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Arrowheadlines: The Chiefs are still talking to DeAndre Hopkins

Chiefs headlines for Friday, July 7

Houston Texans vs Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The latest

DeAndre Hopkins rumors: Chiefs still in contact with free agent wide receiver, per report | CBS Sports

DeAndre Hopkins may be 31, but the former Pro Bowler has no plans to call it a career anytime soon, hinting Thursday that he’s got at least another half-decade of football in the tank. Despite buzz about the wide receiver potentially landing with the Patriots or Titans, the Chiefs remain another possibility, according to ESPN, as they remain in talks with the free agent.

“The Chiefs have kept in contact,” Jeremy Fowler reported recently, “and they have, certainly, some interest.”

The issue is money, as has been the case since Hopkins initially became available via trade early this offseason. Kansas City has just over $400,000 in current salary cap space — the least in the NFL — and Hopkins is reportedly seeking a deal in the range of the $15 million one-year pact that Odell Beckham Jr. landed with the Ravens. The Chiefs could free up money to pursue Hopkins “more aggressively” by extending star defensive tackle Chris Jones, per Fowler, but that might not happen until late in the summer.

Pre-Camp Breakdown: Examining the Chiefs’ Crowded Wide Receiver Corps | The Mothership

We’ll continue with wide receiver, where the Chiefs currently employ 14 players. This is one of the most interesting position groups on the roster, which also makes it difficult to project. Here’s what quarterback Patrick Mahomes had to say about the Chiefs’ wide receiver corps earlier this offseason:

“I think we’re deep. I think that’s the biggest thing. Usually, you have a good feel for kind of who [is going to make the team] and everything like that, but with this group, it’s like [I can see a path for every single guy making the team],” Mahomes said. “That’s what you want. You want that competition. Even the young guys who have stepped in have done a lot of great things, and guys from other systems have stepped in and done great things. So, [there’s] a lot of competition in that room that will play out through [offseason practices] and camp, but I’m happy with where we’re at in that receiving room.”

Canton Bound: Current NFL Coaches Headed for Hall of Fame | The 33rd Team

Andy Reid, Eagles, Chiefs

Some NFL “experts” believe Reid would have won just as many (or more) Super Bowls if he had Brady behind center as Belichick did.

Regardless, Reid has developed Patrick Mahomes into the best player at the sport’s most important position. That came after he added to his winning ledger with the Philadelphia Eagles. There are likely more rings to come.

“The only reason he doesn’t receive more recognition for his coaching brilliance is that he’s a contemporary of Bill Belichick,” Carucci said.

6 NFL Players and Teams That Will Defy Expectations in 2023 | Bleacher Report

Kadarius Toney Will Top 1,200 Receiving Yards

Kadarius Toney has only played two professional seasons, but it feels like fans have been waiting for the 2021 No. 20 overall pick to break out for about five years now.

In Year 3, that breakout may finally be coming.

While highlighting a potential breakout player for every AFC team, Zoltán Buday of Pro Football Focus singled out Toney, who caught 14 passes for 171 yards and two scores in seven games with the Chiefs last year:

“Why will Toney have a breakout season in 2023? Just turn on the tape of last year’s Super Bowl to find the answer. Toney was on the field for only seven snaps and still scored a touchdown and had a decisive punt return. Add in JuJu Smith-Schuster’s departure and a whole offseason for Toney in Kansas City, and it is understandable why Chiefs fans are excited about the potential of the former Giants wide receiver.”

Fans aren’t the only ones excited to see a full season of the 24-year-old. New Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy told reporters he’s intrigued to see what he can do with a full offseason under his belt in Kansas City:

“I think we all see what he can do when the football’s in his hands. Again, same type of deal, he comes over halfway through the season, it’s a whole new offense, he’s got to learn the ins and outs, and so you have that point and he was able to do that and it’s exciting now for us to be able to take that to year two and build that relationship with Pat. But he’s super talented with the football in his hands and he’s been that way his entire life in his football career.”

Toney’s explosiveness has never been in question. Neither has his ability to make people miss in the open field. Travis Kelce may be Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target, but with Smith-Schuster gone, the team needs someone to step into the No. 1 receiver role.

That someone will be Toney—and he’ll sail past the 1,000-yard mark in 2023.

Offensive X-factors for all 32 NFL teams, from Giants’ new weapon to Browns’ Deshaun Watson returning to form | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs: OTs Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor

As previously mentioned, the Bengals signed Orlando Brown away from the Chiefs. They only did so after Kansas City signed Jawaan Taylor to a big free-agent deal, but Kansas City then also added Smith to the mix. It sounded initially like Taylor might be moving from right tackle to left, but in the wake of the Smith deal, he might be staying where he’s spent the majority of his career, with Smith taking up residence on Patrick Mahomes’ blind side. If that’s the case, that’s a lot of faith to put in a player coming off of what was likely his worst NFL season. Protecting Tom Brady is obviously a lot different than protecting Mahomes, but if Smith just doesn’t have it anymore, it could cause the Chiefs to do a bunch of shuffling up front. And that’s not ideal.

Around the NFL

Ex-RB Corey Dillon rips Bengals’ ring of honor selection process | ESPN

Former Bengals running back Corey Dillon is flipping mad about the franchise’s ring of honor selection process.

The Bengals’ all-time leading rusher — who once famously said he’d “flip burgers” during a contract dispute with the club — took shots at how the team honors its former players. In an interview with The Athletic published Thursday, Dillon didn’t hold back as he took umbrage with the process that features votes from season-ticket holders and suite holders. He said it was “garbage” and the selection should be done directly by the front office or a special committee.

“This ain’t a popularity contest,” Dillon told the outlet. “This is football. You are going to put in somebody who is more popular than somebody who got stats?

“Bengals are smart. I give it to them. We will put it in the hands of the season-ticket holders, so they don’t have to take that backlash over who the voters are picking. That’s bulls---. The s--- should come straight from the team. Half these season-ticket holder people never seen half of us play.”

Darius Slayton sees himself as possible WR1 in Giants’ crowded corps: ‘I believe in my ability’ |

Wideout Darius Slayton, who re-signed with the club this offseason, rejects that notion, believing he can be that go-to target.

“I wouldn’t say it bothers me because everybody doesn’t know what I know,” Slayton told Ryan Dunleavy of The New York Post when asked about his lack of respect around the NFL. “Everybody is not in the Giants’ building. At the end of the day, you can only judge based on what you see from afar.”

Slayton has led the Giants in receiving three of the past four seasons but has yet to breach the 800-yard mark. Big Blue hasn’t had a 1,000-yard campaign from a receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018.

“You see this guy go for 1,010 (yards) or see a guy go for 100 yards every week, and you go, ‘He’s really good,’” Slayton said. “Some of these guys play with nobody. I play with Saquon (Barkley). Where do you think the ball is going first? Not me. We had (Sterling Shepard), Evan Engram and now Darren (Waller).

“I didn’t play with just a bunch of bums. That’s a little annoying because at the end of the day, it’s not like I’ve ever been the only person or one person to get the ball, whereas somebody [else] is. It is what it is. At the end of the day, I just play to win. As long as the Giants win, I’ll be all right.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs History: Andy Reid, Patriots’ Belichick and the ‘GOAT’ question

As it stands, Reid is fifth all-time in wins (247), and he will pass Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tom Landy (250) during the upcoming season. Reid will then only trail current New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (298) and NFL legends George Halas (318) and Don Shula (328) for the most wins in NFL history.

What is often overlooked is Reid is six years younger than Belichick — and both are still coaching. Quick math time.

Since joining the Chiefs in 2013, the club has averaged 11.7 wins per season. Rounding that up to 12 for six more seasons would put Reid at 319 wins, one ahead of Halas. It’s frequently been presumed that Reid would retire before that, but who’s to say he wouldn’t sign another five-year contract after the 2025 season?

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