Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images
Chiefs headlines for Tuesday, July 21.
Hill watched the Chiefs sign quarterback Patrick Mahomes through the 2031 season early this month and then saw defensive tackle Chris Jones beat last week’s deadline by signing a four-year deal with the team. Those moves capped an offseason that saw the Super Bowl LIV champs hold onto almost all of their key players from last season and have Hill thinking about an extended run of success.
“I’m proud of just the Chiefs in general for getting all these deals done, man,” Hill said, via TMZ. “‘Cause they understand right now is our time, like this is our window to be great, for us to build that dynasty and I’m just happy to be along with them.”
Notions of a dynasty also popped up in comments from Mahomes and Jones after they signed their new contracts and a strong start to the 2020 season would likely have plenty of others thinking that last season’s title was just the start for Kansas City.
“Pat texted me and said, ‘Let’s get this thing done. I left some [money] on the table for you.’ That’s when I had that security that me and the Chiefs were going to work something out,” Jones said Monday.
The Chiefs and the Houston Texans were the first NFL teams to have rookies scheduled to report on Monday. They were also among the first teams to have their IDER — which stands for Infectious Disease Emergency Response — plan approved by the NFLPA over the weekend.
As of Monday afternoon, seven teams have had their IDER plans approved by the NFLPA, a source tells Yahoo Sports, though that’s a fluid number that figures to grow as the union analyzes other teams’ plans. This is a critical step for those hoping for a return to football, since IDERs outline the steps and procedures teams will take if an outbreak occurs within the building. Additionally, proposals are currently being exchanged between the union and the league as both sides continue to hammer out issues like health and safety protocols, testing and opt outs so full squads can report. The league-wide report date for all non-rookies, quarterbacks and injured players is July 28.
But in the meantime, teams like the Chiefs and Texans are still tasked with getting their season preparations started, a process that every team begins by acclimating their rookies. And in that regard, the Chiefs have also taken an important step by reaching a verbal agreement with all six of their draft selections, a source told Yahoo Sports.
K.C. coach Andy Reid noted his team will work out of Arrowhead Stadium to ensure for better social distancing.
“We’re going to do everything out of the stadium,” Reid said. “The way they’ve set it up, we could have a ton of people social distance, more than we have with our football team. They’ve got it all set up with monitors and everything else. They’ve got each media room set up. They’ve split the Arrowhead Stadium in half, so one half, the defense is on one side, the offense is on the other side.”
“I mean, hell,” Hill says, “I thought he was worth even more!!”
Of course, Hill tells us the deal is still massive and more than fair for his Chiefs BFF … adding, “I’m proud of my boy, Pat, man! I’m really happy for him.”
The newly signed Chris Jones has been arguably the best interior player in the league outside of Aaron Donald over the past couple of seasons, and his 132 total pressures over the past two seasons is third among interior rushers. His pass-rush grade of 91.4 trails only Donald.
Frank Clark also got the big-money deal when the team acquired him from Seattle, but his first season was a letdown, seeing him register just 47 total pressures in the regular season before an uptick in the playoffs. His overall PFF grade for the season was just 63.0, and even those playoff performances were more flash than substance — he had five sacks across three games but did not earn a grade above 70.0 in any of them.
Around the NFL
Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said that the agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association would require daily COVID-19 testing for the first two weeks of training camp. After two weeks, if the positive test rate is below 5%, the league would scale back to testing every other day. If the positive test rate is not below 5%, they will continue with daily testing until such time as it falls below that number.
If at any point during training camp the positivity rate rises to 5% or higher, that would trigger a return to daily testing.
Governor Murphy cited the ongoing concern for the general public’s health as the reason to shut fans off from live games:
“While we look forward to the day we can return to games as normal and cheer from the stands, continued concerns for the health and safety of fans, team members, and staff dictate that our executive order limiting outdoor gatherings does apply to sporting events, including training camp,” he said, according to NJ Advanced Media.
Murphy did note that fans may be allowed back in the stadium “when it is safe to do so.”
Remember, AB threatened to retire back in September … after he was released by the New England Patriots amid a myriad of off-field issues, including a sexual assault investigation.
Now … the 7-time Pro Bowler is singing a similar tune, saying he’s putting the game behind him for good.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The Chiefs were reportedly interested in bringing back No. 2 tight end Blake Bell, but rather than coming back to Kansas City for the repeat try, Bell signed with Dallas to become a member of the Cowboys. That opened up the door for a wide-open TE2 competition between Deon Yelder, Ricky Seals-Jones and Nick Keizer. Of the three options, our Arrowhead Pride Laboratory team favors Keizer, who Kansas City made a point to bring back just two days after their Super Bowl victory. Yelder recorded three catches for 50 yards in 2019. Brett Veach likened Seals-Jones to Bell after his free-agent signing, so the road won’t necessarily be easy for Keizer, who put up some nice numbers last preseason.
In case you forgot, I was a fan of John Lovett last year before he suffered a season-ending injury during the preseason. The Princeton quarterback-turned-H-Back has a Taysom Hillesque vibe to his game, and he should be healthy ahead of the 2020 season.
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