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  • The Chiefs will franchise tag Chris Jones, according to NFL Network [UPDATED]
    by Pete Sweeney on February 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images NFL Network is reporting that the Chiefs will franchise tag Jones. The Kansas City Chiefs will indeed franchise tag defensive tackle Chris Jones, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The #Chiefs are going to franchise tag star DL Chris Jones, sources say. Not a surprise, but Kansas City views him in their long-term plans and hopes to get a deal done at some point. The window opens officially today.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2020 This has always been the expected outcome for Jones — whether he signs a new contract with the Chiefs, plays for a season on the franchise tag or has his rights traded and works out a deal with a new team. The last time the Chiefs and Jones’ representatives were negotiating, they were reportedly around $20 million apart on guaranteed money. Back in April, NFL dot com projected that Jones could sign for somewhere in the range of $18-22 million per year. With the players and owners under negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the two sides agreed to push back the franchise tag window to February 27, which is likely why the tag news emerged on Thursday. According to CBS Sports cap expert Joel Corry, if Jones were to play on the franchise tag for 2020, he would make approximately $16.3 million. It is important to remember the tag does not necessarily mean Jones will play for Kansas City this season. The Chiefs tagged edge rusher Dee Ford last offseason and then traded him to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick. The Seattle Seahawks tagged edge rusher Frank Clark last offseason, only to trade him to the Chiefs for a first-round pick and a second-round pick. As Rapoport noted, Kansas City views Jones “in their long term plans” — and Jones has talked about wanting to stay with the Chiefs. The franchise tag buys the two sides additional time to work out a deal. As I wrote in five bold predictions for the Chiefs offseason, my gut tells me Jones remains in Kansas City on the franchise tag in 2020 — but this situation can still go in a variety of ways. With the Chiefs needing to work on an NFL record-setting contract extension for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, that $16 million-plus cap hit would be rather steep.

  • We may be sleeping on GM Brett Veach’s historical potential
    by Ron Kopp Jr. on February 27, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images The 41-year old general manager is in position to build a significant legacy as an NFL executive. The glorious Super Bowl victory that the Kansas City Chiefs achieved less than a month ago helped build and strengthen the legacies of all those involved. Head coach Andy Reid should now be established as a future Pro Football Hall of Fame coach. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is well on his way to one of the most accomplished careers in NFL history. Other elite players now have the championship accolade that has the potential to propel them into Hall of Fame consideration. One man that hasn’t even had the chance for his legacy to be considered is general manager Brett Veach. The former co-director of player personnel went right from celebrating his team’s world title to studying the talent in the 2020 NFL Draft class with his staff of evaluators. “Wednesday [was] the parade, and then Thursday at seven AM, we were in there cranking on tape and getting ready for the combine,” Veach told ESPN’s Adam Schefter this week on “The Adam Schefter Podcast.” “We basically watched tape right up until we left for the combine.” Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images While Veach is busy finding the next rookie phenoms, I’m here to acknowledge what could be the beginning of a historic NFL general manager career. First of all, he has time on his side. When promoted to his current position in the summer of 2017, Veach became the youngest GM in the NFL at 39. He is now the youngest general manager to ever win a Super Bowl at only 41 years old. He could be an executive for 20 or 30 more seasons if he doesn’t give the organization a reason to part ways with him. As with every aspect of a football team, the general manager can be judged by how many championship seasons they led from the front office. With Veach’s first ring, he became just the 24th general manager in NFL history to win the Super Bowl. For my research, I chose to exclude head coaches that were de facto general managers due to their control of the personnel, like Bill Belichick, currently for the New England Patriots. Veach became only the sixth NFL general manager ever to win a championship in one of their first three seasons with that job title. That has only happened two other times in the last 33 years. If the Chiefs are able to repeat in 2020 — like the players and Andy Reid said they would during the Super Bowl parade — Veach will be only the 11th GM to have earned multiple Lombardi trophies. Taking it a step further, there are only a select few legendary general managers that have built teams to win more than two championships. Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones famously won three in a four-year span between 1992-1995. San Francisco 49ers’ John McVay was instrumental in all five of the franchise’s Super Bowl victories, although he only had the general manager label for four of them. Oakland Raiders’ Al Davis “just won, baby” with three championship teams in an eight-season span starting in 1976. Pittsburgh Steelers’ Dick Haley led the front office as the director of player personnel and de fact general manager before and after their four championships in the 1970s. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images You may be asking, “Why are you already talking about Veach compared to these all-time greats? It’s only his third season and he hasn’t completely proven himself.” I agree that he still has more to prove as a general manager, but it’s the potential that makes the comparisons realistic. First of all, what do all the aforementioned dynasties have in common? A Hall of Fame quarterback that was drafted by the regime. Each of them were led by that all-time great for every Super Bowl victory — except the Raiders, who only had Hall of Famer Kenny Stabler for the first one. For Veach, he has the elite quarterback he needs to earn multiple titles. Although former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey was still in that position when the organization made the move to trade up and draft Mahomes at the 10th pick in the 2017 draft, Veach vouched hard for the young gunslinger out of Texas Tech. He made his confidence public during his first NFL Scouting Combine as the general manager after Mahomes’ rookie season where he only played in one game. “From the day he first stepped on the field at rookie minicamp, he’s “wowed” us...he’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen.”- #Chiefs GM Brett Veach on Patrick Mahomes.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) March 1, 2018 He was sure that he had a great quarterback. The ability to find a franchise quarterback is hard — but to be so confident about such a polarizing prospect builds credibility and respect. It also is the most significant factor in a championship team becoming a dominant dynasty. The second most significant factor for a dynasty is the ability to draft key contributors consistently — and Veach has his fair share of hits and misses. His first NFL Draft as the head of the front office has been disappointing so far. Besides starting defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, the next best selection in 2018 is reserve safety and special teamer Armani Watts. Veach bounced back in 2019 with all six selections going into 2020 as a starter or a player that will get a chance to battle for first-team reps. Each of the historic general managers I listed had tons of success with their draft history: The Cowboys’ Jones regime drafted Hall of Fame players like quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and offensive lineman Larry Allen, as well as other key players like receiver Alvin Harper or defensive back Darren Woodson. The McVay era for the 49ers saw Hall of Fame players drafted like quarterback Joe Montana, safety Ronnie Lott, wide receiver Jerry Rice, defensive lineman Charles Haley and wide receiver Terrell Owens. Davis had a long track record of drafting Hall of Fame players, such as Stabler, offensive linemen Gene Upshaw and Art Still, tight end Dave Casper, defensive lineman Howie Long, running back Marcus Allen and wide receiver Tim Brown. Haley is famous for his 1974 Steelers draft class that resulted in four Hall of Fame players: wide receivers John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, linebacker Jack Lambert and center Mike Webster. He also drafted running back Franco Harris and linebacker Jack Ham in his first two years at the helm. While there is a long way to go to meet the accomplishments of those draft histories, Veach also will have a lot more opportunities to do so in the future. He has a first-round pick for the first time as a general manager for the 2020 draft — but don’t bank on him picking at that spot. If the Chiefs can continue to contend and win multiple championships like we all expect them to, Veach could find himself in position to become one of the most decorated NFL executives of all-time at an incredibly young age.

  • Chiefs 2020 pre-draft tracker: Interviews, meetings and more
    by Pete Sweeney on February 27, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Find out who the Chiefs are watching closely as they gear up for the 2020 NFL Draft. With the NFL Scouting Combine beginning in Indianapolis earlier this week, it is officially NFL Draft season. Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, head coach Andy Reid and the team’s personnel staff will be watching player workouts and conducting interviews throughout the week. Combine week is one of the offseason events that helps the Chiefs personnel staff determine which college prospects they will invite for one of 30 pre-draft visits over the next two months. Bookmark this page, because we’ll be updating it regularly. So let’s get to it. Here who has reportedly met with (or has plans to meet with) the Chiefs — either formally or informally: Defensive linemen DL Ross Blacklock | TCU (6-4, 290 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via KCTV5) DL Marlon Davidson | Auburn (6-3, 303 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via KCTV5) DL Raekwon Davis | Alabama (6-7, 331 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Chiefs Wire) DL Jordan Elliott | Missouri (6-4, 302 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via KCTV5) DL Khalid Kareem | Notre Dame (6-4, 268 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Kent) DL Julian Okwara | Notre Dame (6-4, 252 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Chiefs Wire) DL Jason Strowbridge | North Carolina (6-4, 275 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Kent) Linebackers LB Troy Dye | Oregon (6-4, 231 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Kent) LB Patrick Queen | LSU (6-1, 229 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Kent) Offensive linemen OL Ben Bredeson | Michigan (6-5, 315 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) OL Yasir Durant | Missouri (6-6, 331 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) OL Charlie Heck (son of Chiefs OL coach Andy Heck) | North Carolina (6-8, 311 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Chiefs Wire) OL Robert Hunt | Louisiana-Lafayette (6-5, 323 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) Running backs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire | LSU (5-7, 207 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via NFL Draft) RB Anthony McFarland | Maryland (5-8, 208 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Draft Network) RB Zack Moss | Utah (5-9, 223 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Chiefs Wire) Tight ends TE Jacob Breeland | Oregon (6-5, 252 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Chiefs Wire)Wide receivers WR Lawrence Cager | Georgia (6-5, 220 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) WR Aaron Fuller | Washington (5-11, 188 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) WR Tee Higgins | Clemson (6-4, 216 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) WR Justin Jefferson | LSU (6-1, 202 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) WR Van Jefferson | Florida (6-1, 200 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via Chiefs Wire) WR Juwan Johnson | Oregon (6-4, 230 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star) WR Donovan Peoples-Jones | Michigan (6-2, 212 lbs) | NFL.com draft profile (via The Kansas City Star)

  • Have you heard the one about how the Kelce brothers broke mom’s oven?
    by John Dixon on February 27, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images The Chiefs tight end appeared on the late-night talk show, telling Meyers that he and his brother Jason once broke their mother’s oven during a fight. Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce appeared on NBC-TV’s Late Night with Seth Meyers on Wednesday night. Looking natty in a sharp-looking pair of specs — and holding a glass that he said contained “ice, a lime... and tequila” — Kelce and Meyers talked about the Super Bowl, the subsequent parade in Kansas City (including the WWE belt Kelce wore), his 87 and Running Foundation and his recent donation of a STEM robotics lab to Operation Breakthrough. Kelce recounted how he and his older brother Jason Kelce (the starting center of the Philadelphia Eagles) had an epic fight in high school. “It was probably the last time we really got into a fist fight or anything like it,” said Kelce. “We were in the back yard — just playing basketball, like we usually do — and I started getting a little saucy. Started beating him a little bit. He wasn’t feeling that as an older brother. So he started getting a little more physical throughout the game. Of course, when you’re in the back yard, it’s ‘no blood, no foul.’ “So that whole competitive [mindset] went from there into the kitchen. [It started] with him punching me square in the face. Usually, when he punches me square in the face, I fall on the ground. This time, I didn’t really fall down. I just got more angry — and attacked him. We’re scuffling, we’re throwing each other around. Sure enough, I pick him up and body-slam him on the kitchen floor. The oven — which had my mother’s casserole in it at the time — breaks off the hinges and the casserole shatters in the oven. “Yeah,” said Kelce, “my mom wasn’t too happy about that.” They two had already discussed the jersey Kelce made for his mother when the Chiefs and Eagles played in 2017 — one that was a Chiefs Kelce jersey on the front and an Eagles Kelce jersey on the back. “Well, look,” said Meyers, “she got a very nice shirt out of the deal.” You can check out the whole interview on YouTube.

  • Chad Henne and Matt Moore remain the front-runners to back up Patrick Mahomes
    by John Dixon on February 27, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Even though both players ended up on the active roster at the end of the season, the Chiefs will likely go back to their established routine in 2020. Throughout his tenure as Kansas City Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid has tended to have two quarterbacks to back up his starter. One of them has typically been an established veteran kept on the active roster. The other is usually a young developmental quarterback on the practice squad. In 2019, that changed. Through training camp, longtime NFL veteran Chad Henne played the role of the established veteran, with rookie Kyle Shurmur and second-year player Chase Litton behind him. But in the third preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, Henne sustained a fractured ankle when he was sacked by Arik Armstead and Damontre Moore. The injury required surgery, which put Henne on injured reserve through Week 8. So the Chiefs reached out to Matt Moore — who had been one of the quarterbacks the team had considered to back up Patrick Mahomes before the 2018 season — asking him to come out of retirement. “When we made the final decision with Chad, [Moore] was the other guy, so it was kind of a no-brainer,” said Reid at the time. “To me, it was a toss-up. I like both the guys, so that’s what made this so easy. I would’ve taken either guy.” Moore wasn’t needed until the Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos when Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap on a quarterback sneak at the goal line. Moore came in to finish the 30-6 victory in Denver and then started the next two games, playing well in a 31-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers and a 26-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings. When Mahomes returned in Week 10, Henne was back from his injury. But the Chiefs elected to keep both backups on the active roster through the rest of the season. Shurmur — who had ended up winning the battle to be the practice-squad quarterback — went back to the taxi squad after spending two weeks on the main roster. Speaking on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach indicated that the team intends to go back to the usual routine in 2020 — and both Moore and Henne are in the mix. “We’ve been blessed and fortunate to have two veteran guys that just did a tremendous job,” Veach told reporters. “Chad got hurt, and then Matt came out of retirement and played really good football for us. That Minnesota Vikings game that we won in the middle of the season was a big deal. “We actually have two meetings scheduled with both of their representatives this week as well. We’ll see how that goes. I anticipate one of those guys being back. We’ll have to work through the dialogue with both their agents and see what makes sense for them and us.” At this point, whether the Chiefs will choose Henne or Moore is impossible to say. But in 2020, there’s an additional wild card: with top-tier quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott and Ryan Tannehill — along with Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Teddy Bridgewater — all potentially entering free agency, the possibility of a league-wide quarterback shakeup is there. Some of them — perhaps even most of them — could end up returning to their 2019 teams. But if a significant number don’t, there could be a glut of former starters (and backups) looking for jobs. So while Moore and Henne are clearly the front-runners to serve as the Chiefs’ backup quarterback, we shouldn’t discount the possibility that another player could end up getting the job.


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