Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
“There is a chance for the first game, but we’ll see,” he said. “We’ll just have to see how the recovery goes with him. But he’s bound and determined he’s gonna be there for the first game. We’ll see how it goes.”
Toney is projected to be a fixture of Kansas City’s offense this year after the club elected not to retain leading receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency.
When healthy, Toney should be one of the outside starters across from Marquez Valdes-Scantling with second-year receiver Skyy Moore manning the slot.
Even if Toney can’t go, Kansas City should be fine. The offense will still run through one of the best pass-catching tight ends in league history in Travis Kelce, while second-round rookie Rashee Rice, Justin Watson and Richie James offer decent depth at the receiver position.
Panic meter: 2
54. Kansas City Chiefs
Original pick: Jessie Bates III, S (CIN pick from KC trade up)
Miller’s new pick: Jordan Whitehead, S
The Chiefs would love a redo on the 2018 draft that brought them Breeland Speaks via a trade up at No. 46. Keeping this selection and addressing the safety position would have saved money and some frustration with future lack of development on the back end. Whitehead is a pesky, versatile safety with seven career picks, and he was a pivotal part of the revamped Tampa Bay secondary that led the Bucs defense to a Super Bowl LV victory.
Kansas City Chiefs
Which WR will step up?
There are a couple of different directions we could go here, but how the wide receiving corps shakes out will be fun to watch. The Chiefs haters have probably learned their lesson when it comes to doubting Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, but it’s still fair to wonder where the production is going to come from with the wide receivers. Their leading wide receiver from last year is now with the Patriots, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is more of a deep threat than a well-rounded No. 1, Kadarius Toney has been injury prone and Skyy Moore caught just 22 passes in his rookie season. As for some of the new guys, Richie James was an underrated pickup, it’s fair to be excited about Rashee Rice and then Justyn Ross is putting out highlights in training camp for the second straight year. Which one of these players are going to take JuJu Smith-Schuster’s place? Which one of these players are going to take pressure off of Travis Kelce’s?
Even the Best Are Underpaid
Travis Kelce is an eight-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-team All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion as Patrick Mahomes’ primary target in the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense. He’s an extremely popular team leader and has seven consecutive seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving.
Kelce amassed 110 catches for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns in the 2022 regular season. Plus, he added 27 receptions for 257 yards and four TDs during the Chiefs’ three postseason victories.
Kelce is underpaid for his production. He’s just the league’s third highest-paid tight end at $14.3 million per year, and he still has three years left on his contract. Should he make less than half as much as his former teammate Tyreek Hill? Hill earns $30 million per year on his extension as the NFL’s highest-paid receiver until Justin Jefferson surpasses him.
4. Wide receiver Cornell Powell made a noteworthy play during 11-on-11 drills.
Powell – who is entering his third season with the Chiefs after appearing in three games last year – made a great catch early in practice during an 11-on-11 period. The former fifth-round pick sprinted down the middle of the field and went up to grab the pass, wrestling the ball into his arms despite good coverage by the defender.
Wide receiver Skyy Moore also made a memorable catch on Thursday with an impressive grab deep down the field during 1-on-1 drills.
Around the NFL
The Chicago Bears and free-agent defensive end Yannick Ngakoue agreed to a one-year, $10.5 million contract Thursday, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The deal includes $10 million in guaranteed money.
Ngakoue, 27, spent the 2022 season with the Indianapolis Colts. He recorded 29 tackles and 9.5 sacks, emerging as an effective edge rusher while playing for his fourth team in three seasons.
The Las Vegas Raiders traded Ngakoue to the Colts last March despite the 2017 Pro Bowler recording 10 sacks during the 2021 season.
“He’s doing a good job,” former Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley told reporters of Ngakoue last season. “I’ve seen him really grow through the year. He’s really working hard at it. He’s taking extra reps in practice...
Zach Wilson’s outing ends up being a cameo. In what could be a crucial season for Wilson’s long-term development, the third-year quarterback didn’t get a ton of playing time, ending his night after one quarter of action. Before he exited, Wilson launched a beautiful, 36-yard strike to Malik Taylor over the head of cornerback Thomas Graham, but that was essentially it for the former No. 2 overall pick before veteran Tim Boyle replaced him. It would’ve been nice to see Wilson get another drive or two, primarily because he only threw five passes. His first drive ended because he slipped on a scramble attempt that would have produced a first down, and his final possession lasted just three plays (and picked up a whole five yards) after the Jets recovered a Browns fumble in Cleveland territory. It was clear the Jets only wanted one quarter of action for Wilson in what is essentially an extra preseason game, but it left us wanting more from a quarterback who could benefit from a year spent behind Aaron Rodgers. Perhaps we’ll see more of him in the weeks ahead.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
From the surface, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII rings are eye-catching enough. But engraved on the inside of each ring — in big, bold, all-caps red lettering — lies a single word that is meant to encapsulate everything for which the team stands:
“The edge” is head coach Andy Reid’s slogan. It refers to the competitive fire that motivates NFL players into being the best versions of themselves.
As the team wrapped up another arduous day of fully padded training camp practice on Wednesday morning, players were once again reminded about how important this edge has become in replicating their Super Bowl success.
“You want to maintain your edge as you go through daily — and make it a habit,” Reid explained to reporters at Missouri Western State University. ”That edge helps you drive to be the best you can be that day. You finish that one, you line up the next one and do that.
“It’s a grind going through camp. Like I said, I like the effort being put forth. The mindset is good and they’re challenging each other — which is the most important thing.”
A tweet to make you think
Lemme go call Chris and see how his day going— Frank Clark (@TheRealFrankC_) August 3, 2023