Chiefs Rumors

Darrelle Revis Retires From NFL

Darrelle Revis announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday. This was the expected move after an offseason in which Revis’ name has hardly been mentioned. 

For the past eleven years, it has truly been an honor to showcase one of my greatest gifts to the world. Today, I am closing a chapter in my life that I once creamed of as a kid and I am officially retiring from the National Football League,” Revis said in a press release. “The game of football has opened doors for me I once thought were nearly impossible to get through. My passion to play the game at an elite level brought fun and excitement to the term “shutdown corner,” which was nearly on the verge of extinction. Covering some of the toughest assignments in league history was a challenge every Sunday, but also an honor within this game we all love. I would like to thank my coaches, teammates, and mentors who have made a significant impact in my life and helped to create amazing memories that my family and I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m excited as to what lies ahead as I pursue new ventures in different industries. Long live Revis Island.”

Revis, 33, was one of the league’s very best cornerbacks during his first stint with the Jets. After six seasons, four Pro Bowl nods, and three First-Team All-Pro selections, Revis was traded to the Buccaneers in 2013.

Revis was released after one season with Tampa Bay, which led him to the Patriots. Much to the chagrin of Jets fans, Revis had a stellar season and helped the Pats capture a Super Bowl win over the Seahawks.

The Jets attempted to rewrite history by signing Revis in the 2015 offseason, but the five-year, $70MM deal ($39MM guaranteed) given to him turned out to be one of the franchise’s biggest blunders in recent memory. The deal was supposed to allow Revis to retire as a Jet, but the team had no choice but to jettison him after two seasons.

Then, last year, the Chiefs signed Revis in November with the hope that he could help bolster their secondary. Unfortunately, Revis was nowhere near his 2014 form and some questioned his work ethic. After an offseason with no real chatter, Revis is calling it quits.

Revis’ second act with the Jets was a disappointment, but he will be remembered as one of the best cornerbacks of his time. The receivers who went to “Revis Island” from 2007-2014 were largely nullified, which is why Revis is a surefire bet for the Hall of Fame.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Chiefs Extend Matt Cassel

In the 30 years prior to their Patrick Mahomes first-round pick, the Chiefs did not entrust their offenses to homegrown investments too often.

Once 1983 first-rounder Todd Blackledge did not pan out, this franchise proceeded to acquire a slew of veteran quarterbacks via trade or free agency and hoped one of those offseason additions could elevate the team to a long-sought-after Super Bowl return. Steve DeBerg, Dave Krieg, Joe Montana, Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Rich Gannon all played key roles in piloting Chiefs teams to the playoffs during their successful 1990s run. Alex Smith helped deliver the most consistency since those years, leading Kansas City to four postseasons in five seasons, and Trent Green was at the controls of an explosive offense in K.C.’s run to the 2003 No. 2 seed.

But a key choice in Chiefs history came to fruition on this date nine years ago. In addition to being the key date on the Con Air timeline, July 14 proved to be a pivotal day for Matt Cassel. The Chiefs traded for Cassel in March of 2009 and signed him to a six-year, $63MM contract just prior to training camp that year.

This proved to be a windfall for the former Patriots backup. He received $28MM guaranteed and saw $40.5MM in that deal’s first three years. Cassel took over for Tom Brady after he suffered a season-ending injury against the Chiefs in Week 1 of the 2008 season. Completing a career-high 63.4 percent of his passes, Cassel guided the Patriots to an 11-win season. The Patriots used a $14.65MM franchise tag on Cassel but shipped him to the Chiefs, along with Mike Vrabel, for 2009’s No. 34 overall pick. (New England used that selection to draft Patrick Chung, who’s started at safety in each of the Pats’ past three Super Bowl appearances.)

In Kansas City, Cassel could not establish himself as a viable long-term solution. Though, the franchise was patient with Cassel at this decade’s outset, giving him 47 starts.

Cassel started four seasons for the Chiefs, but only one of those went well for him. He threw 27 touchdown passes compared to just seven interceptions in 2010 to lead the Chiefs to a surprising AFC West title, but he only started 17 games combined the next two seasons. Injuries and an eventual demotion limited Cassel’s playing time during the Chiefs’ final two Scott Pioli seasons, with a low point coming in Oct. 2012 when a sect of Chiefs fans cheered when the then-starter went down with an injury.

The Chiefs hired Andy Reid and John Dorsey following a disastrous 2-14 season in 2012, and they moved swiftly to add Smith. A day after Smith’s introductory press conference, the Chiefs cut Cassel. However, the Vikings immediately added the veteran as Christian Ponder‘s backup.

Cassel’s been able to land work consistently since. He started six games for the Vikes in 2013 and opened the 2014 season as Teddy Bridgewater‘s stopgap. Cassel was unable to beat out Tyrod Taylor for the Bills’ job in 2015, but he ended up starting seven games during Tony Romo‘s absence that year. He’s since been Marcus Mariota‘s backup and is now at age 36 in position to serve as Matthew Stafford‘s. Interestingly, Vrabel’s Titans decided to cut Cassel this offseason despite the duo’s history as teammates.

But Cassel’s most memorable NFL stay occurred in Kansas City, and he was paid handsomely in an attempt to revive a then-struggling franchise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs GM On Landing Breeland Speaks

  • Chiefs second-round defensive end Breeland Speaks had been on Kansas City’s radar for awhile, as general manager Brett Veach explained (link via Josh Norris of Rotoworld). After initially grading Speaks as a third-round pick, the Chiefs quickly realized that not only would Speaks likely be off the board by the time their third-rounder came up, but he might not even be available when Kansas City selected at No. 54 in the second round. Therefore, the Chiefs sent a third-round pick to the Bengals for the right to move up to No. 46, and took Speaks — an Ole Miss product — there instead. Speaks, whom Veach characterized as a “high-motor, intense player,” will vie for rotational snaps in Kansas City’s 3-4 scheme behind starters Chris Jones and Allen Bailey.

This Date In Transactions History: Mike Vrabel Retires

On this date in 2011, Mike Vrabel traded in his pads for a clipboard and whistle. Vrabel, a longtime NFL linebacker, retired from the Chiefs on July 11, 2011 in order to become an assistant coach at Ohio State.

Vrabel was just a few weeks shy of his 36th birthday at the time and was still a productive player on the field. In 2010, he amassed 48 total tackles for the Chiefs and appeared in all 16 games. However, he wasn’t the same player that he was in his prime with the Patriots, and the time he spent with the younger players in KC nudged him in the direction of coaching.

His genuine love for the game, his preparation, his work ethic, leadership and dependability are qualities you want from every player,” then-Chiefs GM Scott Pioli said. “He is a champion in every sense of the word and I’m confident all of these qualities will make him a great coach. I cannot overstate my respect for him as a person and a football player.”

Pioli was right – he had a knack for this coaching thing. Although Vrabel was hired by interim Buckeyes coach (and his former teammate and roommate) Luke Fickell, Urban Meyer elected to keep him on board as a part of his new staff when he took over in December of 2011. In 2014, he hooked on with the Texans as their linebackers coach. In 2017, he was elevated to defensive coordinator in Houston. This past January, the Titans hired him as their head coach after a quick search.

He was the ultimate team-first player, and he embodies that same mindset as a coach,” Titans GM Jon Robinson said after hiring Vrabel. “He is intelligent, energetic, detailed and a leader whose deep passion for this game will resonate with our players. As a coach, I have seen him develop talent at both the college and NFL level, and put players in position for them to be successful.”

Vrabel might have been able to contribute on the field for a 15th NFL season, but he opted to jumpstart his coaching career on this date seven years ago instead. If not for that decision, Vrabel probably wouldn’t have ascended the NFL coaching ladder as quickly as he did to become the Titans’ new head coach this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Move Steven Nelson To Outside CB

  • Attempting to piece together a new-look secondary, the Chiefs are trying Steven Nelson as an outside cornerback. Nelson played almost exclusively outside during Kansas City’s offseason program, per Nate Taylor of The Athletic (subscription required). “I’m an outside corner,” he said, via Taylor. “I’ll just say that. It’s up to the coaches. I can play both, I’m versatile. But for this (summer), I’ve been outside.” Nelson previously functioned as K.C.’s slot corner in both 2016 and ’17, but with Kendall Fuller now in line to commandeer that role, the Chiefs are shuttling Nelson to the boundary in advance of his contract year. Nelson served as a full-time corner in 2016 before an injury-plagued 2017, and a Fuller-Nelson-David Amerson setup could be in the works for K.C. post-Marcus Peters. Not much depth exists behind this troika, so this would be the logical top three going into camp.

Chiefs Don't View Sammy Watkins As WR2?

  • Kendall Fuller will not only be expected to be the Chiefs‘ slot cornerback after coming to Kansas City via offseason trade; he’ll be counted on now to be their No. 1 corner, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com writes. This would mean a starting role as an outside cover man and shifts into the slot on passing downs. The 5-foot-11 Fuller would have big shoes to fill in replacing historically productive ball hawk Marcus Peters. The Chiefs, though, do not have an obvious Peters replacement lined up. They signed David Amerson, but that amounts to more of a flier-type deal. This position may be K.C.’s biggest concern heading into the season.
  • The Chiefs also authorized a surprising amount of money ($16MM AAV) for Sammy Watkins, who, on the surface, would figure to be the team’s nominal No. 2 wide receiver behind Tyreek Hill. In an offense that funnels through All-Pro Travis Kelce and now has reigning rushing champ Kareem Hunt, Watkins could be deemed as a superfluous cog on a team that needed much more help on defense. However, Teicher notes the Chiefs want Watkins to be more than a No. 2 wideout and writes that the team’s offense will function best if Kelce, Hill and Watkins post similar receiving numbers. That has not been the case in K.C. for years, with the franchise largely eschewing the complementary receiver spots. Watkins represented a major deviation from that philosophy.

Poll: Who Is AFC West Favorite?

The AFC South’s received some justifiable buzz about being perhaps the conference’s strongest division. However, for sheer intrigue, the AFC West might have that beat.

A credible case can be made for all four teams winning the division. Prior to training camp and preseason injuries, though the Chargers have already suffered a big one, this division can be categorized as wide open.

The Chiefs are coming off the only instance in franchise history of back-to-back division titles. They added Sammy Watkins to an explosive skill-position core, albeit at a lofty price, and return most of their improving offensive line. The obvious question will be the viability of Patrick Mahomes, the franchise’s first Round 1 QB investment since 1983 but a player who is replacing one of the NFL’s most risk-averse passers in Alex Smith. Will Mahomes be able to keep the Chiefs’ loaded offense afloat while he learns on the job?

Defensively, the Chiefs threw big dollars at longtime Cowboys starter Anthony Hitchens, poached RFA Xavier Williams away from the Cardinals and traded for Kendall Fuller to man the slot. However, the since-traded Marcus Peters profiled as one of the best cornerbacks in team history and was responsible for the most forced turnovers among any corner since he entered the league. Can the Chiefs, who have some injury questions affecting edge presences Justin Houston and Dee Ford, be expected to boast a sufficient pass rush?

Las Vegas views the Chargers as the biggest threat to the Chiefs’ crown, despite the franchise having not won the division since 2009. Los Angeles featured the only team in the division to end last season with top-12 DVOA offensive and defensive units. Philip Rivers bounced back from a substandard season and ended the year ranked behind only Tom Brady in DYAR. He now has Mike Pouncey set to block for him.

Derwin James joins a defense that houses the now-extended Casey Hayward and the dynamic Melvin Ingram/Joey Bosa edge tandem. While Hunter Henry‘s ACL tear deprives Rivers of one of his go-to options, an issue the Bolts have dealt with frequently in the recent past and haven’t taken any steps to remedy this year, Keenan Allen and Co. represent a promising pass-catching contingent.

Oakand plummeted from last season’s favorite to a team that purged its coaching staff. And the Raiders, after steady building under Reggie McKenzie since he took over as GM, set off on a different course this offseason under Jon Gruden. Some of McKenzie’s power’s been stripped, and the Raiders signed a slew of free agents. They took more risks in the draft and free agency than in the recent past, Martavis Bryant chief among them.

That said, the Silver and Black still have one of the league’s better offensive lines and a 2016 MVP candidate who suffered an injury last season in Derek Carr. This is likely the division’s most enigmatic team.

What needs to happen for the Broncos to rebound isn’t mysterious. Case Keenum must provide the kind of improvement over Denver’s previous quarterbacks that will justify a franchise-QB (albeit at just $18MM AAV) salary. The Broncos still have plenty of holdovers from their Super Bowl 50 team and managed to add Bradley Chubb and three offensive players — Courtland Sutton, Royce Freeman and DaeSean Hamilton — the team hopes will provide a better supporting cast for Keenum after featuring top-heavy skill batteries the past three years.

All of this said, the Broncos are entrusting the back end of some key players’ primes to Keenum’s out-of-nowhere breakout being legitimate. They passed on Josh Allen and Josh Rosen for a more immediate solution, so plenty rides on the 30-year-old Keenum.

So, who enters training camp with the best roster? Can Mahomes elevate the Chiefs to a higher level from the get-go, or will Smith’s exit be noticeable in 2018? Will the Chargers finally break through after a quiet offseason? Can the Broncos salvage what’s left of their championship core’s windows, or is that contending avenue closed? What do you make of the Raiders’ new-look depth chart?

Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent DT Roy Miller To Retire

Free agent defensive tackle Roy Miller — who had been scheduled to serve a six-game suspension — announced on Instagram that he intends to retire from the NFL.

“I am officially retiring from the NFL,” Miller said. “Unfortunately my ex is trying everything she can to ruin any opportunity for me to work for my kids. This has caused me much pain. [H]ad some interest [from] teams but until the divorce goes through I can’t even contemplate putting a team through the drama.”

Miller, who will turn 31 years old next week, was arrested on a domestic battery charge last November, and was also reportedly involved in some sort of violent altercation last week, per TMZ Sports. Miller’s wife is filing for divorce and has asked for a restraining order, but the NFL veteran is claiming there’s more to the story.

On the field, Miller appeared in 119 games and 84 starts over a nine-year career after being selected in the third round of the 2009 draft. A University of Texas product, Miller split his first eight pro seasons between the Buccaneers and Jaguars, and played seven games with the Chiefs in 2017 before being cut.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Could Target Beal In Supplemental Draft

  • Matt Miller of Bleacher Report “could see the Chiefs making a bid on Sam Beal in the Supplemental Draft” (Twitter link). Miller thinks Beal “could fill a huge hole” and that the Chiefs would probably have to bid a second round pick to get him. Miller added that he keeps hearing that Beal is “pro ready” and that he thinks Chiefs GM Brett Veach will be aggressive enough to make the move.

Tamba Hali Likely To Retire

Former Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali sounds like he’s ready to retire. In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio (Twitter link), Hali indicated that he might be ready to move on. 

[RELATED – Poll: Who Is Patriots’ Biggest AFC Threat?]

I just need to continue to work out and do my music,” Hali said. “I don’t want to focus too much on football. I don’t see myself getting back into football. I see myself being involved with the Chiefs somehow, maybe as a specialist being able to teach the guys. I don’t want to lie to myself. I think the time has come.”

Hali has not finalized his decision and admitted that he wants to continue playing “at times.” However, at other times, he has found himself far more interested in his family and his other hobbies.

The Chiefs released Hali in March after a season that began on the PUP list and ended with little playing time overall. Hali appeared in just five games, starting none, and did not record a sack.

Hali left the Chiefs as the team’s No. 2 all-time sacker — behind only Derrick Thomas. The former 2006 first-round pick re-signed twice with the Chiefs and earned five straight Pro Bowl invites, from 2011-15, recording 89.5 sacks after his 11th season. He finished with three double-digit sack seasons, the last of which coming in 2013. Unfortunately, injuries plagued him for years and he has not been in top form for a while.

Hali confessed that he would like to rack up another 10.5 sacks to hit 100 for his career, but he is also content knowing that he gave it his all over 12 NFL seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.