One more trade has been reported just before today’s deadline. The Chiefs have dealt cornerbackRashad Fenton to the Falcons (Twitter link via ESPN’s Field Yates). Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets that Atlanta is sending a conditional seventh-round pick in return.
Fenton had taken on larger workload with each passing season during his first three years with the Chiefs. That continued early this year, as he saw a snap share above 90% during Weeks 2 through 5. His spot in the starting lineup has since been usurped, however, making him a logical trade candidate. The Chiefs will save $1.4MM as a result of the move.
The Chiefs invested heavily at the CB position during this year’s draft, including first-rounder Trent McDuffie. As Yates notes, the effectiveness of Kansas City’s youth movement made Fenton more expendable. Set to hit free agency in March for the first time in his career, he will have the opportunity to see significant playing time once again. Kansas City will move forward with the likes of Joshua Williamsand L’Jarius Sneedat the top of the depth chart, with McDuffie set to return from IR.
Atlanta, meanwhile, is certainly set at the position in terms of having a No. 1 corner. That distinction belongs to A.J. Terrell, but Fenton will now, at a minimum, provide depth behind fellow starters Darren Halland Isaiah Oliver. If he shows the form of his previous Chiefs campaigns, he could land himself a new deal in Atlanta come the offseason.
The 4-4 Falcons find themselves atop the underwhelming NFC South, despite ranking last in the league in passing yards surrendered (over 306 per game, on average). A move to shore up the secondary therefore comes as little surprise, as they look to return to the postseason while the Chiefs now have some financial breathing space.
Perry’s interesting post-draft NFL journey continues. Initially slated to join the Eagles as a UDFA, he ended up signing with the Jaguars days later. Then, in July, he was waived (with an injury designation) to make room for Sloter’s addition. Perry has obviously recovered, as the two have now swapped placed once more.
Fenton was one of four Chiefs placed on the PUP list at the start of training camp. That came as little surprise at the time, but his return to practice will be a welcomed sight in Kansas City’s secondary. NFL Network’s James Palmer tweets that Fenton’s preseason availability remains a question mark, but that he is still expected to be fully recovered in time for the regular season.
Jackson was a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft at a position which has been in flux throughout the offseason in New Orleans. The 24-year-old had a highly productive final season in particular at Appalachian State, posting 119 tackles, 20 TFLs and six sacks. He will now have to wait until 2023 to carve out a depth role in the middle of the Saints’ defense.
The Chiefs are the latest team set to begin training camp with a few noticeable absentees. The team has placed four players on the active/PUP list, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network (Twitter link).
The lone defender on the list is cornerback Rashad Fenton. In May, it was reported that the 25-year-old wasn’t a lock to be healthy by the start of camp. He is rehabbing a shoulder injury which required offseason surgery, and kept him out of spring workouts. He is likely to be slated at No. 3 on Kansas City’s depth chart at the position, which has seen plenty of turnover this offseason. His steady growth in playing time and effectiveness could make him not only an important piece in the team’s secondary upon his return, but a priority for the Chiefs from a financial standpoint.
On the offensive line, right tackle Lucas Niangis another unsurprising inclusion. He suffered a season-ending torn patellar tendon in January, marking the latest example of availability concerns associated with the former third-rounder. A 2020 opt-out, Niang has played just 12 total games two years into his NFL career, including nine starts. He was replaced when out of the lineup last season by veteran Andrew Wylie, who was brought back on a one-year deal in free agency. The two will compete for the starting role upon Niang’s return. Backup linemen Prince Tega Wanoghois also among the players placed on the list.
Finally, the Chiefs will have to wait for the training camp debut of perhaps the most notable UDFA of the 2022 draft class. Wide receiver Justyn Rossrecently underwent foot surgery, as noted by Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams. The former Clemson star was widely thought of as a surefire first-rounder before multiple neck injuries derailed his junior campaign and led to many teams taking him off their draft boards altogether. Health will always be a concern with Ross, but there will be a role available to him in Kansas City’ re-vamped WR room.
Of course, any of these players can be activated at any time – something the Chiefs will be anticipating with the potential starters in particular.
The Chiefs made some outside moves to address their secondary this offseason, but they may not want to overlook the players they have in the building. An underrated move the Chiefs should be looking at this summer is an early extension of cornerback Rashad Fenton.
Kansas City was forced to make some moves after losing cornerbacks Mike Hughes and Charvarius Ward in free agency. The Chiefs used three of their draft picks this year on cornerbacks, including a first-round pick on the University of Washington’s Trent McDuffie, and even traded away a 2023 seventh-round pick for former-Texans cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. McDuffie is slotted to start opposite third-year cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who started all 15 games he appeared in last season. Fenton is likely the third cornerback on the depth chart with DeAndre Baker, who was drafted 171 picks before Fenton in the 2019 NFL Draft, slotting in at fourth.
Even though Fenton isn’t expected to start on a weekly basis for Kansas City next season, there is a good amount of evidence to suggest that extending him before his contract year would be extremely beneficial for the Chiefs. Not only has Fenton shouldered more and more responsibility with playing time over each of his three seasons, earning more starts and defensive snaps each year, but he’s also moved around the field over the years.
As a rookie, Fenton played mostly in the slot, earning one pick and four passes defensed, as well as a forced fumble and a quarterback hit. In his second season, Fenton split his time between the slot and the outside while making three starts. He totaled one interception, seven passes defensed, and added a tackle for loss, as well. Last season, he played 80% of his snaps on the outside during his eight starts, according to Pro Football Focus, leading to seven more passes defensed, one forced fumble, and a career-high 49 total tackles.
Not only has he displayed the ability to handle the increased responsibility of playing time, but his movement around the secondary provides an extremely valuable versatility, showing he can play in any cornerback role that he’s asked to play in. Another factor that could benefit Kansas City is Fenton’s draft position in the sixth round. According to a data study done by Zach Drapkin at Pro Football Focus (subscription required), late-round draft picks are historically underpaid on their second contracts. Not that the Chiefs would intentionally short their players, but utilizing precedent could help the Chiefs extend Fenton at a bargain-price.
When trying to gauge the range of what an extension might look like for Fenton, there are a few examples that we can look at. Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox has been an intermittent starter in Philadelphia over the years in the slot and recently signed a three-year, $22.5MM contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $7.5MM. Patriots nickel cornerback Jonathan Jones signed a three-year, $21MM contract in 2019. Neither Maddox nor Jones were drafted highly with Maddox being a fourth-round pick and Jones signing with New England as an undrafted free agent, initially.
Another fourth-round pick that recently signed a new extension was Bills cornerback Taron Johnson, who signed a three-year, $24MM deal last October. I like this comparison because, like Fenton, Johnson’s role on the field increased incrementally each year until last year he served as a full-time starter. It wouldn’t be the Chiefs’ ideal scenario, but, if McDuffie isn’t quite ready to start Week 1 for whatever reason, I believe they’d be fully confident in trotting Fenton out there to start opposite Sneed.
Essentially, most of the deals on these later-round draft picks are for three years and they’ve risen over the last few years from an AAV of $7MM to $8MM per year. Based on the constant inflation of NFL salaries and depending on how much loyalty the Chiefs want to show Fenton, I would predict that an extension for Fenton might have an AAV of anywhere from $8MM-$9MM. A three-year, $26MM contract would be a more-than-generous offer that would still land Kansas City an affordable, dependable, and versatile young cornerback. With Sneed and McDuffie on rookie deals, this would extend the time frame of having the three young cornerbacks on relatively affordable contracts at least through the 2023 season.
The Chiefs have been busy adding cornerbacks recently, and for good reason. According to ESPN’s Adam Teicher (on Twitter), cornerback Rashad Fentoncontinues to rehab a shoulder injury.
Fenton is unlikely to participate in OTAs. The Chiefs are hoping the defensive back will be good to go for training camp, but it doesn’t sound like that’s any guarantee. It’s uncertain when Fenton originally suffered the injury. The 25-year-old missed a pair of playoff games with a back injury, but it doesn’t sound like that’s related to his current ailment. Fortunately, it sounds like the cornerback already went under the knife, so now it’s just a matter of overcoming rehab for him to return to the field.
Fenton was a sixth-round pick by the Chiefs in 2019. He’s taken on a larger role during each of his three seasons in the NFL, culminating in a 2021 campaign where he collected 49 tackles and seven passes defended in 14 games (eight starts).
The Chiefs ended up using three of their 10 draft picks on cornerbacks, including the No. 21 pick on Washington’s Trent McDuffie. The organization also drafted Fayetteville St. cornerback Joshua Williams (fourth round, No. 135) and Washington St. defensive back Jaylen Watson (seventh round, No. 243). The team also recently acquired cornerback Lonnie Johnson in a trade with the Texans.
December 21st, 2021 at 2:13pm CST by Zachary Links
The Chiefs are placing wide receiver Tyreek Hill, cornerback Rashad Fenton, and tight Blake Bell on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Adam Teicher and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The team is expecting to add more players to the list and, as one source tells the duo, “It’s a mess.”
The Chiefs have, for all intents and purposes, punched their ticket to the playoffs as well as the AFC West crown. Still, they’re pushing to lock up a first-round bye over the next few weeks. They currently lead the AFC with a 10-4 record but the Patriots (9-5) aren’t far behind.
Fortunately, the Chiefs have a ways to go between now and Sunday afternoon’s tilt against the Steelers. Any players who are vaccinated, asymptomatic, and able to pass another test will be able to play. They’ll be keeping their fingers crossed for Travis Kelce, Hill, and any other positives that emerge this week.
Hill, 27, is in the midst of another outstanding season with 102 catches for 1,178 yards and nine touchdowns through 14 games. Just last week, he torched the Chargers for a 12/148/1 line, so the Steelers could stand to benefit from his absence. They, too, are still playing for something at 7-6-1 — Five Thirty Eight gives them an 18% chance of making the playoffs with a 10% chance of taking the sardine-packed AFC North.
When the Chiefs take the field tomorrow for the AFC Championship Game, they’ll be joined by Bashaud Breeland. The team announced today (via Twitter) that the cornerback has cleared concussion protocol and “will no longer have a game status designation” heading into tomorrow’s contest.
This is obviously great news for the Chiefs, their fans, and (as ESPN’s Field Yates points out on Twitter) Breeland’s wallet. If the cornerback plays more than 50-percent of his team’s snaps tomorrow and the Chiefs win, Breeland will earn a $300K incentive.
Breeland was previously listed as questionable with a shoulder injury and a concussion, with the latter ailment presumably popping up during last week’s win over the Browns. Breeland finished the game with six tackles and one pass defended, but he only appeared in 86 percent of his team’s defensive snaps, his lowest total since Week 1.
Following a 2019 campaign that saw him start 15 games en route to a Super Bowl ring, Breeland started all 11 of his games in 2020. The 28-year-old ultimately finished the season having compiled 38 tackles, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.
The Chiefs are still dealing with injuries elsewhere on their cornerbacks depth chart. Rashad Fenton is listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game with ankle and foot injuries.
September 10th, 2020 at 6:56pm CST by Sam Robinson
Clyde Edwards-Helaire will make his NFL debut Thursday night, doing so without the benefit of preseason carries. The Chiefs brought back both Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson to serve as his backups, but the defending Super Bowl champions considered a somewhat higher-profile RB2 option. A year after the Chiefs scooped up LeSean McCoy following his Bills release, they had interest in Adrian Peterson, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Peterson, who played under Eric Bieniemy from 2007-10 when the current Chiefs OC was the Vikings’ running backs coach, was interested in a Chiefs deal as well, per Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). COVID-19 testing and the team’s first game being on Thursday night nixed a potential partnership, Fowler adds. Peterson signed with the Lions on Sunday.
Ahead of the Chiefs kicking off the 2020 season in less than an hour, here is the latest from the AFC West:
The Broncos have already lost their best defensive player for the season, in all likelihood, with Von Miller opting to undergo an ankle surgery that will require a months-long recovery process. They now have their top offensive talent dealing with an injury. Courtland Sutton went down during practice Thursday, suffering what an MRI determined to be an AC joint sprain, Mike Klis of 9News notes. While Sutton will be classified as day-to-day, the third-year wideout’s right shoulder malady has his status in doubt for the Broncos’ Monday-night opener against the Titans.
Lynn Bowden Jr.‘s Raiders tenure not lasting until Week 1 represented one of this summer’s more surprising developments, but the team viewed the third-round pick as ineffective on the field and a potential red flag off it. A lack of explosiveness contributed to the Raiders shipping Bowden to the Dolphins, according to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, who adds the team was also concerned about the Kentucky product’s off-field approach — particularly after the team’s move to Las Vegas (subscription required). The Raiders ate Bowden’s $985K signing bonus to send the gadget player to Miami.