- After getting waived by the Cardinals, veteran Terrell Suggs was hoping he’d land back in Baltimore. Instead, he was claimed by the Chiefs, and it didn’t take long for the veteran to buy into his new team. “It didn’t take much convincing,” Suggs told Dave Skretta of the Associated Press. “This team is pretty vet-savvy. Having been in this position a few times, you learn more from failure than you ever would from success. I think that the things that have happened in years past kind of prepared this team for the task that it took. It also doesn’t hurt to have the reigning MVP, and definitely the best tight end in the game, on your team. Once they got rolling and clicking on all cylinders, we got to have fun out there.”
Patrick Mahomes is Super Bowl bound. He’s also in line for a monumental payday.
Last year, at the age of 23-and-a-third, Mahomes became the league’s youngest MVP since Dan Marino won the award in 1984. He didn’t disappoint in his encore, either. The grizzled 24-year-old threw for for 4,031 yards with 26 touchdowns against just five interceptions in 2019. He also threw in some dazzling running plays, for good measure, resulting in two more scores and 15 first downs.
His incomparable skillset and early accomplishments point to a historic contract. The NFL’s all-time average annual value (AAV) record is made to be broken and routinely shattered each year, sometimes by quarterbacks who are not considered to be among the league’s very best. Mahomes’ case is decidedly different – he’s simply from another planet, and some execs think he’ll cross the $40MM/year threshold.
“I think he’s gonna get $40MM [per year], either over four or five years,” one NFC personnel evaluator told ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler.
Another NFC exec with negotiating experience mostly echoed that sentiment:”If Russell Wilson is at $35MM, then probably $37.5MM.”
Wilson’s deal with the Seahawks calls for $140MM across four years. Rams QB Jared Goff isn’t far behind with $134MM over the same stretch, with a whopping $110MM in guaranteed cash. Carson Wentz fell just shy with his four-year, $128MM Eagles extension. There will be new additions to this tier – including Cowboys QB Dak Prescott – but Mahomes is poised to top Prescott’s deal (whenever that happens) and set a watermark that won’t be approached for a while.
Mahomes’ rookie deal runs through 2020 and the Chiefs hold his fifth-year option to take him through 2021. Still, league officials say time is of the essence for KC.
“If I were [the Chiefs], I would be as proactive as humanly possible,” one exec told Fowler. “If Jared Goff can get no offset language in his entire contract after three years in the league, then this specific player has all the leverage. I think $40MM would be Mahomes selling himself short.”
Will Mahomes net $40MM per year, or more, on his next deal? Cast your vote below (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka isn’t going anywhere. Kafka will stick on Andy Reid’s coaching staff in 2020, sources tell Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter), which means that he won’t be leaving for the Eagles’ offensive coordinator vacancy or any other club.
The Eagles had interest in Kafka as an OC candidate, but they’ve been informed that Reid won’t let him stray. It’s possible that Kafka could receive a new title to stay in KC, but nothing has been made official on that front. Eric Bieniemy did not land a head coaching job in this cycle, so a bump up to OC is off the table.
With that, the Eagles have lost out on yet another OC option. USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell was on the radar, but earlier this week, he opted to return to the Trojans. Before that, Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban declined their request for an interview and ex-Redskins OC Kevin O’Connell accept the Rams’ OC job.
The Eagles drafted Kafka in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and the Northwestern product spent his first two seasons in the league as Philly’s backup/third-string signal-caller. After that, he parlayed his football IQ into a successful coaching career. After serving as the Chiefs’ offensive quality control coach in 2017, he was elevated to QB coach in 2018, the same year Patrick Mahomes took the league by storm.
The Eagles are still on the lookout for a new offensive coordinator after firing Mike Groh earlier this month, and their search could lead them to a familiar face. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Philadelphia is expected to request an interview with Chiefs QB coach Mike Kafka.
The Eagles drafted Kafka in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and the Northwestern product spent his first two seasons in the league as Philly’s backup/third-string signal-caller. He got looks with a number of clubs after he was cut by the Eagles in the summer of 2012, but he chose to end his playing career and try his hand at coaching in 2016, returning to his alma mater as an offensive graduate assistant.
His football IQ was always considered perhaps his best trait, and he has risen quickly through the coaching ranks. After serving as the Chiefs’ offensive quality control coach in 2017, he was elevated to QB coach in 2018, the same year Patrick Mahomes took the league by storm. We heard back in October that Kafka was considered a future NFL head coach, and he may have been promoted to Kansas City OC if Eric Bieniemy had gotten a head coaching job this year.
But because Eagles head coach Doug Pederson calls offensive plays, Rapoport says Chiefs head coach Andy Reid may block the interview request and give Kafka a promotion on KC’s staff.
The Eagles are also reportedly interested in Ravens QB coach James Urban and USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The NFL will not fine Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons for conduct during Tennessee’s 28-12 victory in the divisional playoff round, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. After the contest, Ravens offensive guard Marshal Yanda accused Simmons of spitting on him during the contest. Per Hensley, the NFL found no evidence to substantiate those claims.
For what it’s worth, Simmons did not deny spitting on Yanda when he was asked about it on Wednesday. Had the NFL prooved that Simmons had indeed spit in his opponent’s face, he would have been subject to an unsportsmanlike conduct fine of $14,037.
A few other players were unable to avoid hits to their checkbooks:
- Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher went viral online after he celebrated by pouring beer over himself during Kansas City’s divisional round victory over the Texans. While the NFL shared Fisher’s celebration on its official Twitter account, it appears the NFL’s marketers and executors of the codes of conduct are not on the same page. Fisher was fined $14,037 by the league on Saturday, when the league announced this week’s round of fines, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
- Fisher was not the lone Chiefs player to receive a fine for a celebration, running back Damien Williams received a $10,527 fine for taunting, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. After he scored his third touchdown in last week’s game, he placed the ball directly in front of a Texan defensive lineman, which cost the team a fifteen-yard penalty and now will cost Williams more than ten thousand dollars.
- Defensive end Nick Bosa was fined $28,025 for an illegal blindside block in the 49ers 27-10 victory over the Vikings in last week’s divisional round, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. Normally a defensive player would not be subject to such a fine, but after his defensive teammate, Richard Sherman, intercepted one of Kirk Cousins passes, Bosa got overzealous in a block on offensive tackle Brian O’Neill that forced O’Neill to leave the game for a couple of series.
- Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee, tweets NFL Network’s James Palmer. The rookie second-rounder started all 16 games for Kansas City, compiling 58 tackles, five passes defended, and three interceptions. He suffered the injury during his team’s Week 17 game against the Chargers, sidelining him for the entire postseason.
The stage has been set for the conference championships. The Titans, Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers are moving on to the semifinals, while the Texans, Seahawks, Ravens, and Vikings will begin planning for the offseason ahead. Unfortunately for the Texans, their first round pick belongs to the Dolphins.
Here’s an updated look at the 2020 NFL Draft order from Nos. 1-28:
1. Bengals (2-14)
2. Redskins (3-13)
3. Lions (3-12-1)
4. Giants (4-12)
5 Dolphins (5-11)
6. Chargers (5-11)
7. Panthers (5-11)
8. Cardinals (5-10-1)
9. Jaguars (6-10)
10. Browns (6-10)
11. Jets (7-9)
12. Raiders (7-9)
13. Colts (7-9)
14. Buccaneers (7-9)
15. Broncos (7-9)
16. Falcons (7-9)
17. Cowboys (8-8)
18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)
19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)
20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)
21. Eagles (9-7)
22. Bills (10-6)
23. Patriots (12-4)
24. Saints (13-3)
25. Vikings (10-6)
26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)
27. Seahawks (11-5)
28. Ravens (14-2)
Former Chiefs safety Ron Parker has formally announced his retirement from the NFL. Parker did not play in 2019, so the news doesn’t come as a huge surprise.
Parker first entered the league as a UDFA out of Division II Newbury College with the Seahawks in 2011. After stops with the Raiders and Panthers, he hooked on with the Chiefs in 2013, where he eventually cracked the starting lineup.
Parker went on to appear in 95 games for KC, including 78 starts. His best work came in 2015, when he notched five sacks and three interceptions as the Chiefs’ starting strong safety. All in all, Parker logged 104 games, 397 tackles, 11 interceptions, and eight sacks.
We here at PFR wish Parker the best in retirement.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.