Kansas City Chiefs

LOOK: Chiefs Visit President Biden at White House

LOOK: Chiefs Visit President Biden at White House

Because of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers didn't result in the team making the trip up to Washington D.C. back in 2020. Now that Andy Reid's team is a champion once again, though, a thrilling Super Bowl LVII win over the Philadelphia Eagles punched Kansas City's ticket to the White House.

Arriving on Monday, the Chiefs made the trip of a lifetime just one day before a third session of organized team activities (OTAs) kicks off back in Kansas City on Tuesday. At the White House, the organization is being recognized by President Joe Biden as the NFL champs for the 2022-23 campaign in a tradition that is one of the highlights of the league offseason.

Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas is in attendance, as are Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and former Senator Claire McCaskill. Political figures, team staff, media members and many others gathered on Monday to celebrate the grandest accomplishment of this past season.

The Associated Press has a livestream set up and running on their YouTube channel, starting at 3:30 p.m. Kansas City time. The White House's official YouTube channel also has one beginning at the same time

Below are some of the Chiefs' best moments from Monday afternoon in D.C.

First look at the football being presented to the Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes takes in the experience

Former Chief JuJu Smith-Schuster documents his trip to D.C.

Carlos Dunlap gives a firsthand look at arriving at the White House

Allen Wright pokes fun at some of the Chiefs' staff

Rick Burkholder poses with the Lombardi Trophy and Biden's jersey

Mahomes snaps a picture with Chad Henne, Skyy Moore and Harrison Butker

Chiefs assemble for Biden's speech

Biden holds a moment of silence for Norma Hunt

Reid issues another statement of confidence

Biden gets presented with his jersey

Mahomes cuts Kelce off at the podium

Read More: Travis Kelce Makes Bold Prediction for Patrick Mahomes’s Ring Total

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Travis Kelce Makes Bold Prediction for Patrick Mahomes’s Ring Total

Travis Kelce Makes Bold Prediction for Patrick Mahomes’s Ring Total

The Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl LVII win over the Philadelphia Eagles prompted many to question whether the Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce trio had cemented the franchise as a modern-day NFL dynasty. While the answer has varied depending on who's asked, there's one member of the organization that is very confident in his take. 

Appearing on a recent episode of FanDuelTV's Run it Back program, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce discussed a variety of topics alongside hosts Michelle Beadle, Chandler Parsons, Shame Charania and Eddie Gonzalez. One of them was Kansas City's standing as either a budding or established dynasty with recent success being compared to that of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. While Kelce acknowledged that the Chiefs still have some work to do before their ring total reaches four with this current core, he didn't leave any room for interpretation on where he stood:

"I would say, yeah, Kansas City has been a dynasty for quite a while now. Obviously, I'm biased to that, but I think what Coach Reid has done since he's been here in terms of winning, in terms of the playoff runs and all the division championships and the AFC title appearances — then obviously the Super Bowls — we're 100% a dynasty. But when you put it up against what the Warriors have done, obviously we don't have as many championships right now so we've got some work to do."

Kelce is no stranger to being lumped in with the Warriors, as he and Mahomes are set to take on Golden State stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in another edition of Capital One's The Match later this month. Dubbed the "Splash Brothers" by NBA fans, the Curry-Thompson duo has experienced a ton of success together and the duo is responsible for bringing the franchise four championships since 2015. 

As far as having four championship wins on a resume is concerned, there's a very finite amount of quarterbacks in NFL history who can stake claim to that. Tom Brady's seven rings are by far the most all-time, with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw tying for second place with four rings of their own as well. Mahomes is currently in elite company with two championships before even turning 28 years old, but winning at the highest level is never guaranteed. Talented signal-callers such as Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers are prime examples of that, but that isn't stopping Kelce from making a bold prediction about the rest of Mahomes's career. The veteran tight end said his quarterback will surpass the four-ring mark: 

"I think at the end of the day, Patty Mahomes finds a way to overtake — what is it, they've got four championships? I think Pat Mahomes is definitely going to find a way to get more than four championships. Hopefully I'm still along for the ride by the time he gets there."

If Mahomes does end up winning three additional championships the rest of the way (presumably within the next 10-15 years depending on how long he plays), Kelce's prediction would see the two-time MVP finish his career with five rings. That's an unlikely outcome simply based on how difficult it is to win the big game in the NFL, but Mahomes has already managed to get to the Super Bowl three times in five full seasons as a starting quarterback. His success thus far has been mostly unprecedented, so perhaps Kelce isn't being outlandish with his crystal ball proclamation. 

Read More: NFL World Reacts to the Passing of KC Chiefs Matriarch Norma Hunt

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Royals Promote Chiefs Night at Kauffman Stadium

Royals Promote Chiefs Night at Kauffman Stadium

The Kansas City Chiefs' home at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium is one of the most iconic locations in the NFL, but the team also shares an area with a multi-time world champion baseball club that is currently holding some fans over until football is officially back.

On Monday morning, the Kansas City Royals tweeted that they will be hosting a Chiefs night at Kauffman Stadium on June 12 to pay homage to their neighbors at the Truman Sports Complex.

Per the Royals' promotions page on their official team website, 'Chiefs Night' is an opportunity to "honor the Super Bowl LVII Champion Kansas City Chiefs at The K with Coach Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and more!" The 7:10 p.m. local time home game against the Cincinnati Reds will also feature special appearances from Chiefs mascot KC Wolf and the Chiefs' cheerleaders.

For those who plan to attend Chiefs Night at Kauffman Stadium, varying ticket level options can be purchased straight from the MLB website's directory for the game. The first 20,000 fans who get through the gates will be given a Royals-Chiefs combo rally towel as a part of the event's promotional giveaway rollout. The Monday night game is also currently listed as an eligible outing for $10 View Reserved tickets courtesy of the Royals' 'Price Chop Mondays' initiative with Price Chopper.

Both Kansas City teams have a great relationship with one another, and the Chiefs' strong turnout at the Royals' Opening Day back in March was yet another example of that. Mahomes being a part of the franchise's ownership group under John Sherman helps, too, providing the organization with even more backing from their NFL counterparts. Chiefs Night presents a chance for fans of both teams to show their support in a major way. 

Read More: NFL World Reacts to the Passing of KC Chiefs Matriarch Norma Hunt

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Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney Named Breakout WRs to Watch

Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney Named Breakout WRs to Watch

The Kansas City Chiefs have made a concerted effort to get younger and deeper at the wide receiver position, and the club's current group is chock-full of options for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to choose from. With that said, the unit is also largely unproven and its ceiling is met with an equally scary floor.

Gone are veterans JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, as both players departed via free agency earlier this offseason. In their places, Kansas City is relying on the internal development of young pieces such as Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore and Rashee Rice. All three players are at various stages of their rookie-scale arcs and were selected in either the first or second round of their respective drafts. There's no DeAndre Hopkins present to eat away at their snaps (as of the publishing of this article), as only Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a projected top-four wideout on the team. As such, the opportunity for a breakout elsewhere is certainly on the table.

Jordan Schultz of theScore is buying some of that stock, as his list of 10 breakout wide receivers to watch for the 2023 season contained both Moore and Toney. Citing their skill sets the team's desire for at least one of them to embrace more responsibility this year, here is what Schultz wrote about the young pass-catchers:

Two-for-one here. Both Toney and Moore made massive contributions during the Chiefs' 38-35 Super Bowl victory over Philly, showcasing their dynamic playmaking ability (Moore caught a TD and Toney flipped the game as a punt returner). The truth is, I loved Moore as a three-time All-MAC pick out of Western Michigan. He's the ideal weapon for Patrick Mahomes because of how easily you can move him around. He can play the slot, he can play outside, and he can line up in the backfield.

And I can say the same for Toney, whose prowess at stopping on a dime can make even the league’s best defenders look silly. With JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman Jr. departing in free agency, Kansas City would love for one of these young receivers to assume a larger role in 2023, and I believe both will.

Toney, 24, was a first-round pick back in 2021 but never quite latched on as the New York Giants had originally hoped. The Chiefs swooped in at last year's trade deadline to pick him up and once he got healthy, the team's swap with New York became justified. Toney played somewhat sparingly in his first half-season as a Chief and struggled to stay healthy but when on the field, he flashed some of what he can do in Andy Reid's offense. The club has been effusive with praise of him in recent months, and Toney is expected to assume a prominent role at wide receiver this coming season.

Moore, a second-round pick last year coming out of Western Michigan, had an underwhelming rookie season in many regards. He never cracked the top end of Reid's wideout depth chart and hauled in just 22 passes, although he did record a pair of consecutive five-reception outings in Weeks 11 and 12 of the regular season. The 22-year-old notched his first career touchdown in the Super Bowl, and the vibe from Kansas City has been that Moore is also expected to grow within the offense in both role and production as he gets more comfortable and experienced.

It's one thing to garner hype in the offseason, and it's another thing to cash in on that goodwill. All things considered, though, the door is wide open for one or both members of the Moore-Toney pair to take a serious step forward in 2023-24. Reid's offense is tricky to learn in less than a full year, and the aforementioned departures present a notable opportunity. Schultz's list indicates that yet another believer is in the fold.

Read More: Determining Factors for the Kansas City Chiefs' Pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins

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NFL World Reacts to the Passing of Norma Hunt

NFL World Reacts to the Passing of Norma Hunt

The Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL at large recently suffered a monumental loss when the club announced on Sunday night that team matriarch Norma Hunt had passed away.

Hunt, who was married to Kansas City and league legend Lamar Hunt, was the only woman to attend every Super Bowl in person. She was responsible for a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes efforts within the Chiefs organization and a ton of positive league advancement efforts as well. Hunt's legacy will last for years to come, and the things she was able to accomplish for the team and for women aspiring to be impactful in sports won't be forgotten.

On Sunday, the Hunt family issued a statement mourning the loss of Norma. It can be viewed in full below: 

Our family is deeply saddened by the passing of our mother, Norma. She was a wonderful mother and an extraordinary woman who will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

Kind, generous and unfailingly positive, mom was one of a kind. Her joy and zeal for life were infectious. She loved caring for others, and she always had an encouraging word. She was a loyal friend, the consummate hostess and she had a rare ability to make everyone she encountered feel valued and at ease.

Mom was steadfastly devoted to her family and fiercely passionate about her family's sports teams. She was by our father Lamar's side every step of the way – from the merger of the AFL and the NFL to the formation of Major League Soccer, World Championship Tennis, the North American Soccer League, and their founding investment in the Chicago Bulls. She was the only person we knew who rivaled his love of sports. The two of them found such joy together, whether at home, or in stadium stands around the world.

This February, she attended her 57th and final Super Bowl and watched her beloved Chiefs hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the third time. It was a fitting conclusion to her streak as the only woman to attend every Super Bowl.

Her quiet yet deep faith sustained her throughout her life, and we take great comfort knowing that she is home with the Lord. She will be greatly missed by our family, the extended Chiefs and FC Dallas families, and by everyone who knew her.

On Sunday night and Monday morning, the football world has taken to Twitter to honor the life and legacy of Norma Hunt. Those tweets, embedded below, come from official NFL team accounts, current and former Chiefs players, pillars of the NFL ecosystem and media members.

NFL teams offer their respects

Las Vegas Raiders

Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Green Bay Packers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pittsburgh Steelers

Current and former Chiefs players comment on Norma Hunt's legacy

Patrick Mahomes

Trent Green

Matt Cassel

Figures from around the football world and media pay tribute

Roger Goodell

Jim Irsay

Troy Aikman

Skip Bayless

Scott Pioli

Ashley Smith

Read More: Determining Factors for the Chiefs' Pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins

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Skyy Moore’s Second-Year Jump Is Inevitable

Skyy Moore’s Second-Year Jump Is Inevitable

Looking back on the Kansas City Chiefs' 2022 NFL Draft, the selection of Skyy Moore may be the most controversial pick of the bunch. It’s not that Moore isn’t a good wide receiver or that he can’t turn into a solid pro player, but it was the first time that general manager Brett Veach traded down in a draft.

The Chiefs had the 50th pick but when their name was supposed to show up on the screen, it was the New England Patriots that were on the clock instead. The Chiefs were able to get back pick 54, just a few spots later, and pick 145. Three of the four players drafted between pick 50 and 53, before the Chiefs were able to use their new selection, were wide receivers.

Tyquan Thornton was selected by the Patriots, George Pickens was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Alec Pierce was taken by the Indianapolis Colts. Then it was the Chiefs' turn, and they selected Moore at 54. Whether it’s fair or not, Moore will likely always be compared to these other three receivers during his career and the pick will be examined under a microscope.

Coming out of college, there was high praise for Moore — especially in the analytics community. He was viewed as a smaller receiver, standing at just under 5-foot-10 and weighing 195 pounds, but he had incredible route-running skills, great run-after-the-catch ability and great hands. Moore only dropped three passes on 125 targets during his final collegiate season and had the largest hands of any wide receiver at the combine. His 26 broken tackles tied for most among eligible receivers as well. All of these stats led to him being the highest-graded wide receiver by Pro Football Focus in the 2022 draft class.

Even with all of this, things didn’t get off to a great start during Moore’s rookie year. During the first half of the season, Moore had six catches in eight games. Of those eight games, he didn’t get a catch in four of them and had zero targets in three. Things didn't go so well for him as a punt returner either, as he had multiple muffed punts in a loss to the Colts. The woes continued and Moore ended up being taken off punt return duties.

During the second half of the season, Moore was able to get more involved in the receiving game at times. He had back-to-back five-catch games to end the month of November, with his season high of 63 yards coming in a 30-27 win at the Los Angeles Chargers. There were still games down the stretch where Moore disappeared, having three outings in December and January where he didn’t record a catch. He finished the regular season with 22 catches for 250 yards and was held without a touchdown.

Moore was able to get some redemption in the postseason. In the AFC Championship Game, with wide receivers getting injured left and right, Moore was able to see an increased amount of playing time and was also tasked to field a season-defining punt return late. He hadn’t returned one since he muffed a punt against the Los Angeles Rams at the end of November. His key punt return against the Cincinnati Bengals put the Chiefs in position to kick a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of the game and get to the Super Bowl.

May 26, 2022; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore (24) runs drills during organized team activities at The University of Kansas Health System Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Moore was able to get his first career touchdown in a critical moment of the game. On a third-and-goal from the four-yard line, quarterback Patrick Mahomes found a wide-open Moore near the line of scrimmage on the opposite side of the field for a score, giving the Chiefs an eight-point fourth-quarter lead with less than 10 minutes to go. Moore’s touchdown was the final one the Chiefs scored.

Despite Moore’s lack of production during his rookie season, it leaves plenty of room for growth and production to come in year two. It was another offseason of turnover at the wide receiver position for the Chiefs, and he will have plenty of chances to see his role grow in 2023.

With JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman leaving town, Moore’s role could be more defined. He showcased his ability to be a jack-of-all-trades, lining up in the slot and out wide. The hope would be to see him in a key role at the wide receiver position and let the punt returns go to a teammate. Moore can be the type of player that works over the middle of the field, like Smith-Schuster. He also has the versatility to play around the line of scrimmage similarly to Hardman. It will be interesting to see if the coaching staff tries to put Moore in one role or have him move around instead.

The receiver room looks to be Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Moore, Justin Watson, rookie Rashee Rice and then three or four more players fighting for the final spot. Moore will have the chance to really make an impact in 2023. Taking the next step from 22 receptions to over 60 is a realistic goal. Adding 40-plus receptions could put him right there in the 700-800 yard range, which would help fill some of that void that Hardman and Smith-Schuster left behind.

The path is there for Moore to take a second-year jump. With a year under his belt full of postseason experience and added trust from Mahomes, it’s only a matter of time before Moore takes a big step forward.

Read More: Determining Factors for the Kansas City Chiefs' Pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins

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Dave Toub Reveals Chiefs’ Potential Special Teams Options for 2023

Dave Toub Reveals Chiefs’ Potential Special Teams Options for 2023

Over the course of his career as the Kansas City Chiefs' assistant head coach and even dating back to the days in which he worked strictly with special teams, Dave Toub has built a reputation as one of the better coaches in his field. With that said, the 2022 season challenged him and the team.

General manager Brett Veach allowed multiple key veterans to walk out the door via free agency last offseason, utilizing the 2022 NFL Draft to insulate the roster with depth and upside. That youth and inexperience showed early in the season, though, as the team's special teams unit was a glaring weakness that reared its ugly head several times in the early and middle portions of the 2022-23 campaign. Kansas City rebounded well enough to finish 19th in Football Outsiders' Special Teams DVOA, but that was quite the fall from a No. 7 ranking the year before. 

Nevertheless, Toub and company eventually adjusted to having so many young players in the fold. By the end of the season and into the playoffs, the Chiefs' had a plethora of standouts in that area of the game. That, combined with the NFL's changes to kickoff return rules for 2023, could lead to even greater overall success moving forward despite another rookie class of largely unexpected contributors coming in. That applies to undrafted free agents as well, and Toub said on Thursday that former Tulsa running back Deneric Prince is emerging as a potential return option.

"Some guys that are doing really well right now you probably want to know (are Deneric) Prince is looking good as a running back," Toub said. "He reminds me so much of – you guys remember Knile Davis? He reminds me of Knile, he even has the same number. (He) didn’t do it in college, but he’s showing traits right now that he reminds me so much of Knile that it’s kind of scary. And you know, Knile was pretty good for us. As he went on, obviously the touchdowns. And so, I see him in that role.”

Prince indeed had very limited return experience in college, as his four-year career between Texas A&M and Tulsa saw him bring back just four kickoffs for a combined 68 yards. Kansas City is no stranger to giving a rookie running back a chance to return kicks, however, as Isiah Pacheco had that role just a season ago as a seventh-round selection. The Chiefs also have plenty of other potential suitors for the role, including a mix of recent free agent signings and draft picks. Former New York Giants standout Richie James headlines the list for Toub, but he also mentioned a few other names. 

"Richie James is a guy that – he’s got experience, (he) did it in NFL games, which that’s huge as we know," Toub said. "And he’s definitely in the mix. (John) Ross – the other one, No. 85 – he’s another guy that’s got speed. (He) had injury problems at Cincinnati, but if he could stay healthy, he’s definitely in the mix. He’s probably one of our fastest players back there. And then you still got Skyy (Moore) and Ihmir (Smith-Marsette). We have a bunch of guys that are possible guys that can do that for us.”

While Kansas City doesn't have an extremely clear picture of who will end up being the team's primary special-teamers this coming season, they have a good idea of who can serve as exactly that. Organized team activities (OTAs) are a perfect time to experiment and allow clubs to learn more about the players on their 90-man rosters. Someone who manages to stand out now doesn't necessarily have a locked-in role on the team by the time August or September roll around, but the Chiefs are intentional with the reps they divvy up. Players like Prince wouldn't be tried out in a special teams role if he didn't flash a redeeming quality or two to Toub. 

The overarching theme of Toub's special teams unit, much like Steve Spagnuolo's defense, is youth. The franchise's recent investment in young, athletic and high-upside talents naturally leads to special teams as a path for carving out an early role and potentially earning more playing time down the road. The late-round draft picks and undrafted players are more geared toward that side of the ball, and that's who Toub singled out when asked about who could help the Chiefs out early. As the offseason rolls on, he thinks the unheralded prospects are the ones to keep an eye on. 

"I’m excited about the young linebackers, (Isaiah) Moore and (Cam) Jones, the two free agent kids that we have," Toub said. "I like the kids that we drafted, (Chamarri) Conner and (Nic) Jones. Both of those guys are going to help us right off the bat. The d-lineman, the defensive ends, possibly some role players but not so much as a four-phase guy but I’m excited about the young players but really it’s those last year’s young players that are getting better that are going to – guys like (Jack) Cochrane and Nazeeh (Johnson). You know towards the end of the year Nazeeh Johnson, as a gunner, he was playing better than anybody in the league. So, I’m excited about him. He’ll probably be our number one gunner coming into next year.”

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Steve Spagnuolo Addresses Progress of Chiefs’ Young Defensive Players

Steve Spagnuolo Addresses Progress of Chiefs’ Young Defensive Players

The Kansas City Chiefs finished their second of three organized team activity (OTA) sessions on Thursday afternoon, capping off yet another week of progress as the NFL offseason continues to unfold.

Coming off a Super Bowl LVII win that was fueled by an impressive 2022 draft class, the Chiefs are tasked with finding ways to follow that up with another impressive rookie crop moving forward. Of general manager Brett Veach's seven picks in April's 2023 NFL Draft, five of them were defensive players. Those selections gave defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo more ammo to work with on his side of the ball, but it also provided him with a familiar challenge: get them ready to play.

While OTAs don't permit live contact to take place, they do leave the door open for teams to continue working with their players on drills and helping them get back in the swing of things for the offseason. For rookies, this is a busy time filled with learning on the fly and adjusting to life as professionals. Spagnuolo was complimentary of his first-year group when speaking on Thursday, but he also admitted that it's still very early in the process.

“They’re all young, they don’t know anything right now," Spagnuolo said. "So, obviously, you’re asking about Felix (Anudike-Uzomah). We haven’t seen a lot on him because he’s been dinged up a little bit so it’s hard to tell. We’ve had Chamarri (Conner) out there, he’s slowly progressing, he made a really good play today. Nic Jones, right? Nic’s playing some nickel for us, fittingly. He’s done some good things coming from a small school, Ball State. 

"BJ (Thompson), I know I’m going to miss one but BJ Thompson – BJ’s been pretty impressive. He’s done some good things. He’s a young, raw guy (but) we knew that going in. He stuck out today, made a play. Who’s my fifth? Keondre (Coburn). KC, I call him KC. (He does a) great job. (He’s) just an energetic, passionate guy. He reminds me a lot of Khalen Saunders, really. Same body type and hopefully he can be the same kind of player so that’s a little bit of a wrap-up on those five draft picks."

Drafting five rookies on any one side requires a lot of trust and faith that the players will fit, but also a great deal of optimism surrounding the coaching staff's ability to put those players in the best possible positions to succeed. Spagnuolo has historically erred on the side of caution and opted to play proven veterans rather than first-year players, but last offseason essentially forced his hand. Kansas City witnessed some turnover on defense and instead of investing heavily in the free agent market, Veach and company went to the draft to find suitable replacements.

The Chiefs selected seven defensive players in the 2022 draft, and five of those prospects ended up playing significant roles at various points in the ensuing season. In the secondary, specifically, Veach invested in cornerbacks Trent McDuffie (first round), Joshua Williams (fourth round) and Jaylen Watson (seventh round) while also spending picks on safeties Bryan Cook (second round) and Nazeeh Johnson (seventh round). When asked about how comfortable his second-year defensive backs looked in OTAs, Spagnuolo gave a resoundingly positive review.

“You can just ask them, Trent (McDuffie) included, right?" Spagnuolo said. "The five of them — NJ (Nazeeh Johnson) is out there doing a great job. I sat with them or was somewhere with them a week ago and they’re like lightyears ahead. They feel it and it’s different and they’re confident. The first day that we went out there for a walkthrough, the communication and the talking – now, I’m including Justin Reid in that because last year was all new for him, too, even though he was a vet the system was new. And those guys just from a verbal and being kind of tied in from that standpoint, they were just jelling.”

With the second session of OTAs now in the books, the Chiefs have one more scheduled from June 6-9 and then a mandatory all-team minicamp that is slated to span from June 13-15. This phase of the offseason still requires no contact, but the importance of these stretches can't be overlooked when considering the multitude of young players Kansas City has on defense. Playing for Spagnuolo is a difficult job to fulfill, and there will inevitably be some adversity along the way. With that said, according to the defensive coordinator himself this week, the Chiefs' youth is far more of a benefit than a roadblock. 

Read More: Determining Factors for the Kansas City Chiefs' Pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins

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Determining Factors for the Chiefs' Pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins

Determining Factors for the Chiefs' Pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins

On Friday afternoon, the world got the news that the Arizona Cardinals planned to release five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins — a transaction that has since been processed and made official. With his release, Hopkins is now free to sign with any team. 

The Kansas City Chiefs were heavily rumored to be involved in the Hopkins sweepstakes when it looked like he would get traded earlier in the offseason. That connection has continued now that he is available to be signed off the street. Adding Hopkins to what is already the best offense in the NFL would be scary for the rest of the league, but does it make sense from an overarching viewpoint?

Dec 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Hopkins would instantly become the Chiefs' best wide receiver, as he is still a borderline top-10 receiver in the NFL. His presence playing with Travis Kelce would immediately strike fear into opposing defenses. That combination would give Patrick Mahomes two guys he can trust in any situation and in high-leverage moments. Though the Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year with a lesser receiving core, there were struggles with consistency from that group until the season's final game. Getting Hopkins would provide a consistent threat on the outside while the rest of the young group comes along and grows at their own rate.

The young wide receiver group is why the Chiefs may have some hold-up bringing in Hopkins. In the last two offseasons, the Chiefs have added Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney and Rashee Rice to the roster via either trade or the second round of the NFL Draft. Those are three players the Chiefs have invested significant capital in and believe are part of their future. They may want to see what the three can do with a more significant opportunity without being blocked by a former All-Pro for snaps. Kansas City has raved about Toney's potential and continues to praise Moore throughout the offseason. Getting them on the field may be the best development plan in the team's eyes.

On top of the young guys, Kansas City has veterans like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson who are locked into the roster. Between the vets and the younger receivers, the numbers game becomes tough if the Chiefs want to keep a fringe guy around who could be poached by another team. Take Justyn Ross, for example. He possesses all the talent in the world, but injuries have been his issue. If the Chiefs believe he can stay healthy, his ceiling keeps him around as a project. However, adding Hopkins makes that very difficult because the team would need to cut numbers at another position in order to make it happen.

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore (24) runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The major hurdle for the Chiefs would be the contract situation. Hopkins was released in the first place because teams didn't want to take on the money necessary in a trade. With the meat of the offseason behind us, teams don't even have the cap space to give Hopkins the free agent contract he may desire. As things currently stand, the Chiefs are one of those teams. Kansas City would likely have to extend Chris Jones, a process that could take some time, to clear enough room to bring Hopkins into the fold. The other method would be to make a contract with void years, but the Chiefs have historically refrained from doing that when at all possible. 

In the end, it will come down to money as the factor of whether the Chiefs are in the Hopkins sweepstakes. Kansas City provides the best quarterback, a winning culture and the opportunity to rack up statistics to cash in one last time. If Hopkins is willing to take less to be in Kansas City, the fit is seamless and would only make the Chiefs' offense more dangerous. However, Hopkins is not a need for the Chiefs. They are the best team in the league without him, which won't change no matter where he goes. The scenario where Hopkins signs with another contender on a cheap deal may hurt the Chiefs in the short term but it may also speak to the belief Kansas City has in its young core of receivers, which is a positive sign for the future.

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Chris Jones Ranked as PFF's No. 2 Interior Defensive Lineman

Chris Jones Ranked as PFF's No. 2 Interior Defensive Lineman

The Kansas City Chiefs' offseason revolves around the club navigating a post-Super Bowl landscape in an effort to get back to the NFL's biggest game at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season. Star defensive tackle Chris Jones was a major reason why the team triumphed back in February, as his performances all season long helped anchor Steve Spagnuolo's defense.

Tying his previous career-high mark with 15.5 sacks, Jones also tied a personal best with 29 quarterback hits and set a new high in tackles with 44. The 28-year-old was voted a first-team All-Pro for the first time ever, and he also finished third in the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year voting. Thanks to a resurgence as a pass rusher and some stellar tutelage from defensive line coach Joe Cullen helping him improve as a run defender, Jones turned in his best season ever just in time to earn a new contract that the team is actively considering this offseason.

Over the past few years, Jones has been a consensus second-tier defensive tackle alongside high-profile names like Quinnen Williams, Jeffery Simmons, DeForest Buckner and others. Los Angeles Rams megastar Aaron Donald has largely been viewed as the best player at his position and even the best player in the sport to some, placing him alone on a pedestal of sorts. Donald's production slipped in a major way this past season, though, and Jones's improvement was serious. Did Jones do enough to pass Donald? 

Pro Football Focus doesn't quite believe so, as Jones is the No. 2 interior defensive lineman in their rankings ahead of the 2023 campaign. Here's what Gordon McGuinness wrote about Jones: 

Jones may be on his way to surpassing Donald as the top interior defender in the NFL. His 92.3 PFF grade in 2022 was the best in the league at the position. With a career-high 97 pressures from 741 pass-rushing snaps, including the playoffs, Jones has established himself as a formidable force in the trenches.

For Donald, McGuinness praised his ability to still rack up plenty of pressures despite having an injury-filled 2022 season. It appears that the No. 1 ranking is partially a legacy spot but also perhaps an expectation that a healthy Donald will get back to his rightful spot atop the defensive line throne this coming season. The article made it clear, however, that another stellar effort from Jones just might lead to him being ranked as the best defensive tackle in the sport. With the pursuit of another championship factored in, this outcome isn't far-fetched.

Read More: Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills Reportedly in ‘Arms Race’ for DeAndre Hopkins

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Bleacher Report Releases 2023 Stat Predictions for Patrick Mahomes

Bleacher Report Releases 2023 Stat Predictions for Patrick Mahomes

Despite losing All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill via trade just an offseason ago, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had yet another outstanding campaign in 2022-23.

Leading the Chiefs to a 14-3 record and the top overall seed in the AFC playoffs, Mahomes did more than enough to lock up his second NFL MVP award in just five years as the team's full-time starter. Leading the league in passing yards (5,250), passing touchdowns (41) and QBR (77.6), Mahomes also received All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in the process. It may not have been the best statistical feat of his career thus far — 2018's 50-touchdown effort will always be very difficult to beat — but it was terrific nonetheless.

In a recent article projecting the stat lines of all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL 2023-24, Alex Kay of Bleacher Report doesn't have Mahomes experiencing an equally impressive encore compared to this past season. With that said, the projections still list Mahomes as the league leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Here's some of what Kay wrote on Mahomes: 

While Mahomes didn't experience a fall-off after top target Tyreek Hill was traded away last offseason, he did lose a few key pass-catchers from last year's squad. Both JuJu Smith Schuster—who was responsible for 933 yards and three touchdowns on 78 receptions—and Mecole Hardman, who had a career-best 59-catch, 693-yard, two-touchdown campaign, exited in free agency.

The team didn't make any high-profile additions on the open market, but is instead hoping to see growth from young wideouts like Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore when they step into more prominent roles. Second-round rookie Rashee Rice should also be in the mix due to his blend of size, speed and ball skills.

Despite the inexperience in this receiving corps, Mahomes should have little issues maximizing their talents while also leaning on reliable tight end Travis Kelce heavily each week. Expect the 27-year-old to keep the Chiefs atop the list of Super Bowl favorites all year while posting his usual big numbers for as long as Kelce remains playing a superstar level.

Projection: 66 percent completion rate, 4,892 passing yards, 38 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 55 carries, 325 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns.

Here's where the predicted stats from above would rank in Mahomes's career (excluding the 2017 season which saw him start just one game):

  • 66% completion rate: T-4
  • 4,892 passing yards: 3
  • 38 passing touchdowns: T-3
  • 10 interceptions: 4
  • 55 rushing attempts: 5
  • 325 rushing yards: 3
  • Three rushing touchdowns: 2

That stat line wouldn't come close to marking a career-best campaign for Mahomes, but it's a series of numbers that would be lifetime highs for most quarterbacks in the NFL. If the 27-year-old is able to reach those benchmarks this coming season, Kansas City should stand a good chance of winning double-digit games easily and also competing for another AFC West crown in the regular season. Is it an MVP-caliber effort? Compared to the rest of the projections, on Kay's list, yes. 

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ESPN Ranks Chiefs as Having Top-10 Offseason in the NFL

ESPN Ranks Chiefs as Having Top-10 Offseason in the NFL

As the NFL's reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs have been faced with one of the tallest tasks in the league: have an offseason that maintains the franchise's spot at the top of the mountain. Recent reviews of the job general manager Brett Veach and company are doing have been mixed, but one outlet is shedding some positive light on Kansas City's past couple of months.

In his continuation of ranking the best and worst NFL offseasons to this point, ESPN's Bill Barnwell published his top 16 list on Tuesday morning. Taking home the No. 7 spot are the Chiefs, and Barnwell was quite complimentary of what Kansas City has done at the offensive tackle position. Veach's willingness to be bold jumped out to Barnwell, serving as something he believes went right for the Chiefs:

A fair number of NFL organizations would have just settled for what they had; they would have given Brown an enormous contract and kept Wylie to maintain their offensive line continuity. I wouldn't even fault them too much; objective No. 1 for any team with a Hall of Fame quarterback should be keeping the franchise upright.

Instead, the Chiefs dared to get better and probably got there. They originally signed former Jaguars tackle Jawaan Taylor, presumably as part of a move from the right side to an unfamiliar spot at left tackle. That seemed curious to me, but when Donovan Smith's market failed to develop, they brought in the longtime Bucs tackle on a short-term deal to play left tackle. Smith committed too many penalties a year ago and wasn't really ever a great left tackle, but neither was Brown.

With those two sandwiching a strong interior three of Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith, the Chiefs have one of the league's best lines on paper. That's all Mahomes needs.

Of course, no team's offseason has been perfect, and even the champions of the league have some spots left to fill on their roster. According to Barnwell, one element of the offseason that's gone wrong for the Chiefs has been a lack of fortifying Steve Spagnuolo's pass rush. Despite adding veteran Charles Omenihu in free agency and drafting Kansas State product Felix Anudike-Uzomah in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Barnwell points to the losses of Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap as noteworthy and potentially hindering. As a result, he thinks Veach might need to add one more pass-rushing threat:

Chris Jones is still here, but as he enters the final year of his deal, how much more can the Chiefs hope to get from their star defensive tackle? He tied his career highs with 15.5 sacks and 29 knockdowns a year ago and played his first full season since 2018. There's no questioning what he can do on the interior, but if he does miss meaningful time, can the rest of what this team has on the line make up the difference? I suspect we'll see Veach dip back into the market for one more veteran here, although it might be an in-season move.

Speaking of a "dip into the market for one more veteran," Barnwell singles out the cornerback position as an area that could be of interest moving forward. While Kansas City currently has a trio of young, talented players at the position, the team's end-of-depth-chart rotation doesn't have a ton of proven substance at the moment. Bringing in one veteran likely wouldn't hurt, which is something that Barnwell lists as something the team has left to do before the end of training camp:

I wouldn't be surprised if they go after a highly drafted cornerback who either hits the waiver wire or comes up as a bargain trade candidate at the end of camp. Former first-rounders without starting jobs such as Noah Igbinoghene or Caleb Farley stand out as possible reclamation projects.

Read More: Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills Reportedly in ‘Arms Race’ for DeAndre Hopkins

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Chiefs and Bills Reportedly in ‘Arms Race’ for DeAndre Hopkins

Chiefs and Bills Reportedly in ‘Arms Race’ for DeAndre Hopkins

The DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes are in full force now that the three-time All-Pro wide receiver is a free agent, and the Kansas City Chiefs have been consistently linked to him throughout the 2023 NFL offseason.

Hopkins, who didn't garner enough true trade interest despite Kansas City and the Buffalo Bills reportedly engaging in "substantive trade talks with Arizona," was released by the Cardinals last week and is on the open market. The veteran will turn 31 years old on June 6 and is entering the back nine of his career as a receiver, but he also showed in nine games this past season that he still has plenty to offer. Hauling in 64 passes, Hopkins also had 717 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 96 targets.

A pair of AFC teams have been perceived as the top two potential suitors for Hopkins in recent days and weeks, and that isn't changing one bit. The Chiefs and Bills, per ESPN senior NFL reporter and SportsCenter weekend insider Jeremy Fowler, are in an "arms race" of sorts jockeying for Hopkins's services on a new contract. Appearing on a recent edition of ESPN program Keyshawn, JWill & Maxhere's what Fowler had to say about where things stand and where he believes Hopkins could end up: 

"My money would still be on the Bills or Chiefs working something out. They just don't have a lot of money in the cap space. The Chiefs, the concern is they just gave Donovan Smith in free agency some real money to play left tackle. So that drained some of their resources — I don't know if they could quite pull it off. They do believe Kadarius Toney can be a No. 1-type receiver. I don't get the sense that they're overly desperate to make this happen, but there's certainly some interest."

"When you talk to other NFL teams, they believe the Bills are a threat here and they have been for awhile. I still suspect that you have two contenders in the AFC that are sort of trying to combat each other and make sure one doesn't get Hopkins over the other. So it's a little bit of an arms race there." 

Fowler rattled off some other sleeper teams — the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys — that could either have enough interest on their end to challenge the top suitors or have some intrigue on Hopkins's side of things to entertain ironing out a deal. With that said, this alleged two-horse race continues to be a battle between two of the AFC (and NFL's) most talented clubs with star quarterbacks and legitimate Super Bowl expectations.

Whoever ends up getting Hopkins will hope that he can bounce back to a form similar to what he displayed in 2020. That was the last time he made the Pro Bowl, catching 115 passes for 1,407 yards. Salary cap space for Kansas City and Buffalo is a tricky situation to navigate, though, as the Chiefs are estimated by the NFLPA to have $2.81 million in cap room and the Bills are at $3.16M with another signing reportedly set to come soon, per Fowler. Other estimates are even less optimistic. With both teams' championship windows being open and there being conceivable ways to generate additional funds, though, the pursuit of Hopkins may not be going away. 

UPDATE: As of Tuesday afternoon, the NFLPA has updated Kansas City and Buffalo's estimated cap room to $1.24M and $1.51M, respectively, in the public salary cap report.

Read More: Kansas City Chiefs to Begin Second Session of 2023 OTAs on Tuesday

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Chiefs to Begin Second Session of OTAs on Tuesday

Chiefs to Begin Second Session of OTAs on Tuesday

The 2023 NFL offseason has passed its midway point as regular-season games draw closer and closer, but there's still plenty that all 32 teams need to accomplish before being fully prepared for another long campaign. Organized team activities (OTAs) are a major step of that process, and the Kansas City Chiefs are in the middle of it right now.

Last week, Kansas City launched its OTAs with good participation and plenty of tidbits from head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and a few others at the conclusion of the session. On Tuesday, the Chiefs are back for their second of three OTA stretches. These voluntary workouts feature drills such as 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, although contact isn't allowed to take place.

After this week's OTA slate from May 30 to June 1, Kansas City has a final one from June 6-9 and then a mandatory team minicamp from June 13-15. As a refresher, here's some additional information from the NFL on what each phase of the NFL offseason consists of for clubs and their players during meetings: 

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as “perfect play drills,” and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players, conducted at a walk-through pace. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

When session No. 2 of OTA workouts wrap up on Thursday at around 1:00 p.m. local time, Reid and some assistant coaches are expected to have some media availability. During that time, expect updates on the progress of specific players, comments on the team's 2023 NFL Draft class and more. 

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Felix Anudike-Uzomah Named Dark-Horse for DROY Award

Felix Anudike-Uzomah Named Dark-Horse for DROY Award

When it comes to rookie awards, the Kansas City Chiefs face a double-edged sword. On one hand, they've been picking near the end of each round in recent NFL Drafts and don't always get the best opportunities to land premier prospects to add to their team. On the other hand, the first-year players who do end up seeing the field oftentimes play significant roles in winning plenty of games and getting a ton of national exposure.

General manager Brett Veach's 2022 draft class featured many standout performers, although none were impressive enough to land a Rookie of the Year award for their efforts. Veach's 2023 crop, which consists of one selection from each of the draft's seven rounds, faces an uphill battle to break that trend. With that said, first-round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah is garnering a bit of buzz at the midway point in the offseason.

In an article for Bleacher Report, Gary Davenport singled out Anudike-Uzomah as a dark-horse candidate to win the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2023-24 campaign. Citing Anudike-Uzomah's odds at +2000 for the accolade, Davenport believes there's a clear path to success for the former Kansas State Wildcat in his first year on the job — something that could lead to him bringing home some serious hardware at the end of the season: 

Anudike-Uzomah was certainly productive—over his last two seasons in Manhattan, Anudike-Uzomah averaged over 48 tackles, amassed 25.5 tackles for loss and piled up 19.5 sacks. But that productivity is only part of the reason that Anudike-Uzomah is listed here.

The other part is opportunity. Just as with George Karlaftis a year ago, there's a relatively clear path to early playing time for Anudike-Uzomah. The only person standing between Anudike-Uzomah and the starting lineup is Charles Omenihu, who was a complimentary player with the 49ers in 2022.

Anudike-Uzomah could kind himself starting opposite Karlaftis in relatively short order, and given how much time the Chiefs spend playing from ahead, pinning their ears back and rushing the passer, that could open the door for a very productive first season.

Anudike-Uzomah's ability to have a high-impact rookie season remains to be seen, but the logic is certainly there. In his final two years at Kansas State, the athletic edge rusher recorded a combined 19.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss while also forcing eight fumbles and amassing 96 tackles in the process. His combination of finesse, youth and upside made him an intriguing prospect heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, ultimately landing him in Kansas City at pick No. 31 overall. 

Plus-2000 odds are far from ideal from a betting standpoint, and the duo of Karlaftis and Omenihu might keep Anudike-Uzomah from truly being unleashed early in his rookie campaign. Davenport makes an interesting case, though, and one that just might come to fruition with some good luck and a better-than-expected start for the Chiefs' top 2023 draft pick. If that happens, perhaps Anudike-Uzomah can compete with the league's top rookies on the defensive side of the ball.

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Will George Karlaftis Make the Second-Year Jump the Chiefs Need?

Will George Karlaftis Make the Second-Year Jump the Chiefs Need?

The Kansas City Chiefs' history with first-round pass rushers in the NFL Draft is murky. After Tyson Jackson was selected in the top 10 back in 2009, Dee Ford (2014) was the only first-rounder taken by the team at that position until the 2022 draft. Before Jackson, you’d have to go all the way to Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith as top 10 pass rushers that were drafted by the Chiefs.

All that to say, the Chiefs either haven’t been in a position to take a top-tier pass rusher or they’ve chosen to go in a different direction and instead taken a different position when given that high of a draft pick. They have used first-round picks to trade for veteran pass rushers, but last year was time for the team to make an investment in a young pass rusher.

Enter George Karlaftis, the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end from Purdue. He was a projected top 10 pick at times throughout his final collegiate season but by the time the draft rolled around, he was expected to be taken late in the first round. The Chiefs held two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and were able to use one of those picks to move up and snag Trent McDuffie with the 21st overall pick. Kansas City then watched as Karlaftis tumbled all the way down to their next selection at pick No. 30.

It was a perfect scenario for both the Chiefs and Karlaftis. The Chiefs needed a young pass rusher to come in and learn from Frank Clark and other veterans, and Karlaftis was given the opportunity to come in and contribute on a Super Bowl-contending team.

In college, Karlaftis was the victim of double (and sometimes triple) team coverage as he tried to get after quarterbacks in the Big 10. That led to only 4.5 sacks in his final season at Purdue. That could have led to his draft day slide, but the combination of his passion for the sport, incredible motor, intelligence and football IQ gave the Chiefs enough confidence to bring him into the organization.

Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis after being selected as the thirtieth overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest questions going into his rookie year were how much playing time would he get and whether he'd be a starter. Those questions were answered fairly quickly, as he was on the field during the Chiefs' opening drive in Arizona during their Week 1 game against the Cardinals. He was playing about 50% of the snaps as the season began and steadily gained more snaps as the season went along.

It took him a while, but Karlaftis got his first half sack during a Week 5 home game on Monday Night Football against the Las Vegas Raiders. Karlaftis actually led all rookies with 17 quarterback pressures after Week 6. He continued getting better as the season went on, finishing the year second among rookies in pressures and also tallying six sacks. He added another sack in the postseason during the AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chiefs typically have a good rotation of players they like to work through on the defensive line, but Karlaftis was a major player in his rookie season. For Karlaftis to make that second-year jump, he will need to continue to grow within the groundwork that was laid in his first year in the league. From the outside looking in, and from comments Karlaftis made throughout this past season, veteran players like Clark, Chris Jones and Carlos Dunlap all had a big influence on his growth and improvement as a player throughout his rookie year. With Clark and Dunlap out of the picture (at least for now), Karlaftis is now one of the veterans in the room.

Seeing a higher percentage of snaps per game and having a full year of competition under his belt should be a good start for Karlaftis and his chances to increase his production numbers in year two. He managed to have a pretty good start to his career, including winning a Super Bowl championship, but he seems like the type of player that won’t be satisfied with a good start to his career and should continue to be hungry heading into year two. That’s what will give Karlaftis an edge and continue to push him to make that second-year jump.

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Darlington: DeAndre Hopkins to Chiefs ‘Would Make So Much Sense'

Darlington: DeAndre Hopkins to Chiefs ‘Would Make So Much Sense'

The Kansas City Chiefs lost JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman to the free agent market this offseason and in their places, the team is largely relying on the internal talent that was already on the roster to step up in 2023-24. The 2023 NFL Draft addition of second-round receiver Rashee Rice is notable, yet Kansas City still doesn't have a true No. 1 target (outside of tight end Travis Kelce) that quarterback Patrick Mahomes can throw to this coming season.

Three-time All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins was a popular name in hypothetical trade scenarios, but now the league will once again be competing to court him. The Arizona Cardinals announced on Friday that the organization released Hopkins — eating a whopping $22.6 million in 2023 dead cap in the process — thus making him a free agent for all 31 other NFL clubs to pursue.

In the immediate aftermath of Arizona's breaking news, Jeff Darlington of ESPN took to Twitter to single out one team that makes a ton of sense for the 30-year-old wideout to join: Kansas City. Below is what Darlington had to say about a potential Hopkins-Chiefs union:  

Totally speculative — but a short-term deal with the Chiefs would make so much sense to me. The fact Hopkins is available via free agency shows you his value needs to be improved. Nowhere better to do it right now than KC. Win-win.

Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) on Friday, May 26, 2023 at 12:11 p.m. CT

Recently appearing on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, Hopkins listed Mahomes as one of the quarterbacks he'd love to catch passes from in the second act of his career. The veteran receiver is coming off an abbreviated 2022 campaign that saw him start just nine games, although he still managed to haul in 64 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns. Hopkins, who has played for the Cardinals and the Houston Texans over the course of his 10-year career, is just two seasons removed from a 1,407-yard 2020 effort that earned him second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

The Chiefs' salary cap situation makes it very difficult to envision the club signing Hopkins to a deal as things stand, even in the event that general manager Brett Veach is legitimately interested in making it work. Spotrac estimates that Kansas City's cap space is just under $1.1M as of the publishing of this article and the NFLPA's website lists that figure at just under $2.81M. There are multiple ways in which the team can manufacture some additional cap space and the fact that Hopkins is now a free agent makes things a bit easier, although it also means that less cash-strapped teams could also make heavy pushes for him.

On Friday, ESPN's Josh Weinfuss listed the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots as those that "had been among the teams reportedly interested in pursuing Hopkins."

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K.J. Wright Says NFL Is ‘Looking at a Dynasty’ With Chiefs

K.J. Wright Says NFL Is ‘Looking at a Dynasty’ With Chiefs

With Patrick Mahomes starting at quarterback, the worst the Kansas City Chiefs have done in a season is go into overtime of the AFC Championship Game. Three Super Bowl trips and a pair of rings in five seasons is quite the resume to build, and there's no denying that Andy Reid's team has been the NFL's most successful since Mahomes took hold of the reins back in 2018. Following the club's Super Bowl LVII win over the Philadelphia Eagles, some have been floating around one specific word this offseason.


Whether the Reid-Mahomes Chiefs qualify as a dynasty right now is up for debate. That isn't stopping some national media outlets from discussing it, though. Appearing on a recent edition of Good Morning Football, former Super Bowl champion linebacker K.J. Wright praised Kansas City for making this recent success look easy:

When you look at the Kansas City Chiefs, it is looking really, really easy for these guys. Getting back to the playoffs, winning the AFC West, getting back to the AFC Championship — it is looking very easy for these guys. And when you do win a Super Bowl and you've got to uphold that standard and uphold that throne... when I look at this offense in particular, I call it 'controlled backyard football.' It is hard to stop this offense. When you do play these guys, you've got to have a phenomenal offense on the other side of the football or you just simply need these guys to mess it up.

Wright continued, referring to the Chiefs as a dynasty that isn't going away anytime soon:

When I look at Patrick Mahomes, I look at Travis Kelce, these guys are a once-in-a-generation type of offense. It's going to be hard to stop these guys. They don't mess up, they don't beat themselves. Year in and year out, they don't let the Super Bowl hangover get to them. They find a way to get back and come poised. You look at this Chiefs team, guys, we're looking at a dynasty. This team is going to be here for a very, very long time. They're going to own this division. Andy Reid [and] Patrick Mahomes, it is a beautiful sight to see.

Having two championship victories in the last four seasons probably doesn't make the Chiefs a dynasty yet, but another win within the next couple of years could push for that specific crown. It's unrealistic to expect Reid's group to become the next edition of the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick-era New England Patriots, although the door is left open for them to become the closest thing to it. With the betting markets currently favoring the Chiefs to repeat as champs, Wright's dynasty declaration could become true in due time if it hasn't already. 

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Chiefs Are Comfortable Despite Lack of a True Fullback

Chiefs Are Comfortable Despite Lack of a True Fullback

If there's one thing that Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is known for outside of his innovative mindset on offense, it's keeping a fullback on the roster. That's been a constant throughout his multiple tenures as an NFL head coach, although those days appear to be coming to an end this coming season.

Recently appearing on the New Heights podcast with Travis and Jason Kelce, Reid spoke about the current state of the fullback position and described it as something "different" that's being "eased out of the game." Naturally, that sparked some speculation that the 65-year-old head coach could also be moving away from all he's known for over two decades. 

At the conclusion of Kansas City's first session of organized team activities (OTAs) for the offseason, Reid was asked about the team's lack of a true fullback on the roster. Earlier this spring, veteran Michael Burton departed for another AFC West club — the Denver Broncos — in free agency. Without Burton in the fold, the Chiefs have opted against filling that void. According to Reid, the tight end room could be relied upon to fulfill the Burton role in 2023. 

“Yeah so the tight ends can work into that spot," Reid said. "We know Noah (Gray) can do all of that and that’s kind of where we went with it. We’ve got a number of tight ends that we feel comfortable with so maybe you keep an extra tight end as opposed to that fullback.”

When Burton logged two touches and helped pick up a key conversion in a Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers last season, only 14 teams had a fullback on the roster. It's a position that is undoubtedly a dying breed in the modern game, especially with more of a reliance on shotgun sets or empty formations on offense. Additionally, tight ends that can move around and offer some versatility are counted on to pick up some of the slack left by the absence of a traditional fullback. The position simply isn't needed nearly as much as it used to be. 

With the blocking ability of Blake Bell and the versatility and athletic profile of Gray, the Chiefs feel as if they can get by without a player like Burton moving forward. That could be entirely true, and it could also be a decision that Reid made alongside new offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. The NFL landscape is ever-changing and for Kansas City to use a roster spot on a fullback, it would partially limit what the team can do elsewhere in the event of injuries. Reid alluded to the injury bug as well, which is a reason why the team currently has so many tight ends.

“We normally don’t have the number of tight ends that we’ve got here," Reid said. "I would go back, I mean, that’s not a problem. We liked what we had last year with it but again, we were always – without the injuries we were going to have to juggle that last year somehow. Guys got banged up.”

In addition to Gray and Bell, the duo of Travis Kelce and Jody Fortson provides the Chiefs with a pair of more natural tight ends. Kelce is a top-10 receiving threat in the entire league, and Fortson offers some intrigue in the red zone and is decent depth to carry throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. For Kansas City to once again roster someone like Burton, who played just 6% of the team's offensive snaps in 2022 after logging an 8% clip the year before, it just doesn't make a great deal of sense.

Without a fullback, the Chiefs can still have a full complement of plays at their disposal without sacrificing any creativity. In fact, they might be gaining creativity by implementing tight ends like Gray or Bell into a pseudo-fullback role on occasion. Burton's main value was on special teams but with plenty of other options there for Dave Toub to choose from, the value proposition wasn't worth it. 

If Reid's comments hold true, it'll be the first time since he started head coaching back in 1999 that his team doesn't have a fullback on the final roster. 

Read More: Patrick Mahomes Discusses Contract Situation With Kansas City Chiefs

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Patrick Mahomes Discusses Contract Situation With Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes Discusses Contract Situation With Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their first session of organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday, marking the third day in a row that OTAs were in session. In addition to new faces in new places all throughout the team, one mainstay served as a central focus: quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Throughout the offseason, some have speculated that Mahomes's current contract with the team could need to be reworked soon. Earlier this spring, general manager Brett Veach expressed that the team and Mahomes's camp have maintained an open line of communication. In the same breath, he reiterated that both sides have each other's best interests in mind and the timing of other high-profile quarterback contracts will factor into the equation as well. With Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Los Angeles Chargers signal-caller Justin Herbert both up for new deals, no one in Kansas City appeared to be in too much of a hurry to restructure the Mahomes contract. 

On Wednesday, Mahomes took the podium to share his thoughts on the first few days of OTAs. When asked about whether his current contract needs to be adjusted, the 2022 NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion took a route that many would compare to that of future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. Mahomes said he's more focused on legacy and rings than money right now, adding that he wants to ensure the Chiefs can keep a great supporting cast of players for him. 

"Me, my agent and the team always keep open communication," Mahomes said. "And we try to do whatever is best for the team but obviously, I want to do the best for myself as well. But at the same time, I've always said I worry about legacy and winning rings more than money at this moment. I know we keep communication and we see what's going on around the league but at the same time, I'll never do anything that's going to hurt us from keeping the great players around me. So, it's kind of [about] teetering around that line."

As things currently stand, Mahomes is entering his age-28 season and his contract doesn't expire until the conclusion of the 2031 campaign. If he rode out his current deal as-is, he'd be a Chief until he's 36 years old. That contract, an original 10-year pact worth a reported $450 million at the time of signing, was viewed by some as a market-resetting deal that could keep Kansas City's championship window from opening. Instead, it's been a relative bargain and allowed the team to continue paying high-cost premiums to other players on the roster in recent years.

Right now, Mahomes is the seventh-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL by average annual value (AAV). His AAV of $45M is just ahead of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and a trio of quarterbacks making $40M per year, but it's also behind the likes of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson ($46M), Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray ($46.1M) and many others. Considering that Mahomes is regarded as the best quarterback in the league, his pay doesn't reflect it. Despite that, he reiterates that money isn't his sole focus. 

"You just want to do whatever [you can] to not hurt other quarterbacks whenever their contracts come up," Mahomes said. "You want to kind of keep the bar pushing. It's not about being the highest-paid guy. It's not about making a ton of money. I've made enough money to where I'll be set for the rest of my life. At the same time, you've got to find that line where you're making a good amount of money but you're still keeping a lot of great players around you so you can win these Super Bowls and you can compete in these games."

Once Burrow and Herbert's deals inevitably get ironed out in the coming weeks, Mahomes will likely be bumped down to ninth in the league in terms of quarterback AAV. That's where the buzz surrounding his deal comes from, but it's also part of why he signed the contract in the first place. Mahomes and the Chiefs knew that a situation like this would come up, and it was something they entered into mutually. They'll navigate an adjustment mutually when the time comes, although it's becoming apparent that it isn't necessarily a pressing matter for either side.

Earlier this offseason, in fact, Kansas City restructured part of Mahomes's deal in order to manufacture some additional salary cap space for the 2023 league year. The focus has been on finding ways to pay the team's multiple star players while also navigating the free agent market, which now has the club poised for another successful season. As other internal contract situations come up soon, the hope for Mahomes is that his contract leaves the door open for some of his teammates to also get paid over the next few seasons.

"You look at the team and you've got guys like Chris (Jones) and (L'Jarius) Sneed and Travis (Kelce) and all these guys you need to keep around you to have these great teams but at the same time, you want to make sure you're taking care of yourself," Mahomes said. "We have open communication, and I think that's the biggest thing. You see that from (Chairman and CEO) Clark (Hunt), you see that from Coach Reid, you see that from (general manager Brett) Veach and everybody. We just try to make sure that we have the best team on that football field and everybody gets what they deserve."

Read More: Kansas City Chiefs’ Roster Ranked Fourth in NFL by PFF

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