Dadi Nicolas isn’t going to Cleveland. He’s instead found a new home in Seattle. The Seahawks signed the linebacker Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. Nicolas appeared headed to Cleveland two weeks ago when the Browns and Chiefs agreed to a player-for-player deal with tight end Randall Telfer headed to Kansas City. But the [more] Read more…
The Kansas City Chiefs signalled their intent for change in the 2017 Draft by moving up to the 10th selection to acquire quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Since Andy Reid’s arrival at the club in 2013, Alex Smith had been a safe pair of hands at the position, proving his worth after the Chiefs used a second-round pick to secure his services from the San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City reached the playoffs in four of the five seasons with Smith as their signal-caller, winning the AFC West in back-to-back terms in 2016 and 2017. However, success in the playoffs eluded Reid’s men, winning one game against the Houston Texans in the wildcard round in the 2015 term.
Patience ran thin after their narrow defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round in 2016, resulting in the move for Mahomes. Smith remained the starter and enjoyed one of the finest seasons of his NFL career in 2017. His tenure with the Chiefs ended on a sour note with a second-straight post-season defeat on home soil, losing by a single point to the Tennessee Titans.
Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins in the early stages of the off-season, with the franchise putting their faith in Mahomes to guide them over the hump to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969. Kansas City are backed at 28/1 to win Super Bowl LII in the latest odds provided by Betway, which will be a challenge, given the changes they’ve made in key positions since the end of the 2017 campaign.
Smith was viewed as a game manager by many pundits in the NFL and given his standard of performances during his first four seasons with the Chiefs – it was not an unfair statement. However, the 33-year-old enjoyed a brilliant start to the 2017 campaign, perhaps fuelled by the drafting of Mahomes. His four-touchdown performance against the New England Patriots stunned the defending Super Bowl champions, recording a 42-27 win at Gillette Stadium. He maintained that form in the early stages of the term to be considered a candidate for MVP.
The inconsistencies in his game appeared during the middle stretch of the season, including a two-interception display against the New York Giants. Performances of that ilk would cost the Chiefs a bye in the post-season and may have convinced the club’s hierarchy to move on. Smith’s outing against the Titans in the playoffs was statistically sound, but he lacked the clutch performance needed to guide them to victory.
Reid will be hopeful that Mahomes has those characteristics in abundance. There are fine margins for the quarterback to deal with as the club have been a fixture in the AFC playoff race for the past five seasons. A step back will be deemed as a failure, even if it is his first full term in the NFL. The 22-year-old was outstanding during his time at Texas Tech in the college game and has quality weapons around him with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The pressure is on Mahomes to deliver.
The Chiefs have also made significant moves on the defensive side of the ball. All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters was traded away to the Los Angeles Rams, while veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson was released. Both players were a key part of Bob Sutton’s unit last term, although Peters’ behaviour, particularly in a defeat to the New York Jets, may have hastened his departure. Their exits leave a void on the defense, while Eric Berry may not be the same player at the start of the 2018 term as he works his way back from a torn Achilles.
Kendall Fuller and Anthony Hitchens arrived to replace Peters and Johnson, but face a major baptism of fire in their bid to replace two quality players for the franchise. Justin Houston needs to take ownership of the defense and rediscover his best form rushing passer. He notched 9.5 sacks last term in 15 matches and can raise the bar to once again become one of the truly dominant pass-rushers in the NFL. A healthy Dee Ford could be crucial to easing the pressure, although there’s also a need for Tanoh Kpassagnon, Reggie Ragland and Chris Jones to come to the fore.
The Chiefs signed the most famous sixth-round pick of this year’s draft, Kahlil McKenzie. McKenize, the son of Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie, is converting from the defensive line to the offensive line. He was the second draft choice the Chiefs got under contract Monday, joining Armani Watts. The Chiefs previously signed Tremon Smith, leaving [more] Read more…
The Chiefs signed fourth-round pick Armani Watts to a four-year contract. The Texas A&M safety becomes the second of the team’s six draft picks to sign. Kansas City also has signed sixth-round pick Tremon Smith. Ron Parker‘s departure opens up the free safety spot, and Watts will compete for the job with Leon McQuay III, [more] Read more…
The Colts claimed defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches off waivers from Kansas City. They waived outside linebacker Josh Perry in a corresponding move. Nunez-Roches played in 34 career games with 16 starts in three seasons with the Chiefs. He made 51 tackles, five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also has appeared in one postseason [more] Read more…
By Josh Alper
The Chiefs waived defensive tackle Stefan Charles earlier this week, but he won’t have to find a new place to hang his hat. The team announced on Thursday that they have re-signed Charles while also making it official that defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches has been waived. Charles initially signed with the Chiefs in January to [more] Read more…
By Josh Alper
The Chiefs announced a series of changes to their personnel department on Wednesday. They have promoted seven members of the department and hired two people from outside the organization. One is Mike Bradway, who spent the last 10 years with the Eagles and was most recently their assistant director of college scouting. He will be [more] Read more…
By Darin Gantt
Longtime NFL cornerback Dimitri Patterson has tried giving cops the slip before, but wasn’t successful this time. According to Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald, Patterson was arrested this week after a felony warrant was issued for him in Miami last November. The charges from that warrant were for battery and culpable negligence.He was detained in [more] Read more…
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