Kansas City Chiefs Rumors & News

Chiefs Sign Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs have signed their first-round pick, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, reports Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). It’s a four-year deal worth a guaranteed $16.4MM, including a $10MM-plus signing bonus.

Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes, the 10th overall selection, went to the Chiefs after they paid a heavy price in a deal with the Bills to move up for him. Kansas City was originally in line to pick 27th, but then-general manager John Dorsey boldly packaged that choice with a third-rounder this year and a first-rounder in 2018 to go up 17 spots for Mahomes. In doing so, Dorsey surrendered a whopping 170 cents on the dollar, according to Chase Stuart of Football Perspective.

Formerly a star at Texas Tech, where he combined for 93 touchdowns, 29 interceptions and 11,252 yards from 2014-16, Mahomes will sit behind veteran Alex Smith initially. But if the Chiefs, who went to the playoffs for the third time in four tries under Smith in 2016, don’t take a step forward this season, Mahomes could grab the reins under center by 2018. The Chiefs have gone just 1-3 in the playoffs with Smith at the helm (they were one and done last winter after a 12-4, AFC West-winning campaign), and releasing him after the season would save the team $17MM of his $20.6MM cap hit in 2018 – the final year of his contract.

With Mahomes under contract, Solomon Thomas (49ers), Corey Davis (Titans), Jamal Adams (Jets), Gareon Conley (Raiders) and Jabrill Peppers (Browns) are the only members of this year’s draft class who haven’t signed yet.

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Offseason In Review: Kansas City Chiefs

Plenty changed in Kansas City since the Chiefs’ narrow divisional-round defeat. High-profile moves came after the Chiefs missed out on another opportunity to advance to an AFC championship game, a round the franchise hasn’t seen in 23 years.

The changes — severing ties with John Dorsey, cutting Jeremy Maclin, and drafting a first-round quarterback for the first time in 34 years — have the defending AFC West champions’ future in question. After being one of the top challengers for AFC supremacy this season, it’s tough to make a case the Chiefs are markedly improved for 2017.

Considering most of the moves the Chiefs made in previous offseasons were about immediate success, and they helped create a team on the rise over the past four years, the team took a bit of a different approach this offseason.

Notable signings:

During an offseason that became known more for the men the Chiefs parted with than those they acquired, Kansas City did sign Berry to an extension at long last. Berry was attached to an old-CBA rookie contract until 2016, and he played last season on the franchise tag. But the Chiefs’ indecision on Berry last summer ended up costing them financially. The sides reportedly never got close on a deal by July 2016, leading to the tag season, but said campaign ended up being Berry’s best.

He came up with game-saving turnovers in road wins in Atlanta and Charlotte and helped the Chiefs to their first division title in six years. And with the marketplace changing in between Berry negotiations, thanks to the Cardinals’ landmark deal for Tyrann Mathieu in August of last year, Berry’s camp — representing one of only two active three-time first-team All-Pro safeties — could talk from a greater position of strength. Berry is now the highest-paid safety at $13MM AAV, and his deal will take him well into his 30s. The Chiefs continued their Dorsey-era style of backloading contracts, with Berry’s 2017 cap number sitting at $5MM. That jumps to $13MM in 2018 and $16.5MM in ’19.

Kansas City’s only notable March outside acquisition came in Logan, who will be the rare Philadelphia-to-Kansas City transplant that did not have an Andy Reid connection. Logan joined the Eagles as a third-rounder in 2013, months after Reid headed for western Missouri. Logan will take over starting nose tackle duties from Dontari Poe and return to the 3-4 scheme he played in for three seasons in Philly. Kansas City has used a 3-4 scheme since 2009, but Philadelphia switched to a 4-3 look last season that had Logan slightly out of position.

The Chiefs were up against the cap entering free agency again, limiting their ability to spend on multiple players. But for a third straight year, the team did walk away with a proven starter acquired. They signed Maclin in 2015 and Mitchell Schwartz last year despite limited funds. But this offseason, not much else transpired for the team during free agency’s premier month.

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Veach Hire Does Not Change Alex Smith's Status With Team

It was former Chiefs GM John Dorsey who ultimately pulled the trigger on the team’s draft-day trade that allowed Kansas City to climb all the way up to the No. 10 overall spot and draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes. But now that Dorsey is out and Brett Veach is in, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report says it is fair to question what the new hire means for incumbent signal-caller Alex Smith.

But according to Miller, not much will change with respect to the team’s approach to Smith. After all, Veach has been with the Chiefs for the past four years, so it’s not as if he’s coming to Kansas City with a fresh take on the situation. Plus, Miller’s league sources all said effectively the same thing: “nothing changes in Kansas City while Andy Reid is the head coach.” As such, you can still expect the team to move on from Smith after the 2017 season — and save $17MM in the process — as long as Mahomes appears ready to assume control.

Chiefs Complied With Rooney Rule

The Chiefs did in fact interview a minority candidate for their general manager position — in compliance with the Rooney Rule — but that individual does not wish to be identified, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. As such, the Fritz Pollard Alliance approved of Kansas City’s GM search. “The Chiefs left it up to the individual candidates and their agents whether they wanted their names out there or not,” chairman John Wooten told Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “But I can assure you that they complied. We are comfortable [with their interview process].”

Aside from Brett Veach, only three other contenders’ interviews were public knowledge: Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden, and Chiefs co-director of player personnel Mike Borgonzi. All personnel interview requests must be made to the league office, meaning the unnamed candidate may work in the media, according to to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who speculates ESPN commentator Louis Riddick — who was linked to the Kansas City vacancy — may have been the interviewee.

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.

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Chiefs Waive Marqueston Huff

The Chiefs have made their fourth roster move of the day, waiving safety Marqueston Huff with a non-football injury designation, reports Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. Earlier Thursday, the Chiefs signed two players, linebacker Josh Mauga and safety Steven Terrell, and waived punter Josh Monday.

NFL: Kansa City Chiefs-OTA

Huff wasn’t long for Kansas City, which signed the three-year veteran in March. The Chiefs were the fourth NFL team for the 25-year-old Huff, who entered the league in 2014 as a fourth-round pick of the Titans. Huff spent the first two years of his career in Tennessee, where he totaled 30 appearances and one start, before logging time with the Jaguars and Ravens in 2016.

Huff only saw action in Baltimore last year, when he appeared in 11 games and served almost exclusively as a special teamer, tallying 223 snaps with that unit. He played a meager 11 defensive snaps with the Ravens, who issued a tender to the then-restricted free agent in early March but withdrew the offer a week later.

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Chiefs Sign Josh Mauga, Steven Terrell

After an injury kept Josh Mauga off the field in 2016, the linebacker re-signed with the Chiefs on Thursday, his agent, Michael Hoffman, announced (on Twitter).

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Mauga, who made his NFL debut with the Jets in 2010, joined the Chiefs after the 2013 campaign and played a prominent role with the team from 2014-15. The 250-pounder started in all 30 regular-season appearances during that span, piling up a career-high 103 tackles in 2014 and then notching 57 more stops and a pair of interceptions in 2015. Mauga’s performance ranked an impressive 34th among Pro Football Focus’ qualified linebackers in ’15, but he wasn’t able to build on that last year after suffering a labral tear in his hip during the summer.

Now, the 30-year-old Mauga will rejoin a Chiefs inside linebacker corps that includes Derrick Johnson and Ramik Wilson in starting positions. Mauga, who filled in well for an injured Johnson two years ago, brings more experience than fellow reserves Justin March-Lillard, Terrance Smith and D.J. Alexander.

In other moves, the Chiefs signed safety Steven Terrell and waived punter Will Monday, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. Terrell, a three-year veteran, was a notable contributor as a role player in Seattle last season. He appeared in each of the Seahawks’ regular-season contests, combined for 560 snaps (384 on defense, 176 on special teams), tallied the first five starts of his career and totaled a personal-high 23 tackles. He’s now among four reserve safeties in Kansas City, which also has Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray and sixth-round rookie Leon McQuay III behind starters Eric Berry and Ron Parker.

The Chiefs added Monday back in May. He spent some of last offseason with the Steelers after signing with them as an undrafted free agent from Duke. Monday hasn’t appeared in an NFL game.

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Andy Reid Not Involved In Chiefs GM Search

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has played “little to no role” in the club’s general manager interview process, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), who reports owner Clark Hunt and president Mark Donovan are leading Kansas City’s search.Andy Reid

As La Canfora notes, Reid’s lack of presence in the Chiefs’ GM quest further confirms previous reports that it was Hunt — not Reid — who was responsible for firing general manager John Dorsey. Indeed, sources told Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star last month that Dorsey’s ouster was prompted by Hunt’s concern about Dorsey’s lack of internal communication and casual management style.

[Dorsey]’s not a big disciplinarian or big on chain of command,” one source said, “so people did what they wanted.”

Although Reid is not overly involved in the Chiefs’ GM search, and reportedly won’t take on a larger personnel role, that doesn’t mean his fingerprints aren’t on the club’s hunt. Kansas City co-director of player personnel Brett Veach and ESPN commentator Louis Riddick, considered the top candidates for the Chiefs vacancy, both have professional ties to Reid. Earlier today, La Canfora indicated Veach could be promoted LINK to general manager before the start of training camp.

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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.

Poll: Which 2016 Division Winners Will Miss Playoffs?

A year ago at this time, the Broncos, Panthers and Cardinals were popular picks to rank among the NFL’s elite teams in 2016. Denver was the reigning Super Bowl champion, after all, while Carolina was coming off a 15-1, conference-winning campaign and Arizona was second to the Panthers in the NFC. Each of those teams won their divisions two years ago, and not only were they unable to repeat that feat in 2016, but all three watched the playoffs from home last winter. They were among a whopping six division-winning clubs from 2015 that failed to qualify for the playoffs last season, joining the Bengals, Redskins and Vikings.

Tom Brady

If the volatility from 2015 to ’16 is any indication, some of the league’s eight division champions from last year are in trouble as the upcoming season approaches. Once again, both Super Bowl representatives won their divisions in 2016, with the Patriots coasting in the AFC East and the Falcons knocking the Panthers from the NFC South throne. Like the Pats and the Falcons, the Chiefs, Steelers, Texans, Cowboys, Seahawks and Packers are aiming to repeat atop their divisions this season.

Of those teams, the Patriots look as though they’re in the best position to secure their division again. The Bill Belichick– and Tom Brady-led outfit has ruled the AFC East eight consecutive times, and during New England’s latest Lombardi Trophy-winning season, the club was a 14-2 juggernaut that easily led the league in point differential. While Brady’s a year older, set to enter his age-40 season, he hasn’t shown any signs of mortality, and even if he suffers an injury or falls off dramatically in 2017, the Patriots may have a starting-caliber quarterback behind him in Jimmy Garoppolo. Of course, there’s also plenty of talent on hand elsewhere on the Pats’ roster, including new additions in wide receiver Brandin Cooks, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, defensive lineman Kony Ealy, linebacker David Harris, tight end Dwayne Allen and running back Mike Gillislee.

There might not be any shoo-ins to repeat among the league’s seven other returning division winners, but it’s hard to bet against clubs with franchise quarterbacks. In the cases of the Falcons (Matt Ryan), Packers (Aaron Rodgers), Seahawks (Russell Wilson) and Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger), there’s little reason to expect anything other than excellence from under center, which makes potential playoff berths more realistic for each. The Cowboys also seem to have an outstanding signal-caller in sophomore Dak Prescott, who was so stunningly great as a fourth-round rookie that he took Tony Romo‘s job and essentially forced the four-time Pro Bowler into retirement.

Kansas City (Alex Smith) and Houston (Tom Savage) aren’t as well off under center, though the Chiefs have done plenty of winning in the regular season since turning to Smith in 2013. But if he and the untested Savage disappoint this year, they have first-rounders behind them in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, respectively. Poor performances or injuries could force either Mahomes or Watson into action, perhaps paving the way for the emergence of a Prescott-like rookie this year in KC or Houston and making another postseason appearance more likely.

While some of these teams look to be in enviable shape at QB, the game’s most important position, things could still go awry. The Panthers had the reigning MVP 12 months ago in Cam Newton, but his play took massive steps backward, as did the team’s, en route to a 6-10 season and a last-place NFC South finish. The likelihood is that some of last year’s division winners will end up in similar situations in 2017, going from playoff teams to bitter disappointments overnight.

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