ESPN 1000 shared on one of their shows today that Bears GM Ryan Poles has reached out to Brett Veach about Chris Jones.— Farzin Vousoughian (@Farzin21) August 25, 2023
Poles was part of the team’s scouting department and front office assistant from 2009 - 2021. pic.twitter.com/w47Hz99eQt
Kansas City Chiefs: Defensive Tackle
Super Bowl appearances are the expectation in Kansas City. Yet, as we approach Week 1, its best defensive player remains away from the team.
With Chris Jones reportedly comfortable with holding out until Week 8 of the upcoming campaign, substantial snaps have opened up within the nucleus of the Chiefs’ defensive front. Derrick Nnadi will occupy one of the spots, but the other? It’s anyone’s guess.
The team drafted Keondre Coburn out of Texas, and he has looked good in spurts. Tershawn Wharton remains on the mend following a torn ACL last year, but Danny Shelton has a sack and two pressures in 13 pass-pro opportunities this preseason, per Pro Football Focus. Shelton is a journeyman who is unlikely to start, but his tape from the past couple of weeks could push him up the depth chart.
Wharton has been “moving around well—[moving around] quick,” according to head coach Andy Reid, and could earn himself a heck of a role alongside Nnadi if Jones indeed holds out into October.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2)
QB: Patrick Mahomes (1)
HC: Andy Reid (1)
Only two current quarterback-coach combinations have won Super Bowls together, and the Mahomes-Reid duo is the only one to win twice. It’s tough to argue either isn’t at the top of his ranking, with Mahomes as a two-time NFL MVP at age 27, while Reid has been to four Super Bowls and a staggering 10 conference title games. This year, a dynasty is on the line for the Chiefs.
The 2020 first-rounder has fallen to No. 3 on the RB depth chart at best, with Isiah Pacheco a justified starter and Jerick McKinnon locked into a secondary pass-catching role. The Chiefs could save close to $1M by parting ways with the LSU product.
1 - Chris Jones
Kansas City Chiefs · Age: 29
In addition to earning his second ring, Jones finished last season ranked as PFF’s top interior defensive lineman, and nothing he has put on tape suggests that his reign will be temporary. With ability to apply consistent pressure from the 3-technique position OR power his way to the quarterback from the edge, Jones’ versatility makes him an unstoppable force at the point of attack. With Patrick Mahomes and Co. poised to light up scoreboards once again, thus forcing opponents to play catch-up through the air, Jones is set to rack up sacks and splash plays in bunches. If, of course, the contract stalemate comes to an end.
Around the NFL
Two drives and 10 points later, Bryce Young is taking some much-needed momentum into his rookie season.
Young, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, guided the Carolina Panthers on a pair of scoring drives and threw his first preseason touchdown pass in Friday’s preseason finale against the visiting Detroit Lions.
Having been hounded by opposing pass rushers feasting on a leaky Panthers offensive line in the previous two preseason outings, Young turned in easily his best showing so far on Friday. He looked in command piloting the Panthers, finishing 7 of 12 for 73 yards and a 16-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen over two series’ of work. Just as impressive as he was throwing the ball, Young was splendid on the ground, scrambling for 21 yards on three carries.
“I think he was sharp and productive and made plays,” Panthers head coach Frank Reich said. “And showed even more playmaking ability — with his feet, the throw for the touchdown.”
Roughly two and a half years after the San Francisco 49ers drafted him to be their franchise quarterback, Trey Lance’s time with the team is over.
The Niners agreed to trade Lance to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a fourth-round draft choice on Friday night, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed. The 49ers are not picking up any of Lance’s remaining salary as part of the trade.
The deal ends a whirlwind 48 hours in which Lance was informed that Sam Darnold had beaten him out for the No. 2 quarterback job behind starter Brock Purdy, requested a trade, did not participate in Wednesday’s practice and then returned to the team facility Thursday morning.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
3. The Chiefs will gain cap space
While Jones is on the Reserve/DNR list, his $28.3 million cap hit will not be part of the team’s official salary cap calculation — but since he could report at any time, Kansas City will need to act as if he is still on the active roster.
Salary-cap sites like Spotrac and OverTheCap reflect this reality. The San Francisco 49ers placed defensive tackle Nick Bosa on their Reserve/DNR list on July 26, but both sites are calculating the team’s cap space as if he is on the active roster.
Still... with each regular-season week Jones misses, the Chiefs will eventually gain $1.08 million in cap space.
It is believed that additional cap space could become available to the team each week. Here is a post from former NFL agent (and current CBS Sports analyst) Joel Corry:
There would be salary cap relief for any missed regular season weeks. https://t.co/h5raLmB4EO— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) August 23, 2023
In the final analysis, salary cap enforcement rests in the league’s right to approve new contracts. Should Kansas City execute a contract with a new player that depends upon cap space created by Jones’ holdout, it’s hard to imagine the league will disapprove it.
A tweet to make you think
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) August 26, 2023
Patrick Mahomes and 3 empty chairs is the strongest QB room in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/9nNQJ3LYZO