Brett Veach

Extra Points: Jets, Giants, Eagles, Broncos, Chiefs, Vikings

With the selection of Sam Darnold at No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Jets brought their quarterback room to five. The USC product joined Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Newsday’s Calvin Watkins, however, notes that number is expected to shrink by the time the team heads to training camp in July.

The two obvious candidates to be moved or released are Petty and Hackenberg. The former has failed to impress in seven starts, and the latter, despite having a cannon for an arm, has yet to make an appearance in his first two seasons.

Even if one of the two make it to training camp, another move is likely to come as keeping four quarterbacks would handicap the team at other positions. In addition to Darnold, it would be hard to see the veteran McCown not making the squad. The journeyman is viewed as invaluable in the locker room and is the perfect candidate to help the young Darnold learn the ropes of the NFL.

Bridgewater, however, is no lock to make the roster. As Watkins notes, the former Vikings signal-caller receives a $5MM base salary if he makes the team. If not, the Jets are only out the $500,000 signing bonus. If he proves he is back to his pre-injury form, New York will have a steal. If not, the team can cut bait with minimal salary implications.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Broncos did not endure a turnover in the scouting department following this weekend’s draft, 9 News’ Mike Klis tweets. In the wake of the annual draft, it is not uncommon for teams to part ways with scouts and personnel department. Team president John Elway, however, decided to bring everyone back.
  • The Chiefs hired Eagles assistant director of college scouting Michael Bradway to an undisclosed position, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia tweets. Mosher notes Bradway, who was with the Eagles for seven seasons, joins back up with Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, who also spent time in Philadelphia.
  • The Giants attempted to trade into the back end of the second round to select Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter, the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz writes. Though a deal did not form, New York was still able to pluck the speedy edge rusher when he fell to their third-round pick (No. 66). “What you have to appreciate is his unseen production. If he is flying off the edge, he is creating pressure. Sometimes you are looking at guys that create plays for others.,” general manager Dave Gettleman said.
  • The Eagles drafted their fewest players since 1989 when it emerged from the draft with only five selections. That is not a spot the team wants to be in again, general manager Howie Roseman told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Les Bowen. “I think it’s a hard first couple of days for people who put a lot of time and effort into the process, and you see that,” Roseman said. “The last two days, it’s hard. A lot of guys get off the board, so we don’t want to do that again. I think that’s the first takeaway.”
  • Vikings center Pat Elflein is doing “part work” in spring drills but is not going to be ready for OTAs, the player told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Elflein suffered a fractured left ankle in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 21 and underwent surgery the following week. “We’re just not rushing it. I’m just trying to get myself back in shape and get strong and be ready to go.,” Elflein said.

Extra Points: Butler, Shead, Rams, Chiefs

It’s been a wild ride for the Seahawks defense the past week. After the team traded Michael Bennett to the Eagles and released Richard Sherman, it also decided to release cornerback DeShawn Shead.

This was noteworthy because the Seahawks told the player it would release him to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent despite the NFL saying his contract should toll for 2018.

Earlier today, Shead signed with the Lions but reportedly wanted a return to the Seahawks, the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta tweets. After Seattle honored its statement to make the cornerback a free agent, Shead wanted to give Seattle every chance to keep him, but the organization ultimately wouldn’t match the offer he received from the Lions.

Seattle now enters free agency without three of its top veterans and could be seeing the end of the Earl Thomas era, who has threatened to hold out if he doesn’t receive a new deal. The Seahawks could deal him this offseason and are reportedly looking for a first-round pick in return.

Needless to say, the Seahawks once-stingy defensive unit will look plenty different in 2018.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Rams general manager Les Snead said on Wednesday the team traded linebacker Alec Ogletree to accommodate the ensuing move for cornerback Aqib Talib, Alden Gonzalez tweets. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips prefers cornerbacks to linebackers in his scheme, and a big move had to be made to bring in the former Broncos corner, who will count $11 MM toward the cap.
  • Snead also said he sees ways the Rams can address run defense and the pass rush in free agency, Gonzalez tweets. Though he is weighing what will be available to fill those holes with rookies, he doesn’t want to just wait until the draft to fill obvious needs. The team received some insurance for its pass rush on Wednesday when it re-signed veteran linebacker Connor Barwin.
  • New Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler said he was worried his Super Bowl benching would hurt his value on the open market, USA Today’s Lindsay Jones tweets. Butler notoriously didn’t see the field against the Eagles in February when the Patriots allowed Nick Foles to shred their secondary. The 2015 Pro Bowl selection reached a deal with the Titans on Wednesday worth up to $61 MM over five years, with $30 MM of that being guaranteed.
  • Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said cornerback Marcus Peters‘ trade to the Rams had nothing to do with national anthem protests, Pro Football Talk passes along“This was a football decision. … This wasn’t just one game, wasn’t a month, this was three years of body of work, and we look for consistency. We felt that this was in the best interest of the team,” Veach said. 
  • Veach also touched on the Chiefs move for Sammy Watkins, saying the team pounced on the receiver in the first minute of free agency, the NFL Network’s James Palmer tweets. Veach said that if Watkins received a call before theirs, the other team would’ve had to call in 30 seconds before they did. The team was motivated to move on Watkins to add him to Tyreek Hill, giving strong-armed quarterback Patrick Mahomes a pair of dynamic, stretch-the-field receivers.

West Notes: Veach, Mahomes, Raiders, 49ers

Andy Reid credited recently hired GM Brett Veach of alerting him to the likes of DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Fletcher Cox during the duo’s time together with the Eagles. The new Chiefs GM’s latest pet project was a player who figures to have a big say in whether the franchise can challenge for a Super Bowl title in the years to come. Reid said Veach was “all in on” Patrick Mahomes during the franchise’s draft preparation and brought the Texas Tech prospect onto he and then-GM John Dorsey‘s radar.

If he brings you (a player) and he’s that sold on him, you better take a look at him,” Reid said, via Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star. “He’s brought to me (guys) like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Fletcher Cox — all these guys, and it was early, before anybody really had a beat on it. And (back then) … I’m going, ‘Wow, he’s got kind of a knack for this thing.”

The Chiefs have brought in several cornerstone players during Dorsey and Veach’s time as top execs, with Travis Kelce, Marcus Peters and Tyreek Hill becoming first-team All-Pros in 2016. Mahomes recently commandeered Kansas City’s backup quarterback job.

Here’s the latest out of the Western divisions.

  • Viewed as the AFC West favorite despite the Chiefs’ sweep in this rivalry last season, the Raiders have seen their backup quarterback picture clear up to some degree in recent days. Jack Del Rio said (via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle) said E.J. Manuel has outperformed Connor Cook so far and is in the No. 2 spot behind Derek Carr. A former Bills first-rounder, Manuel signed a modest one-year deal with the Raiders early in free agency.
  • The Raiders’ current depth chart has two recent Day 3 draft picks as starters at the non-rush linebacker spots, with second-year sixth-rounder Cory James stationed as Oakland’s first-team weakside ‘backer and fifth-round rookie Marquel Lee in the middle. Lee’s spot may be less certain, per Tafur, who adds the Raiders will likely look to the waiver wire to add another inside linebacker if the Wake Forest product falters. The Raiders signed Perry Riley midway through last season, and the former Redskins starter became a quality performer for the Silver and Black. Still a free agent, the 29-year-old Riley would seemingly be an option. Reggie McKenzie said the 2016 starter was a consideration, but that was back in May. The Dolphins passed on Riley as a Raekwon McMillan replacement, choosing to sign Rey Maualuga instead.
  • The 49ers entered camp uncertain if they had one starting-caliber guard on their roster, let alone two, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes. Brandon Fusco will play right guard, but the 49ers are on the lookout for outside help opposite the longtime Vikings cog, Maiocco reports. Zane Beadles is penciled in on the other side, with Joshua Garnett sidelined due to knee surgery.
  • Jimmie Ward will return to safety this season after a lengthy cornerback experiment, but the 49ers have yet to see him work at that spot during camp. Maiocco reports the 49ers expect the fourth-year defensive back to be cleared this week. He suffered a hamstring injury during San Francisco’s conditioning tests.
  • Maiocco adds recently signed corner K’Waun Williams is in position to function as the 49ers’ top nickel back. He’s in the lead over 2016 third-rounder Will Redmond for that job. Neither Williams nor Redmond played last season. A torn ACL during his final college season led to Redmond missing 2016, and a controversial injury ended Williams’ time with the Browns. Cleveland’s two-year slot corner was not on a team last season but participated in a lengthy visit tour before deciding on a one-year, $765K deal with the 49ers.
  • The Seahawks will have a decision to make on Luke Joeckel‘s position after starting left tackle George Fant tore his ACL Friday night.

Extra Points: Chiefs, Johnson, Colts, Chargers

Some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up this Monday evening…

  • Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he was not involved in the evaluation process in promoting Brett Veach to GM (Twitter link via James Palmer of NFL.com). The Chiefs promoted the 39-year-old earlier this month, and reports indicated that while Veach will have control over the roster, he’ll ultimately work in tandem with his head coach.
  • Here’s something that could affect the Browns‘ roster bubble: Duke Johnson profiles more as a wide receiver right now than a running back, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer writes. Johnson is the leading candidate to replace Andrew Hawkins as the team’s No. 1 slot receiver and has been split out wide at times in practice. After carrying the ball 104 times as a rookie, Johnson ran the ball only 73 times in 2016 and he could be looking at another reduction this year.
  • The Colts have not had substantive extension talks with left guard Jack Mewhort as he enters his contract year, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star tweets. Mewhort has started at left guard with some appearances at tackle since entering the league in 2014. Unfortunately, the former second round pick saw his season cut short last year due to a knee injury. Mewhort has graded out as a starting caliber player for the Colts in each of his NFL seasons. In 2016, he was PFF’s 23rd ranked guard.
  • Titans guard Sebastian Tretola apparently suffered a minor injury from a bullet, and ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky tweeted a statement from the organization: “We are aware of the reports that Sebastian received treatment for a wound when he was grazed by a bullet…He has been released from the hospital and is thankful for only a minor injury.” The 2016 sixth-round pick appeared in only one game as a rookie last season.
  • Following news that Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams might need season-ending surgery on a herniated disk in his back, ESPN.com’s Eric D. Williams explored whether the team could bring back veteran Vincent Jackson. The writer ultimately believes that he wouldn’t be a fit, as the team could rely on a number of young players to fill the void. Alternatively, the team could opt for a number of free agents (including Stevie Johnson and Vincent Brown) who are more familiar with the team’s current offensive scheme. Jackson spent the first seven seasons of his career in San Diego, earning a pair of Pro Bowl selections.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Brett Veach To Control Chiefs’ Roster

When the Chiefs promoted Brett Veach into the GM role, there were questions about exactly how much control he would have. On Monday, owner Clark Hunt clarified things a bit. Brett Veach (vertical)

Veach will have final say over the 53-man roster, Hunt tells reporters. He’ll work in tandem with coach Andy Reid just like John Dorsey did when he was in GM, but it appears that Veach is in the driver’s seat.

There has been speculation that Reid helped to push Dorsey out the door and Hunt acknowledged that he spoke with Reid before making the decision. He did not get into specifics about Reid’s input but, as expected, the move was not made without the coach being consulted first.

There was no one single event that caused the firing of Dorsey, Hunt explained, saying that it was based on an overall evaluation of his work. That means the team’s awkward parting of ways with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was not the impetus for canning Dorsey – if Hunt is to be believed.

Hunt says his goal is for the Chiefs to win a Super Bowl in the next 3-4 years, meaning that expectations are high for the young GM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Name Brett Veach As GM

The Chiefs have promoted executive Brett Veach to the role of GM. Veach is now the seventh GM in franchise history. Brett Veach (vertical)

After a comprehensive search process, I am pleased to announce that we have hired Brett Veach to serve as the next General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs,” Chairman/CEO Clark Hunt said in a press release. “Brett has a sharp football mind, a tremendous work ethic and a keen eye for finding talent. Over the last four seasons he’s played a critical role in building our football team. I look forward to working with him to continue to build on the strong foundation we have in place.”

The Chiefs, to the shock of the football world, found themselves with a GM vacancy this summer when they fired John Dorsey. From the get-go, Veach was identified as a frontrunner for the job. After considering other internal candidates plus some out-of-house types, the Chiefs have found their man.

Veach will report directly to Hunt on all player personnel matters, according to the team. Only time will tell whether that will be the true chain of command in Kansas City. It appears that coach Andy Reid had a good amount of say when it came to the 53-man roster and Veach will probably have to negotiate between his own vision for the team and what Reid wants to do. Fortunately for Veach, he has plenty of experience in that department. The two have a relationship that goes back several years to their time in Philadelphia, including a stint where Veach served as a coaching assistant for Reid.

Before deciding on Veach, the Chiefs also considered co-director of player personnel Mike Borgonzi. Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden and Seahawks co-diretor of player personnel Scott Fitterer were among the outside candidates to interview for the job. Vikings assistant GM George Paton turned down the team’s request to interview and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick was reportedly in the running, though he denied that he was interested in the position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Could Promote Brett Veach To GM By Training Camp

The Chiefs could potentially promote co-director of player personnel Brett Veach to general manager before the beginning of training camp, sources tell Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).

After firing John Dorsey last month, Kansas City reportedly set a “loose goal” of finding a new GM prior to the start of training camp, so promoting Veach in the coming weeks would accomplish that goal. Veach, along with ESPN commentator Louis Riddick, have been considered the favorites for the Chiefs vacancy, as both offer familiarity with head coach Andy Reid. In addition to serving alongside Reid in Kansas City, Veach spent several seasons working with him in Philadelphia.

As our Chiefs GM Search Tracker indicates, six candidates have been linked to the Kansas City position. Veach and fellow co-director of player personnel Mike Borgonzi, Riddick, Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden, and Vikings assistant general manager George Paton have all been mentioned in connection with the Chiefs job, although Paton declined to interview.

Brett Veach, Louis Riddick Favorites For Chiefs GM?

Although the Chiefs are interviewing Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden today, he’s not currently the frontrunner for the Kansas City vacancy, Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com reports. Instead, Chiefs co-director of player personnel Brett Veach and ESPN commentator Louis Riddick are considered the “strongest candidates” for the job, per McCormick. Indeed, a “growing belief” exists around the league that Veach will end up being promoted, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

Given that head coach Andy Reid is now “running the show” in Kansas City following the firing of ex-GM John Dorsey, familiarity with Reid seems to be playing an integral role in the club’s general manager search. Veach, of course, has worked with Reid with the Chiefs and also spent time with him in Philadelphia. Riddick, too, has a relationship with Reid based on the pair’s time with the Eagles.

The Chiefs are expected to interview Veach, whose name was tossed out during the Bills GM hunt, at some point this week. Riddick, meanwhile, is a candidate for the Kansas City despite his public denial. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Monday that the Chiefs have reached out to Riddick’s representation, but perhaps not Riddick himself.

As our Chiefs GM Search Tracker shows, Cowden, Veach, and Riddick are three of six candidates who have been linked to the Chiefs’ vacancy. Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer will interview this week, Chiefs co-director of player personnel Mike Borgonzi has been mentioned as a contender, and Vikings assistant general manager George Paton declined an interview.

Chiefs To Interview Brett Veach This Week

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt is expected to interview co-director of player personnel Brett Veach this week, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Veach has been identified as an early frontrunner for the job.

[RELATED: Vikings’ George Paton Turns Down Chiefs Interview]

Last week, Rapoport reported that Veach is the name to watch in the team’s GM search. Veach goes way back with Andy Reid, having served as his assistant with the Eagles. The exec has also gotten lots of face time with Hunt in recent years and has been highly regarded by the organization. Veach has come up as a GM candidate before, having been linked to the Bills’ vacancy earlier this year.

Veach’s fellow co-director of playr personnel, Mike Borgonzi, has also been mentioned as a leading in-house candidate. There’s no word yet on when or if he will get an interview, but logic dictates that he will also be interviewed by Hunt & Co. in the coming days.

Latest On Chiefs’ GM Search

Former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey‘s firing this past week was surprising for a number of reasons, including the timing. Terez A. Paylor of KansasCity.com writes how the late-June move was “unprecedented” and could lead to several complications for the organization.

John Dorsey (Vertical)As Paylor explains, the NFL is generally on “vacation” during this time of year, with most “player evaluators” fired after the draft to prevent them from passing along information to future employers. The writer also notes that Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt had previously said that he’d like to hammer out extensions for both Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid during this late-June timeframe. Following the firing, Paylor wonders if negotiation discussions may have broken down. Of course, on the flip side, a letter from Hunt earlier this week didn’t give any indications that contract negotiations had to do with the firing.

Either way, it will be particularly difficult for the organization to hire a replacement at this point of the offseason. If the Chiefs are eyeing someone from an outside organization, they’d have to get permission from the opposing team to interview that individual. As Paylor writes, few teams will be willing to grant that permission at this point of the year, as it’ll be presumably difficult to fill that spot in their own organization.

“Teams don’t want to lose a guy at this time of year because they’d be so hard to replace,” Senior Bowl director Phil Savage (and former NFL GM) said. “Most of these moves are made right after the season or after the draft, so you have all of May to get organized.

“I bet half of the teams are in NFL are out of country this week. To get a phone call saying ‘Hey, we want to interview your right-hand man,’ some teams would be reluctant.”

Paylor notes that the team could alternatively promote from within, with the writer suggesting co-directors of player personnel, Brett Veach or Mike Borgonzi, as potential candidates. Regardless of the team’s game plan, it will surely take some time before the Chiefs officially announce a replacement.