10 - Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City parted ways with veteran Frank Clark, who recently signed with AFC West rival Denver, leaving the Chiefs young on the edges. Andy Reid’s club is counting on 2022 first-rounder George Karlaftis to build on a solid first year, when he finished second on the team with six sacks. Free-agent addition Charles Omenihu brings upside in an expanded role after being a rotational player his first four years, while 2023 first-rounder Felix Anudike-Uzomah should play a lot in his rookie campaign. Last season, the Chiefs were a committee pressure force, finishing second in the NFL with 55 sacks, despite DT Chris Jones (15.5) being the only K.C. player in double digits. They’ll need that same sort of spread production in 2023. Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise if K.C. brought in a veteran presence to round out the group closer to the season — especially one looking for a ring who might take less money to join Patrick Mahomes. A solid group of veteran edge rushers is currently available in Ngakoue, Clowney and former Chiefs Melvin Ingram and Justin Houston. The edge depth chart isn’t a fatal flaw for the Chiefs, but it could be solidified ahead of the Super Bowls champs’ title defense.
Rookie to watch: WR Rashee Rice
The Chiefs traded up in the second round for the former SMU standout, who put up big numbers in his last season with the Mustangs. Given the Chiefs’ lack of depth at receiver, Rice will get plenty of deep looks.
Over/Under 11.5 win total: Over
Despite some of Kansas City’s holes on offense, Patrick Mahomes is the great equalizer. This Chiefs team should remain favorites to win the AFC for the fourth time under this regime.
Contrary to expectations, that season turned out to be a breakthrough for the Chiefs. Since then, Mahomes has led the team to three Super Bowl appearances and secured two championship victories. Some Packers fans now hope for a similar impact from Aaron Rodgers’ successor, but insider Ian Rapoport set much lower expectations.
Here’s how he put it:
“It’s not like when Mahomes was going to be the Chiefs’ starting quarterback for the first time when they were like ‘yo, like we got something.’ where they knew [in advance]. This is not like that. This is more like, ‘we think we have something.’ He is talented, obviously.”
Veach entered the league in 2007 with the Philadelphia Eagles as Reid’s assistant. Ten years later, as a fast-rising scout, Veach proved to be instrumental in persuading Reid and former general manager John Dorsey to execute a generation-defining trade — a deal with the Buffalo Bills to move up 17 spots in the draft to acquire Mahomes, the franchise’s greatest player, with the 10th overall pick. A few months after that, Veach began the interview to replace Dorsey by handing Hunt a thick binder that detailed his vision for how to improve the team’s roster.
“We didn’t spend much time in it, thankfully,” Hunt said. “He had it in case I wanted to see it. It included using free agency more than I was accustomed to. He felt that that was an important tool. From Day 1, he showed us he was very open to trades.
“We wouldn’t have made it to Super Bowl LIV without some of those moves he made back then. The draft classes he’s put together the last several years, I think, are our key to the success.”
Bolton was recognized as one of the top linebackers in the league this past week as he checked in at No. 10 in Sports Illustrated’s rankings for the position. Here’s what SI’s Gilberto Manzano wrote about Bolton:
“You might not be familiar with the name, but you’ve definitely noticed the middle linebacker in the No. 32 jersey flying around making plays for the Chiefs during postseason games. Bolton, 23, flashed as a rookie in 2021, but he really took his game to the next level in Year 2 by stacking 180 total tackles, the second most in the league. As a unit, the Chiefs’ defense often gets forgotten (as teammates of Patrick Mahomes); Bolton said himself that the defense doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s also time to acknowledge that Bolton is one of the best linebackers in the league.”
Around the NFL
The six “key rules” of the gambling policy that the league officials will emphasize are:
Don’t bet on the NFL;
Don’t gamble at your team facility, while traveling for a road game or staying at a team hotel;
Don’t have someone bet for you;
Don’t share team “inside information”;
Don’t enter a sportsbook during the NFL playing season;
Don’t play daily fantasy football.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill is under investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department for allegedly hitting a man, via Local 10 News and confirmed by the department. Hill allegedly hit a man working at Haulover Marina in Miami on Sunday.
The alleged Father’s Day incident reportedly took place around 6 p.m. local time, when Hill and an employee of charter companies located in the area got into a disagreement, though the root of the issue is not yet public. The report alleges that Hill hit the person he was in the dispute with.
Whether the apparent victim suffered any injuries is not known. It is also not known if Hill will face any criminal charges or repercussions from the Dolphins.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Kelce, at 33, has really embraced the mentorship role that goes along with being a 10-year NFL veteran — both inside the Chiefs’ building and out.
“The young guys, the guys that are kind of like still getting molded into this offense that you’ll see this year – any bit of advice I can give to anybody,” explained Kelce at mandatory minicamp. “That’s kind of across the league — I’ll give nuggets of gold over here at Tight End U coming up next week... or what I think are nuggets of gold.
“And it’ll be – I’m here to try to get everybody to be at their best and still got that confidence that what we do over here is always going to be number one.”