Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, April 21
Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Smith belongs in the Chiefs Hall of Fame
Sine 1970, one former Kansas City legend has been inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame, with the exception of 1983. While Smith is only a Hall of Very Good player on the national level, he was a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback for the Chiefs during the peak of his career. He helped the team usher in an era it could be proud of after entering a situation that was undeniable chaos in 2013.
Smith eventually gave way to Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, but it was his mentorship of the 2017 first-round pick that will really stand the test of time. While Smith would be traded to Washington the following season, it helped set up Mahomes for success. He won MVP in his first year as a starter, bringing home a Super Bowl to Kansas City for the first time in 50 years in 2019.
It may not seem like much, but inducting Smith into the Chiefs Hall of Fame is the right thing to do.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
The Chiefs lost Sammy Watkins this offseason and struck out on their attempt to sign JuJu Smith-Schuster. Toney is in the same ilk as a speedy playmaker who could help in a variety of ways, as the former Florida star had a breakout year with 984 yards receiving in 11 games and ran a 4.41 40 time at Pro Day.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB
He is a smallish linebacker who some think can play safety. If you watch the Chiefs closely, you see how they use Dan Sorensen in a hybrid role. This kid is a faster version of that. He’s a playmaker.
Round 1: Mitchell Trubisky (No. 2), Patrick Mahomes (No. 10), Deshaun Watson (No. 12)
Round 2: DeShone Kizer (No. 52)
Round 3: Davis Webb (No. 87), C.J. Beathard (No. 104)
Round 4: Joshua Dobbs (No. 135))
Round 5: Nathan Peterman (No. 171)
Round 6: Brad Kaaya (No. 215)
Round 7: Chad Kelly (No. 253)
Notable undrafted: Taysom Hill, Nick Mullens
Bears fans will spend the next decade-plus absorbing constant reminders of general manager Ryan Pace trading up for Mitchell Trubisky while Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson went overlooked. Mahomes rides a trajectory to become the finest player of his generation. Already an MVP and Super Bowl champion, the bucket list is thinning. Watson is a Pro Bowl talent whose career hangs in the balance due to off-the-field issues paired with his desire to part with the Texans. I like Taysom Hill more as a gadget-magician than a starter, but Sean Payton would happily write a book of sea poems about the man.
4. Willie Roaf, OT
1993 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 8
Teams: Saints (1993-01), Chiefs (2002-05)
A member of the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, Roaf was also an All-Decade performer in two different decades. A Pro Bowler each season from 1994-05, Roaf’s blocking helped the Saints capture their first ever playoff victory in 2000. One of the greatest left tackles in NFL history, Roaf continued to have success after signing with the Chiefs in 2002. His blocking helped pave the way for Priest Holmes, who led the league in rushing touchdowns during Roaf’s first two seasons in Kansas City. Roaf’s influence was felt throughout the Chiefs’ offense, as Kansas City finished first, first, second, and sixth in the league in scoring during his four seasons with the Chiefs. Roaf was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.
Around the NFL
Tomlin, 49, is 145-78-1 in 14 years with the Steelers, winning one Super Bowl and going to another. The franchise has reached the playoffs nine times during Tomlin’s tenure and captured its seventh AFC North title under him in 2020.
“I am extremely grateful for this contract extension and want to thank Art Rooney II and everyone in the organization for the support in my first 14 seasons,” Tomlin said in a statement. “We have a goal of winning the organization’s seventh Super Bowl championship, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this upcoming season.”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Giants are internally considering trading back from the No. 11 pick, per sources informed of the team’s thinking.
The Giants’ spot just outside the top 10 could be a prime target for a team attempting to leap up, particularly if one of the QBs or other skill-position players begins to fall a bit.
It’s unheard of for a Gettleman-led team to trade down in a draft. Conducting eight drafts over the course of his career as a GM in both Carolina and now New York, Gettleman has never traded back in any round, the New York Daily News previously noted.
Former Washington Football Team tight end Jordan Reed said he’s retiring from the NFL because of lingering issues from multiple concussions suffered throughout his career.
“I was pretty sure I was going to keep playing; I was feeling good about where I was at,” Reed told ESPN. “But then I had some lingering effects and sought out professional help to get diagnosed. They told me it was not a good idea to keep playing. I agreed with them.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Aside from reducing the potential for infection, there are additional motivating factors for NFL teams to get their players and support personnel vaccinated. As NFL.com reported last week, the league intends for players to have as little contact as possible with team staffers who remain unvaccinated.
In a Tuesday memo obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league informed clubs their Tier 1 and 2 employees (excluding players) “should be expected to be vaccinated unless they have a bona fide medical or religious ground for not doing so.” Those who refuse vaccination without either a religious or medical reason will not be eligible for Tier 1 or 2 status “and therefore will not be permitted access to the ‘football only’ restricted area and may not work directly or in close proximity with players,” per the memo.
The league added it anticipates relaxing various aspects of the protocols implemented at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., close contact quarantine, restrictions regarding locker room, meetings and cafeteria use and testing cadence) for vaccinated individuals.
Reid said that the team is making vaccinations available to its staff starting on Tuesday.
“Right now, there’s a handful of them that have already been vaccinated — myself included. I think the more that we can push towards that, I think that’s a positive. I think giving people an opportunity to do it is great as we move forward.”
A tweet to make you think
When Alex Smith led this epic comeback against the Chargers pic.twitter.com/gzoZrMdfsS
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 20, 2021
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