Chiefs Rumors

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/15/24

Here are the NFL’s midweek draft pick signings:

Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

WR Rumors: Chiefs, OBJ, Giants, Packers

Rashee Rice faces eight felony charges in connection with a hit-and-run incident earlier this year; the second-year Chiefs wideout has since been accused of punching a photographer in the face at a nightclub. On top of that, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes teams were aware a previous incident — while Rice was at SMU — ahead of last year’s draft. Believing former SMU basketball player Kendric Davis was seeing his girlfriend, Rice and others attended a Mustangs basketball game. Rice or a member of his party, per intel gathered during the pre-draft process, fired multiple bullets into Davis’ car, which was empty at the time. The Chiefs, who have displayed a rather high tolerance for off-field issues, chose Rice 55th overall in 2023 and saw him fare well during the team’s Super Bowl LVIII-winning season.

The incident at SMU did not produce a police report, Florio adds, but it would factor into any potential punishment Rice receives under the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The Chiefs are bracing for a suspension. While Rice is facing the eight felony charges, he is still viewed as a key part of Kansas City’s offense. The promising wideout attended the first phase of Kansas City’s offseason program virtually.

Here is the latest from the wideout landscape:

  • The Chiefs joined the Cardinals, Titans and Cowboys in meeting with Zay Jones last week. While the recent Jaguars cut ended up signing with the Cardinals, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler adds he was also interested in joining the Chiefs. Jones landed a one-year deal worth up to 4.25MM. Rice’s issues are likely spurring the Chiefs on the receiver front, as they have already signed Marquise Brown and traded up in Round 1 for Xavier Worthy. A Rice suspension is not a lock to commence during the 2024 season, but it certainly could. It appears the Chiefs are preparing a contingency plan, though the free agent market is obviously thin at this point.
  • One of the other receivers recently taken off the market, Odell Beckham Jr. joined Jones in signing a one-year deal. The Dolphins closed a lengthy back-and-forth with the veteran target, giving him a $3MM deal. But OBJ could see that figure more than double through incentives. The Dolphins must finish as a top-20 offense to trigger any Beckham escalator, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, but the yardage totals are achievable. Beckham would earn $400K for reaching 566 yards (his 2023 Ravens total), another $800K for 650 and an additional $1MM for 800 yards. Just 36 receptions would produce a $400K payment, with 45 and 55 catches respectively representing the $800K and $1MM triggers on the catch front. Payments of $400K and $450K are respectively in place for four and six touchdowns.
  • Brian Daboll said (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) the team’s Allen Robinson addition does not have any bearing on the situation with Darius Slayton. The team’s leading receiver in four of the past five seasons, Slayton is staying away from Giants voluntary offseason work in pursuit of an adjusted contract. Slayton’s two-year, $12MM deal does include a fully guaranteed salary ($2.6MM) this year, but the sixth-year pass catcher is aiming for more. Robinson, who is coming off three consecutive down seasons, received the veteran minimum (with just $25K guaranteed) to sign.
  • Alex McGough spent all of last season on the Packers‘ practice squad, re-emerging in the NFL after winning USFL MVP honors in 2023. The Packers are giving the veteran reserve QB an unusual assignment this year. They have moved McGough to receiver, Matt LaFleur said recently (via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams). McGough worked as a receiver during practice at points last season. The Packers are team No. 5 for the 2018 Seahawks draftee. Green Bay used McGough as its third QB last season. It appears Tulane’s Michael Pratt, a seventh-round pick, has a decent shot to be the passer behind Jordan Love and Sean Clifford this season.

AFC West Notes: Chargers, Broncos, Kelce

Jim Harbaugh talked up ex-Michigan pupil J.J. McCarthy extensively before the draft — potentially leading to the unexpected Justin Herbert trade inquiries — but the latter’s prospect status affected the Chargers‘ plans. Drake Maye going off the board at No. 3 stonewalled Chargers hopes of trading down from No. 5 overall, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. Maye prompted the Giants and Vikings to propose the Patriots deals involving 2025 first-rounders. The Vikings spoke with the Chargers, but it is clear McCarthy did not drive interest the way Maye did. A trade from No. 11 to No. 5 would have cost the Vikings, who memorably interviewed Harbaugh in 2022, a future first-rounder. No major interest in the pick led to the Bolts staying at 5 and choosing Joe Alt, who is set to begin work at right tackle in Los Angeles.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Staying with the Chargers, they will have both their Ravens RB imports at full strength during the offseason program. Following his second major injury — an Achilles tear sustained in Week 1J.K. Dobbins deemed himself “100%.” “I’m 100% now,” Dobbins said, via NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe. “It was like a walk in the park, it was like a sprained ankle. It was very easy, because I had the knee [injury] — the knee was pretty hard. The Achilles was, I would say, easy, just because that’s my mentality. Got the injury-prone [label] out there, but I think that the storm is over with. I think that I’m going to take off now. There will be no setbacks.” The past injuries limited Dobbins in free agency; he signed a one-year, $1.6MM deal that comes with just $50K guaranteed. Gus Edwards landed a two-year, $6.5MM pact to rejoin Greg Roman in L.A.
  • After Sean Payton — upon the Broncos trading Jerry Jeudy — made it clear he wants an expanded Marvin Mims role on offense, ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold notes the second-year Denver HC drove the effort to draft Troy Franklin near the top of the fourth round. Payton texted Broncos GM George Paton before the fourth round about wanting to move up toward the top of the board to draft Franklin, whom the Broncos had Franklin graded much higher than his ultimate draft slot (No. 102). The Broncos traded Nos. 121, 136 and 207 to move up (via the Seahawks) for Bo Nix‘s top Ducks target. The Broncos still roster Courtland Sutton, though teams have called about a trade for the somewhat disgruntled wideout, but the team has now added a host of WRs — Mims, Franklin and Josh Reynolds chief among them — under Payton. Sutton and Tim Patrick remain from the John Elway GM era.
  • Broncos third-round pick Jonah Elliss underwent shoulder surgery late last year, but the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson notes the Utah alum has been cleared. Denver returns its top three edge rushers from last season (Nik Bonitto, Baron Browning, Jonathon Cooper), but Browning and Cooper are in contract years. Jonah Elliss, the latest son of ex-Bronco DT Luther Elliss to enter the NFL, will likely mix in as a rotational OLB to start his pro career.
  • The Chiefs signed off on a straight-up raise for Travis Kelce, as no new years are included in the superstar tight end’s latest deal. The future Hall of Famer remains signed through 2025, and SI.com’s Albert Breer notes no void years were added for cap purposes. The re-up increased Kelce’s 2024 cap number from $15.6MM to $19.6MM, per OverTheCap. Kelce’s 2025 cap number checks in at $19.8MM; the bulk of the 34-year-old pass catcher’s 2025 salary will become guaranteed on day 3 of the 2025 league year.
  • The Paton-Payton duo made a recent staff addition as well. Joey DiCresce will move from intern to full-time football data scientist with the Broncos, ESPN.com’s Seth Walder tweets.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/13/24

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Claimed off waivers (from 49ers): DL Spencer Waege
  • Placed on reserve/retired list: OL Trente Jones

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: DL Chris Collins

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: OL Ireland Brown, CB Jason Maitre

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: RB Terrell Jennings, G Ryan Johnson, LB Jay Person, DE Jotham Russell
  • Waived: RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Signed: DL Elijah Chatman
  • Waived: OLB Jeremiah Martin

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Waived: OL Kellen Diesch

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: DL Shakel Brown

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: DE Nathan Pickering, LB Devin Richardson

Tennessee Titans

Chiefs’ Rashee Rice Under Investigation For Alleged Assault

MAY 9: The police report detailing the incident notes the suspect – whom FOX4’s Steven Dial confirms is Rice – contacted the photographer while the latter was in his car shortly after departing the Lit Kitchen and Lounge. Upon returning, Rice is alleged to have shown the victim records of a conversation involving the victim and another person on Rice’s phone before punching the victim in the face. That and other police-related developments in this case will no doubt be considered by the NFL regarding any potential league discipline.

MAY 7: Rashee Rice is facing eight felony charges in connection with a hit-and-run incident earlier this year. The Chiefs wide receiver has run into more trouble. He is now being investigated for an alleged assault.

The investigation centers on Rice allegedly hitting a photographer Monday night a Dallas nightclub, WFAA’s Rebecca Lopez, Rachel Snyder and Joe Trahan report. Police are interviewing witnesses about the alleged assault.

Rice, 24, is likely to face an NFL suspension — which presently is the least of his concerns, given the charges from the March hit-and-run development — for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. It is not known if a ban will come down in 2024, but a suspension at some point is expected. Another incident will add to the second-year wide receiver’s distractions and potentially tack on suspension time or introduce a second ban that comes at a separate point.

A 2023 second-round pick, Rice did well to bail the Chiefs out from an ill-conceived wide receiver plan last season. Becoming a consistent presence during season’s second half, the SMU product totaled 79 receptions for 938 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie. Rice remained a reliable target for Patrick Mahomes — during a season in which few of those were present — in the playoffs. The two-time reigning Super Bowl champs have since made major updates to their receiving corps. The Chiefs signed Marquise Brown and traded up for Xavier Worthy in Round 1. Rice, however, is expected to remain a key part of Kansas City’s passing attack.

Rice was believed to be street racing in a Lamborghini SUV, helping to cause a six-car accident on a Dallas highway in March. Rice’s vehicle reached 119mph just before the crash, and the young wideout fled the scene. Rice later turned himself in. He is believed to be helping financially with crash victims’ expenses, though a civil suit has since emerged. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound receiver did not show for the start of the Chiefs’ offseason program but took part in meetings virtually.

From Kareem Hunt to Tyreek Hill to Frank Clark, the Chiefs have seen a number of high-profile players run into off-field trouble in recent years. Charles Omenihu began his Kansas City tenure with a six-game suspension stemming from a domestic violence arrest. Clark and Hunt also served suspensions, the latter’s ban coming after the Chiefs waived him. This latest Rice development will certainly be a storyline to monitor for the defending champions.

NFL Workouts: Jones, Ward, Summers, Tagovailoa

Veteran wide receiver Zay Jones continues to make the rounds after getting released by the Jaguars last week. Since then, the 29-year-old pass catcher has taken visits with the Titans, Cardinals, and Cowboys. The newest report has Jones scheduling a visit with the Chiefs tomorrow, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

An impressive 2022 campaign that saw Jones catch 82 balls for 823 yards and five touchdowns, all career highs except for the touchdowns, was virtually erased by a disappointing 2023 campaign in which the receiver missed eight games due to a PCL issue and femur damage. The Jaguars opted not to finish out Jones’ final season of a three-year contract, for which Jones would have represented a $6.57MM cap charge.

In Kansas City, Jones could be a part of a completely new-look wide receiving corps for Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs have added Marquise Brown in free agency and Texas first-round rookie Xavier Worthy in the draft. They also return Rashee Rice, Justin Watson, Skyy Moore, and Noah Gray from last year, but Rice could be facing some legal trouble, and if healthy, Jones would be an improvement over the other three while playing alongside Brown and Worthy.

Here are a few other workouts happening around the NFL:

  • Career depth running back Jonathan Ward is participating in the Steelers rookie minicamp, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. Over four years with the Cardinals and Titans, Ward only has 69 career rushing yards on 17 carries. He’s proven to be an active special teams contributor during that time, though.
  • The Broncos took a look at veteran linebacker Ty Summers at their rookie minicamp this past weekend, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. Summers only has one career start over five years with the Packers, Jaguars, and Saints but has appeared in 71 games over that span. A linebacker with some speed, Summers is a productive special teamer, as well.
  • After agreeing to participate in the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp, undrafted Maryland quarterback, and brother of the Dolphins’ starting passer, Taulia Tagovailoa will attend the Cardinals‘ rookie minicamp this week, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. The rookie will audition to join last year’s fifth-round pick Clayton Tune and 2022’s third-round pick for Atlanta Desmond Ridder as potential backup arms for Kyler Murray in 2024.
  • An undrafted linebacker who graduated from Harvard before playing as a graduate transfer at Villanova, Daniel Abraham has been invited to minicamps for both the Falcons and the Seahawks, per Wilson. The speedy linebacker obviously poses some interest due to both his athleticism and his intellect.

Chiefs Pursued QB Carson Wentz In 2023

It became well known the Chiefs wanted JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2021. The veteran wide receiver said the Chiefs finished second to a Steelers return, but the AFC West power kept him on the radar and made the signing a year later. Kansas City appears to have executed a similar strategy at quarterback.

Carson Wentz spent an unexpectedly long period in free agency last year, not joining a team until the Rams added him as Matthew Stafford insurance in November. The Chiefs, it turns out, talked to the former No. 2 overall pick early in free agency. Wentz’s approach at the time led the team to move on, with Blaine Gabbert instead joining the club (and collecting a second Super Bowl ring).

We talked to him last year when we were talking to Blaine and [Wentz] was holding off for an opportunity possibly to start,” Andy Reid said this week. “But it was good to get him in this position and if he has an opportunity to play, he has an opportunity to play. But he’s really handled it well since he’s been here. He’s a good football player.”

Wentz, 31, is now on his fifth team in five years. The Eagles and Colts traded the ex-North Dakota State standout, and the Commanders — after benching their preferred starter for a stretch — released him in late February 2023. No Wentz connections to any team emerged until he is believed to have reached out to the Jets following Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear, but it is certainly possible — given the resumes — the Chiefs wanted Wentz over Gabbert.

Gabbert ended up signing with the Chiefs for barely the veteran minimum. The Chiefs used Gabbert as their starter in a meaningless Week 18 game; Wentz received the call for the Rams, who rested starters in the regular-season finale, in a game that doubled as a free agency audition.

Gabbert is going into his age-35 season; Wentz will turn 32 in December. The Chiefs have the latter on a one-year deal worth $3.33MM ($2.2MM guaranteed). Wentz has only started one game against the Chiefs — a 27-20 Eagles loss in October 2017, Alex Smith‘s final year as Kansas City’s starter — but certainly has extensive starting experience. Patrick Mahomes‘ new backup has made 93 career starts.

The Rams turned to Jimmy Garoppolo to take Wentz’s old job, continuing a run of reclamation efforts behind Stafford. Wentz becomes the Chiefs’ third QB2 in three seasons, with Gabbert having succeeded four-year backup Chad Henne. Mahomes has missed some memorable stretches, leaving a 2020 divisional-round game due to a concussion and then missing a short span during a 2022 second-round matchup. The two-time MVP missed two games during the 2019 season as well. Wentz is now the next in line should Kansas City’s seventh-year starter miss time.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/7/24

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Waived (non-football injury): OL Ryan Swoboda

Green Bay Packers

  • Reverted to IR: WR Thyrick Pitts

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee Titans

  • Waived: DL Shakel Brown

Washington Commanders

  • Waived: LB Brandon Bouyer-Randle, CB D’Angelo Mandell, DE Joshua Pryor

2024 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

With the Commanders making a hire, four teams remain in search of general managers. This includes the Patriots, who have moved on from HC/de facto GM Bill Belichick. If other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown of where searches stand:

Updated 5-8-24 (4:35pm CT)

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Washington Commanders

Jets Notes: Wilson, OL, Odunze, Hardman

The Jets brought an end to Zach Wilson‘s disappointing New York tenure when they traded their former No. 2 overall selection for a mere pick swap on Day 3 of last month’s draft. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Wilson’s camp was, in the run-up to the 2021 draft, deeply worried about Gang Green’s history of failure to develop young quarterbacks and how that would impact Wilson’s own career, but the BYU product was convinced he would be the player to buck that trend.

Of course, that was not the case, and Wilson will now try to resurrect his career in Denver. Per Cimini, one of the lessons that the Jets learned from the Wilson experience is that, regardless of the round in which they draft a QB in the future, they will want to give that player legitimate competition for his role and, preferably, the opportunity to learn on the sidelines (benefits that were not afforded to Wilson).

GM Joe Douglas also said prior to the 2024 draft that, “I’d love to be a quarterback factory,” referencing the 1990s Packers that selected QBs in the later rounds of a draft, developed them, and flipped them for new draft capital down the road. To that end, the Jets selected Florida State passer Jordan Travis in the fifth round of the 2024 draft. Travis sustained an ankle injury in November that prematurely ended his final collegiate season, though he is expected to be healed by the start of training camp.

Travis will be learning behind newly-signed backup Tyrod Taylor and QB1 Aaron Rodgers, whose success will drive the Jets’ fortunes in 2024. Blocking for that group of passers will be rookie OT Olu Fashanu, whom New York selected with the No. 11 overall pick of the draft. As Cimini details in a separate piece, Fashanu is not expected to start right away thanks to the recent additions of Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses, but since both veterans will be on modified offseason programs, Fashanu will get plenty of reps at both left and right tackle during the spring and summer (Douglas suggested that Fashanu could even get looks on the interior, as Cimini relays).

The Jets did have the No. 10 pick in the 2024 draft, but they traded down one spot and selected Fashanu once Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze went off the board to the Bears, who held the No. 9 selection. That suggests that Odunze was New York’s preferred target, and though Douglas would not confirm as much, Cimini says that the Jets did try to trade up for the former Huskies pass catcher.

The club did eventually land a receiver when it nabbed Western Kentucky talent Malachi Corley in the third round. As Adam Caplan of Pro Football Network writes, some teams viewed Corley as a slot-only option, though the Jets plan to get him some reps outside the numbers as well. The club is clearly high on his ability, with Cimini reporting that Douglas started making calls about a possible trade-up to take Corley when the Packers were on the clock with the No. 45 selection. Ultimately, Douglas got his man with the No. 65 pick. Head coach Robert Saleh concedes that Corley will need to refine his route-running, but he is excited to find creative ways to use him (via Cimini).

Speaking of wide receivers, the Jets never levied tampering charges against the Chiefs for Kansas City’s pursuit of Mecole Hardman, as Cimini reported back in March. Hardman, a second-round pick of the Chiefs in 2019, signed with the Jets in the 2023 offseason. But after Rodgers was lost for the season four snaps into the 2023 opener, the Jets’ offense was in shambles, and Hardman later acknowledged during an appearance on Ryan Clark‘s The Pivot podcast that he begged Chiefs brass to “come get me” (via Cimini).

The Jets traded Hardman back to KC in October, and Douglas admitted that Hardman’s comments to Clark “resonated with us” (meaning, presumably, that the Jets may have considered tampering charges at some point).