — and also playing closer to the line of scrimmage as a box safety.
“I think it’s really interchangeable,” he observed. “I’m just going to be kind of moving around.”
Conner also knows that to make the team as a mid-round rookie, he’s going to have to contribute on special teams — which happens to be in his wheelhouse. He logged 802 special teams snaps during his time with the Hokies.
“I’ve always been big on special teams,” he noted. “Coming from Virginia Tech, it’s something that we emphasize every day — day-in, day-out. We know it’s a big part of the game. I’ve always been locked in on special teams.“
However he ends up being used by the Chiefs, he knows that this is simply Day 1 at his new job,
“I’m just taking it all in,” he said. “Just putting my best foot forward every time I step on the field — and every time I step in the meeting room.”
A tweet to make you think
What better way to celebrate Alex's birthday than with some of his highlights?! pic.twitter.com/Y22vcAMnz2— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) May 7, 2023