Chiefs news for 7 March 2019Embed from Getty Images
Some time during the fall, right around the midway point of the season, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach looked down at his cellphone when he saw a text from his mentor that makes him grin to this day.
“You’ve changed the future of the organization with this kid,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid wrote to Veach.
The kid was quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was in the midst of the best second season by an NFL quarterback in 35 years, one in which he’d go on to lead the Chiefs to a 12-4 record and the AFC championship game.
“(Berry is) a name that could be thrown into this (group of free agents),” Palmer said. “…His name is going to be up at Arrowhead Stadium. He’s one of the greatest Chiefs of all time. He’s at one time the most popular person in the entire city. But could they be moving on from Eric Berry? First let’s look at the health aspect of it. He’s played in just roughly about four games over the last two seasons when he was the highest-paid safety in football. Now, they believe he will not need surgery on that heel that bothered him throughout the entire season and they believe that he would be ready for offseason workouts, but are those offseason workouts going to be in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform? That’s yet to be determined. Over seven million more dollars are going to be guaranteed on his salary come next week, so is this something to where (defensive coordinator) Steve Spagnuolo and his defensive staff now are going over that self-scouting portion of things, over every aspect of this Chiefs defense, about what they want to do. And look, Amari Watts could play a part in this as well. He’s a young safety that they have very high expectations for in Kansas City. So this could be the end possibly. We’ll find out I think soon if Eric Berry is going to be done with the Kansas City Chiefs.”
On the other hand, former Chiefs beat reporter Terez Paylor, who is now with Yahoo Sports, wrote in December about the unlikelihood of the Chiefs pursuing Bell, then reiterated that stance after the above report went public. The Chiefs might not be willing to spend the type of money Bell will be looking for, and as Paylor noted in his December article, he has a couple off-field marijuana-related incidents under his belt that may or may not be of concern.
Ware has largely served as a complementary option in Kansas City’s backfield thus far in his career. He was able to etch out a role for himself in the Chiefs’ offense thanks to his versatile skill-set as both a runner and receiver. Despite his recent struggles with injuries, it appears his prospects bode well on the market. This brings up a bit of a dilemma for Kansas City. They have recently invested in their receiving corps in an attempt to give quarterback Patrick Mahomes as many weapons as possible to throw it to. Despite the combined star power of wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, the Chiefs still lack depth behind them.
Despite the fact that they were ranked that poorly, the group still led the league in sacks with 52. I believe the Chiefs can lose Houston or Ford and still improve defensively while also keeping their sack numbers up. But they can only lose one, not both. Removing both players would take 21 sacks from 2018 off the roster.
One of those alternatives could involve swinging a trade for one of the two pass rushers currently under contract with the Chiefs. Earlier this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Kansas City could be willing to part with Ford for the reasonable price of a second-round pick. The 28-year-old had a career year last season: He piled up 77 pressures—the highest total in the league among edge rushers, according to Pro Football Focus—and had almost as many sacks (13) as he did in his first four seasons combined (17.5). That outlier year has made Kansas City hesitant about handing him a long-term deal, which is why another team could land him for reasonable price. A cheaper option, though, would be Ford’s teammate Justin Houston, who’s currently on the trade block and will likely be released if Kansas City can’t find a proper trade partner. Houston is set to earn a base salary in 2019 of $15.3 million, which will make him hard to deal. If he is released, an interested team could probably secure his services for less on a per-year basis than a younger player like Fowler, while also not adversely affecting that team’s compensatory pick formula for 2020.
Someone is going to hit a home run with Spencer Ware. He is being overlooked by the media, but is dynamic with the ball in his hands and catches everything thrown to him. His market will out-price the Chiefs … At this point I would be very surprised if the Chiefs moved on from Eric Berry. They haven’t given any indications to that end, and the cap hit it would require after waiting for him to finally get healthy again on a team that is Super Bowl Now mode wouldn’t make much sense (also, at a time with prices soaring on a loaded safety market) … A number of teams like Cordarrelle Patterson, who would make sense for the Steelers, among others (especially with Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown about to be gone from Pittsburgh in successive years).
Morning Bowl of (T)Weeties: