Jordan Addison

NFL Injury Updates: Jacobs, Miller, Vikings, Sutton

To start with, let’s address one of the remaining games of this week. It appears that the Chiefs’ route to an eighth consecutive AFC West title will be a bit easier today as the Raiders will be playing without leading running back Josh Jacobs, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. After starting the first 13 games of the season with Las Vegas, Jacobs is now set to miss a second straight game.

Jacobs was held out of last week’s contest after suffering a quad injury in the previous week. He hadn’t been able to practice during a short week and the team had decided it better to act out of an abundance of caution so as to not risk further damage. The Raiders had been holding out hope that Jacobs would be able to find his way back to the field this week, but an illness combined with the healing quad to ensure that Jacobs would not be able to make an appearance in Week 16. If his absence last week, backup Zamir White earned his first career start, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown in place of Jacobs.

After a promising start to his career, the last few years have been a bit inconsistent for Jacobs. He followed up two seasons in which he rushed for a combined 2,215 yards and 19 touchdowns with only an 872-yard campaign, though he was still breaching the endzone often with nine touchdowns. After a down year that led to the Raiders choosing not to pick up his fifth-year option, Jacobs exploding into a rushing title with 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns. This year, Jacobs is at 805 rushing yards on a career-worst 3.5 yards per attempt and six touchdowns.

Jacobs had avoided playing out this season on the franchise tag, after coming to a one-year agreement with the Raiders, but a long-term deal remained elusive. Missing time due to injury at the tail end of disappointing season is unfortunately not going to help matters much when Jacobs enters the offseason at the end of the year.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL:

  • In addition to Jacobs, while Las Vegas will reportedly have left tackle Kolton Miller return today as an active player, it appears that he may only be available as an emergency option on the offensive line, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Miller has missed four of the team’s last five contests. In his absence the Raiders have experimented with moving usual starting right tackle Thayer Munford to the left side while having backup lineman Jermaine Eluemunor start on the opposite side of wherever they line up Munford. That trend should continue into Week 16.
  • We already reported on the situation with Vikings pass rusher D.J. Wonnum, but the team lost three other significant contributors to injury during yesterday’s game. Budding tight end T.J. Hockenson, rookie first-round wide receiver Jordan Addison, and cornerback Mekhi Blackmon were all forced out of Sunday’s game early. Fowler of ESPN reported this morning that the outlook for Hockenson is “not good.” While Minnesota is still holding out hope that his MRI will tell a different story, the team is bracing for bad news on the subject. As for Addison, an ankle sprain is projected to have him on a week-to-week status, and the Vikings will hope to glean a bit more information after further testing today, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
  • Lastly, the Broncos played much of yesterday’s loss to the Patriots without their leading receiver after Courtland Sutton left the game with a concussion, according to Parker Gabriel of The Denver Post. Sutton has struggled over the years to find the yardage success he had in 2019 but has rediscovered his redzone proficiency in 2023. The big-bodied receiver leads the team in receptions (58), receiving yards (770), and receiving touchdowns (10) this season. Sutton will have to pass through concussion protocol to return next week in time to help his team in what has become a bit more difficult race for a Wild Card spot.

NFC North Rumors: Campbell, Bears, Addison, Cook

When the Lions made Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell the first off-ball linebacker taken in the 2023 NFL Draft at No. 18 overall, the assumption by many was that he would be starting as a rookie next to Alex Anzalone and Malcolm Rodriguez in Detroit. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, those assumptions may have been a bit premature.

Lions linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard asserted earlier this month that, in Detroit, they intend to start the best players. Aside from Anzalone and Rodriguez, Derrick Barnes is the team’s top returning linebacker. He was third in the position room in tackles and started four games for the Lions last year.

Sheppard would very much like Campbell to slot in as a starting linebacker, but he made it clear that Barnes is not going to go away quietly. While Rodriguez deals with a leg injury, Barnes has worked with the first team alongside Anzalone this spring. If Campbell is going to break the starting lineup in Week 1, he’s going to have to show that he can outperform Barnes. Until then, he is going to have to continue in his rookie development.

Here are a few other rumors from the NFC North, starting with a position battle out in the Windy City:

  • The Bears finished last in the league last year in team sacks with 20 total for the season. Their prospects in 2023 may not be much brighter. According to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Dominique Robinson and Trevis Gipson will be competing for a starting spot at defensive end this summer. Robinson had 1.5 sacks in the season opener last year but failed to register another for the rest of the season. Gipson racked up two sacks in Week 2 of 2022 but only had one the rest of the year. As of right now, one of those two will be starting next season. Chicago would either like to see improvement in their production this year or would like to sign another end to provide more competition.
  • Vikings first-round pick Jordan Addison‘s rookie development has been put on hold a bit as he deals with a minor injury, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said that he expects Addison to be fully recovered by training camp. In the meantime, Addison has reportedly been “asking great questions” and been “phenomenal in meetings” as he continues to learn.
  • While former Vikings running back Dalvin Cook‘s free agency has been the story as of late, he has experienced some recent legal victories, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports. Back in November of 2021, Gracelyn Trimble sued Cook for injuries from alleged assault, battery, and false imprisonment. Cook filed a counterclaim against Trimble accusing her and her lawyers of invasion of privacy and defamation. While both cases are still pending, Cook’s complaint will go to trial, which could lead to positive outcomes for both cases.

Vikings Sign Round 1 WR Jordan Addison

This year’s draft set a record with four consecutive wide receivers picked in the first round. The last of those picks, Jordan Addison, is now under contract. The Vikings agreed to terms with Addison on Wednesday, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

The No. 23 overall pick, Addison is now under contract through 2026. The former Pitt and USC wideout’s deal includes a fifth-year option for 2027. Minnesota made the automatic call to pick up Justin Jefferson‘s fifth-year option, and Addison’s rookie contract will become part of the team’s changing wide receiver cost structure.

As Jefferson has become a superstar pass catcher, the Vikings separated from their other well-paid wideout. They dropped Adam Thielen this offseason, leading the Minnesota native to Charlotte. Addison is now locked into a rookie contract through at least 2026, and with teams reluctant to extend non-first-round QBs before their contract years, it is a good bet the first-rounder will be tied to his rookie-scale deal for the next four seasons. The Vikings also have complementary wideout K.J. Osborn heading into a contract year. Addison’s arrival also represents insurance against a 2024 Osborn free agency exit.

Addison broke through as a first-round talent during his 2021 sophomore season, helping Kenny Pickett solidify himself as a first-rounder. The 5-foot-11 receiver caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns during his second season at Pitt, but he transferred to USC following that season. His Trojans slate did not feature similar dominance, ending with 875 yards and eight TDs. But the quality route runner helped Lincoln Riley’s offense produce a third Heisman-winning quarterback (Caleb Williams) over the past six years.

Addison also emerged on the Giants, Chiefs and Saints’ radars. But the Vikings beat other teams to the punch to pause the receiver run last month. Being opposite Jefferson, Addison figures to draw favorable matchups on his rookie contract. With Addison signed, 13 of the 31 first-rounders in this year’s class are under contract. Of the four wideouts chosen from Nos. 20-23, all but the Ravens’ Zay Flowers (No. 22) are signed.

Giants Discussed Moving Up In Round 1, Had Trade-Down Parameters In Place With Bills

No team was more closely connected to this year’s first-round-caliber wide receivers than the Giants, who hosted the group on “30” visits and met with the 2023 class’ top pass catchers at their pro days. But Big Blue left Round 1 with cornerback Deonte Banks. It does not appear the team was conducting a smokescreen effort regarding receivers.

Holding the No. 25 overall pick to start the draft, the Giants explored multiple trade-up avenues, Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes. One of them involved conversations with a team holding a mid-first-round pick, with Duggan adding those talks may well have centered around Zay Flowers (subscription required).

The Giants met with Flowers, and a draft-day report indicated they were the highest on the Boston College prospect and USC’s Jordan Addison at receiver. After Flowers went off the board to Baltimore at No. 22, a source informed Duggan that Addison would have been the likely Giants choice at 25. Once Minnesota nabbed the former Kenny Pickett Pitt target at 23, the Giants traded fifth- and seventh-round picks to move up one spot — via the Jaguars — for Banks.

GM Joe Schoen described the mood around the time Addison was picked as “pretty tense.” The run on receivers stopped at the Vikings’ No. 23 pick, and no other corner went in the first round. While the Giants could have stood pat and selected Joey Porter Jr., they obviously placed a value gap between he and Banks, who made the Giants one of his many pre-draft visits. Schoen confirmed (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) Banks was not on the Giants’ radar at this point last year, due to his 2021 season being cut short by a shoulder injury. The Maryland prospect will be expected to start opposite Adoree’ Jackson as a rookie, and with Jackson in a contract year and not expected to be extended, the rookie resides as the Giants’ new cornerstone at the position.

Schoen and Bills GM Brandon Beane held trade discussions — centered on the Giants moving back — as well, per’s Albert Breer, who confirms Schoen also told his former boss he was considering a move up the board. The Bills and Giants worked out trade parameters for a Buffalo trade-up, Breer notes, with the AFC East team targeting tight end Dalton Kincaid. Shortly after the Vikings’ Addison pick, Schoen informed Beane he was trading up to No. 24 and the New York teams’ trade would not commence. The Bills also traded up with the Jags, who moved down twice and chose tackle Anton Harrison.

The Giants standing down regarding a trade-up for a wide receiver leaves more questions about its wideout room compared to how it would have looked if Flowers or Addison became Big Apple-bound. The team still re-signed Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard and added Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder, to say nothing of the big-ticket Darren Waller addition at tight end. The Giants circled back to their receiver interest with third-rounder Jalin Hyatt, who also made a pre-draft visit.

Hyatt will bring deep speed to the equation and should be expected to play a key role early, though the Giants have amassed some pass-catching depth after last season’s plans went awry quickly.

Draft Notes: Young, Chiefs, Saints, Addison, Vikings, Patriots, Campbell, Lions

Panthers brass joined other front offices in being wowed by Bryce Young during his 2021 Heisman-winning season, and the team had mostly decided on the Alabama prospect by the time Frank Reich arrived. David Tepper and Panthers scouts had zeroed in on Young — prior to making the trade with the Bears — and Reich learned of the staff’s preference early during his tenure.

And it was unanimous with every guy in that room, starting from [GM] Scott [Fitterer] on down, that Bryce was the guy. That was great for me to hear,” Reich said of an early-February meeting, via The Athletic’s Joe Person (subscription required). “But what I appreciate about the way Scott handled it, he was like, ‘Frank, you take your time.’ … And it wasn’t much convincing.”

Fitterer said he sought Reich’s final stance late in the process. It would have been interesting had Reich, who was initially mentioned as preferring a taller passer, stood his ground for another prospect. He was believed to also be intrigued by Anthony Richardson. But the veteran HC will be coaching a 5-foot-10 quarterback in Carolina.

Here is the latest from the draft, as we head into Day 2:

  • The Vikings closed the record-breaking run on wide receivers at No. 23, selecting Jordan Addison, the fourth straight receiver taken from Nos. 20-23. But Minnesota received interest in the pick. The Chiefs and Saints contacted the Vikings about moving up to 23, per KTSP’s Darren Wolfson, who adds the belief is at least one of the teams eyeing a trade-up would have taken the USC wide receiver (Twitter link). The Vikings appear to have received an offer, but they instead chose Addison. The Chiefs were mentioned as a team pursuing a move up the board, and the defending Super Bowl champions — after J.J. Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman‘s exits — had done a lot of work on this year’s wideout class. The Saints have not re-signed Jarvis Landry and have not seen much of a healthy Michael Thomas since the 2010s. Both teams will probably be on the hunt for receivers tonight.
  • It is not surprising to see Patriots first-round trade-downs, and the team allowing the Steelers to leapfrog the Jets for tackle Broderick Jones likely made the move doubly intriguing for Bill Belichick. But the Pats turned in their draft card quickly at No. 17, selecting cornerback Christian Gonzalez. New England was high enough on the Oregon product it was close to finalizing a trade-up move from No. 14, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. The Commanders had been in on corners, but they chose Mississippi State ballhawk Emmanuel Forbes over Gonzalez at No. 16.
  • While the Patriots have been praised for nabbing a high-end prospect a bit later than he was expected to go, the Lions bucked pre-draft rankings by taking a running back (Jahmyr Gibbs) at No. 12 and an off-ball linebacker (Jack Campbell) at 18. Campbell, in particular, was not viewed as especially likely to be a first-round pick, and GM Brad Holmes admitted he probably could have nabbed the Iowa defender if he had traded down once again. “It’s not about just don’t pick a running back [in Round 1] because that’s not how we really view [Gibbs],” Holmes said, via the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. “And then it’s the same thing about don’t pick an off-ball linebacker. That’s not really how we view Jack. If you put them in boxes and you put on a sheet of paper and you run mock draft analytics, yeah, you can come up with those stats. But all the hours and research and all the time that we put in, in terms of looking at these players, it becomes very, very visible that what kind of impact they can bring.”

Vikings Take WR Jordan Addison At No. 23

The fourth straight wide receiver is off the board. The Vikings have used the No. 23 pick on USC wideout Jordan Addison. A report earlier today pegged Minnesota as an Addison suitor, and the team will add its second first-round wideout in four drafts.

Three years after striking gold with Justin Jefferson, the Vikings will try out Addison as a potential long-term running mate. The team made Adam Thielen a cap casualty this offseason and has 2020 draftee K.J. Osborn going into a contract year. Given the money Jefferson will command, the Vikings may be prepared to let Osborn walk in 2024 and build around a Jefferson-Addison tandem.

Addison transferred from Pitt to USC last year, joining Lincoln Riley and the QB guru’s third Heisman winner in six years (Caleb Williams). Addison did not fare nearly as well in Los Angeles compared to his sophomore-year Pennsylvania showing, but he did not dock his stock much with diminished production. Addison played a big part in Kenny Pickett‘s fifth-year breakthrough in 2021, erupting for 100 receptions 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns.

While Addison did not experience the 2022 swoon fellow first-round wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba did, he posted 59 receptions for 875 yards during his lone L.A. year. Still, the 5-foot-11 pass catcher has both outside and slot experience and graded as the top wideout available — by a fairly notable margin — on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board.

Minnesota has used some major draft capital to bolster Jefferson’s supporting cast, trading a second-rounder for T.J. Hockenson and now drafting Addison. The team has some offensive uncertainty going forward, passing on a fourth Kirk Cousins contract this offseason. Instead, the Vikings restructured their QB’s deal. Cousins, who will turn 35 this year, is going into a contract campaign.

This was viewed as a possible Hendon Hooker spot, but the Tennessee prospect — along with Will Levis — remains on the board. But the Vikings have their receiver investment, who can be controlled on his rookie deal through 2027 (via the fifth-year option).

WR Notes: Flowers, Vikings, Chiefs, Giants, Addison, Bucs, Johnston, Robinson, Moore

Zay Flowers does not appear likely to fall out of the first round, and his final pre-draft meetup looks to have gone well. The Chiefs organizing a Flowers-Patrick Mahomes workout in Texas has led to interest on the defending Super Bowl champions’ part, Albert Breer of notes. They are not alone. The Giants and Vikings are Flowers fans as well. Previous reports also indicated the Bears and Chargers are intrigued by the speedy Boston College product, despite his 5-foot-9 stature. Flowers would be an atypical first-round pick, with Marquise Brown (2019) and Tavon Austin (2013) the only receivers chosen in Round 1 at 5-9 or shorter in the 21st century. But Flowers made a number of pre-draft visits and, coming off his only 1,000-yard college season, will be one of the first receivers off the board.

The Vikings released Adam Thielen earlier this year and have K.J. Osborn going into a contract year. Considering Justin Jefferson‘s likely extension price, Minnesota paying multiple wideouts notable veteran sums might be difficult. The Giants have performed an extensive examination on the top wideouts available.

Here is the latest from the rookie and veteran receiver landscape:

  • Regarding the Giants‘ receiver studies, Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports indicates they are also believed to be considering USC’s Jordan Addison in Round 1 (Twitter link), indicating Addison might be ahead of Flowers on the team’s board. A Pitt transfer who finished his career with Heisman winner Caleb Williams, Addison spent time with the Giants during the pre-draft process. The team adding Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder and re-signing Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton — along with the 2022 second-round selection of Wan’Dale Robinson — certainly does not point to this Giants regime mandating big-bodied wideouts. While Flowers is 5-9, Addison is only 5-11. One of these two stepping in as a potential No. 1 target would round out an interesting receiver room.
  • Shifting to a taller target, the Buccaneers are believed to be interested in 6-3 TCU alum Quentin Johnston,’s Tony Pauline offers. The Bucs would make for an unexpected Johnston destination, as they have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and 2022 free agency addition Russell Gage on the roster. Gage, however, underwhelmed in his Tampa Bay debut, while Evans is entering his age-30 season. The Chiefs are also interested in Johnston, with Pauline confirming previous reports Kansas City is both pro-Johnston and interested in trading up from No. 31.
  • Being moved to the Steelers, Allen Robinson will be prepared to work with yet another starting quarterback this year. But the well-traveled wideout will have a delayed start for on-field Steeler work. The team will hold its new receiver out of voluntary offseason workouts, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (on Twitter). Robinson is recovering from late-season foot surgery. He missed the Rams’ final seven games last season due to injury.
  • Ryan Poles confirmed D.J. Moore was indeed mandatory in the Bears‘ March trade with the Panthers. “You go back and forth and have those conversations that go over a couple of weeks, and there are some non-negotiables that you say, ‘Well, I need to have this in the package.’ DJ was that for us,” Poles said during an interview with former NFLers Charles Tillman and Roman Harper on the NFL Players: Second Acts podcast (h/t Pro Football Network). “We wanted to add more playmakers to this roster. We wanted a player that can really help Justin [Fields] be successful. So that’s kind of [what] we stuck with and went hard on that, and it worked out.” The Bears also discussed Brian Burns and Derrick Brown with the Panthers but ended up prying away their No. 1 receiver in the deal for the top pick.

Chiefs High On Quentin Johnston, Arrange Patrick Mahomes-Zay Flowers Workout

Zay Flowers logged some travel miles during this pre-draft visit period. The Boston College prospect has met with the Titans, Ravens, Patriots, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants and Bills. While Flowers did not have any other visits booked, the Chiefs will use the final day for pre-draft visits to have their franchise centerpiece gather additional intel.

The Chiefs arranged for a Flowers workout with Patrick Mahomes in Texas, according to Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). Flowers visited the Titans on Tuesday and was not planning any additional meetings, but the Chiefs are in need at wide receiver and figure to be on the radar for Flowers — depending on how far he falls in Round 1.

Evaluators are split on the 5-foot-9 Flowers and USC’s Jordan Addison, per’s Tony Pauline, who notes some teams do not have first-round grades on either. Both undersized pass catchers have been popular on the March-April interview circuit, but this year’s receiver draft class has not produced the same type of rave reviews as the past three years did.

Ranking just outside the top 20 in the view of ESPN’s Scouts Inc. and’s Daniel Jeremiah, Flowers played four seasons at Boston College and upped his draft stock with his first 1,000-yard year — a 1,077-yard, 12-TD showing — in 2022. The diminutive target’s explosiveness has caught certain teams’ eye, though the Chiefs might not be out of range for him at No. 31. The Chiefs, who hold 10 picks (two fourth-rounders), traded up in last year’s first round to select Trent McDuffie.

Flowers is not the only wideout the Chiefs are being tied to as the draft nears. They are “very high on” TCU’s Quentin Johnston, per Pauline. Standing 6-3, Johnston joins DeAndre Hopkins as big-bodied wideouts on the Chiefs’ radar. The Chiefs are among the many teams who brought in the former Horned Frogs standout. Johnston finished last season with 1,069 receiving yards, helping the Big 12 program make an unlikely appearance in the national championship game. While drops were an issue for Johnston, his frame differs from the other top wideouts available next week.

Kansas City lost both J.J. Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in free agency, though the team made an attempt to keep Smith-Schuster. The Chiefs return Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. The latter two are expected to play bigger roles in 2023, with Toney in particular — injuries notwithstanding — ticketed for a responsibility upgrade. But the Chiefs have been connected to both veterans and first-round-caliber wideouts. Kansas City has not chosen a receiver in the first round under Andy Reid, but the team is making an effort — after passing on a monster Tyreek Hill third contract — to keep costs low at the position.

Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Ian Rapoport of tweets team brass is meeting with Georgia tackle Broderick Jones on Wednesday. Also expected to go in Round 1, Jones has met with a few teams already. The Chiefs are planning to move $20MM-per-year tackle Jawaan Taylor to the blind side, after he spent his career as a Jaguars right tackle, but they lost starting right tackle Andrew Wylie to the Commanders. After backing up future Charger Jamaree Salyer in 2021, Jones became Georgia’s left tackle starter last season. Jeremiah ranks Jones as this draft’s 17th-best prospect.

WR Draft Rumors: Smith-Njigba, Flowers, Downs, Giants

We’ve recorded a number of visits for Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, one of the 2023 NFL Draft’s top wide receivers. So far, he’s visited (or reportedly made plans to visit) the Giants, Falcons, Ravens, Texans, Bills, and Cowboys. A new report, from Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, adds the Cardinals, Bears, Saints, and Panthers to that list.

Several NFL teams are looking past an injury-plagued final season at Ohio State and focusing on an outstanding sophomore season that saw Smith-Njigba vastly outperform last year’s first-round picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. In the 21-year-old’s strongest season, he led the team in receptions (95) and receiving yards (1,606) while reeling in nine touchdowns.

All four teams currently have some strong players in the receivers room, but Arizona could likely use the most help at the position with DeAndre Hopkins likely on his way out. The Saints currently roster Smith-Njigba’s former teammate, Olave, along with Michael Thomas and last year’s other rookie Rashid Shaheed. The Bears brought in D.J. Moore from Carolina and hope he will supplement Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, who both had disappointing seasons in 2022. Carolina won’t miss Moore too much after bringing in Adam Thielen and DJ Chark to play with Terrace Marshall.

Smith-Njigba could potentially play an exclusive role in the slot as a pro, which would really open up the playing opportunities on the outside for the players mentioned above. Regardless, it’s become clear to see that Smith-Njigba has been a hot name in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Here are some rumors concerning other top wideouts in the upcoming draft:

  • Likewise to Smith-Njigba, Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers has already had a number of reported visits including the Patriots, Giants, Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the 22-year-old will be adding the Bills to that list. Buffalo currently boasts a strong top-two in Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis, but with the departure of Isaiah McKenzie in free agency, they could use a strong WR3. At 5-foot-10, Flowers would be a perfect fit alongside Diggs and Davis, who excel on the outside.
  • In a strange sequence of events, North Carolina wide receiver Josh Downs, who is expected to be a Day 2 draft pick, has reportedly not set up any official visits, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Over the past two years with Drake Maye at quarterback, Downs racked up 195 receptions for 2,364 yards and 19 touchdowns, leading the team in both categories both seasons. The lack of visits certainly doesn’t mean a lack of interest, but it likely won’t help convince teams to move him up their boards.
  • As for what teams may be interested in drafting these top prospects, we’ve heard the common teams like Baltimore, Green Bay, and Houston, but another team to watch is the Giants, according to Matt Miller of Miller posits that, despite adding Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder and re-signing Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, the wide receiver position is still dominating conversations around New York. He links Big Blue to Flowers and USC wide receiver Jordan Addison, specifically. The Giants have been connected to just about every top wide receiver in this draft, and it will certainly be interesting to see if the Joe SchoenBrian Daboll regime takes that route months after trading Kadarius Toney.

AFC West Notes: JuJu, Chargers, Broncos

After two years of low-level deals in free agency, J.J. Smith-Schuster finally cashed in via his Patriots pact. The seventh-year wide receiver signed a three-year, $25.5MM deal that came with $16MM fully guaranteed. The Pats guaranteed Smith-Schuster exactly what the Raiders locked in for Jakobi Meyers, and they will expect upper-echelon performance. Smith-Schuster, 26, increased his market through his 78-reception, 933-yard Chiefs season, becoming the Super Bowl champions’ top Tyreek Hill replacement. Smith-Schuster wanted to stay in Kansas City, and the Chiefs aimed to keep him. While Andy Reid confirmed the sides discussed a deal all the way up to the Patriots agreement, the Chiefs are going with lower-cost options at receiver presently.

You’ve got to manage all the cap stuff. We couldn’t give him what they gave him,” Reid said, via the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, of matching the Patriots’ offer. “We talked all the way through it. It’s good for him; he deserves that opportunity.”

The Chiefs have been connected to both Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins, but the OBJ path is now closed after the Ravens handed the injury-prone receiver a surprising $15MM guaranteed. Kansas City is planning bigger roles for Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore, and the team has Marquez Valdes-Scantling attached to what is now a pay-as-you-go contract. Valdes-Scantling’s deal runs through 2024. Here is the latest from the rest of the AFC West:

  • While the Chiefs may be looking to add a piece at receiver in the draft, the Chargers appear ready to add an early-round target. The Bolts are believed to be looking for pass-catching help early in the draft, Jordan Reid of notes. Holding the No. 21 overall pick, the Chargers are coming off a season in which Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both missed extended stretches. While Tom Telesco pushed back against an Allen trade, the Pro Bowler is going into his age-31 season. The Chargers still roster Josh Palmer as a WR3, while DeAndre Carter signed with the Raiders. The Bolts, who have deep threat Jalen Guyton coming off an ACL tear, are seeking perimeter speed, per Reid, who adds Jordan Addison could be a name to watch. Chargers wideouts coach Chris Beatty recruited Addison while at Pitt.
  • The Broncos appear to have four locked-in starters on their offensive line, having signed Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers to go with left tackle Garett Bolles and guard Quinn Meinerz. Center Lloyd Cushenberry has struggled during his Denver tenure and is going into a contract year after an injury-plagued 2022. The Broncos are doing work on centers ahead of this draft, Reid adds. The team holds the Nos. 67 and 68 overall picks. Beyond top center John Michael Schmitz, ESPN’s Scouts Inc. views second- and third-ranked centers Olusegun Oluwatimi (Michigan) and Luke Wypler (Ohio State) as third-round-caliber snappers.
  • One of the Broncos’ stopgap O-line solutions last year, Billy Turner, is not expected back with the team. Turner, whom the Broncos used at right tackle in 2022, told the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson he is not in the team’s 2023 plans (Twitter link). Turner, 31, has enjoyed two Denver stints but followed Nathaniel Hackett over from Green Bay last year. The nine-year veteran said he is 100% after knee trouble limited him last season.
  • Broncos cornerback Faion Hicks was arrested earlier this month for carrying a concealed firearm, Mike Klis of 9News notes. This is a third-degree felony charge; the arrest occurred in Hallandale, Florida. Hicks is free on bond. The Broncos drafted Hicks in the 2022 seventh round; he saw action in only two games and did not play a defensive snap.