Nick Bolton, LB, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
2021 stats: 112 tackles, 11 tackles for loss in 16 video games
The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs entered the 2021 season with a perceived want at linebacker. Whereas veteran Anthony Hitchens was a productive member of the unit, his lack of athleticism stood out in sub-packages the 12 months earlier than. 2020 second spherical choose Willie Homosexual had but to show himself, and rookie Nick Bolton absolutely wouldn’t be the instant reply for a Tremendous Bowl-hopeful.
Nonetheless, because the weeks handed and Bolton settled into his position, he blossomed. By the center of the 12 months, Bolton had a three-game stretch with 35 whole tackles and 5 tackles for loss. He had performed greater than 72 p.c of snaps in simply a kind of video games.
His improvement peaked on the proper time, as Bolton turned a serious cause the Chiefs’ defensive unit improved all year long. He remained a power all through the Chiefs’ first two playoff video games, as effectively.
Kansas Metropolis has retooled their protection this unit to be extra athletic and versatile. With Hitchens gone in free company, Bolton ought to now play shut to each snap every week as a substitute of being a part-time contributor. Search for him to understand his star standing and be the guts of the Chiefs’ protection for a very long time.
Fairly a number of followers in Denver had been shocked or flat-out indignant that their metropolis was bypassed in favor of Kansas Metropolis. That included Colorado Rapids coach Robin Fraser.
“I believe in the event you have a look at cities on this area, Kansas Metropolis being one in all them… it is really mind-boggling to me that Kansas Metropolis was chosen over Denver,” Fraser instructed Colorado Public Radio.
That story had famous: “Rubbing salt into wounds, Denver misplaced out to Kansas Metropolis, a regional frenemy because of the Denver Broncos decades-long rivalry with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. ”
It is just pure to anticipate animosity towards KC from followers in Denver as a result of the Broncos have not crushed the Chiefs since 2015. T
hat could have fueled among the anger from followers in Denver, who vented after FIFA made its choice for the 2026 World Cup host cities. There have been quite a lot of who included curse phrases, in order that they could not be included right here.
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs: Commerce for Saquon Barkley
Chiefs get: RB Saquon Barkley
Giants get: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 2023 fourth-round choose
The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs added three new our bodies to their backfield this offseason, together with free agent Ronald Jones and rookies Isiah Pacheco and Jerrion Ealy. In addition they simply introduced veteran Jerick McKinnon again after a powerful 2021 stint. It is clear they view the place as a priority regardless of taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire within the first spherical two years in the past.
Their finest consequence is to commerce Edwards-Helaire right into a contemporary state of affairs and gamble on a higher-upside expertise.
The New York Giants have a nasty however costly roster. New head coach Brian Daboll would absolutely like to deploy a totally wholesome Saquon Barkley in 2022, however the franchise has seen restricted manufacturing and availability from the 2018 No. 2 choose. Buying and selling his $ 7.2 million cap hit and getting a contemporary have a look at Edwards-Helaire is essentially the most prudent resolution.
Barkley, regardless of missing the explosiveness he had earlier than tearing his ACL in 2020, nonetheless has loads of followers across the league because of his potential as a dual-threat again. His fifth-year choice would enable Kansas Metropolis to take a one-year flier on him regaining his type. Barkley, not like Edwards-Helaire, would clearly be essentially the most proficient again in a crowded room.
He’ll change into simply the third individual to be in each the Canadian and Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, becoming a member of former Minnesota Vikings and Winnipeg head coach Bud Grant and quarterback Warren Moon, who started his illustrious profession within the CFL with Edmonton. Moon performed most of his NFL profession with the Houston Oilers and likewise performed with Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas Metropolis.
“It shocked me, it stunned me in any case of those years,” Levy instructed The Canadian Press from Chicago throughout a phone interview. “I understand how few individuals there are in each the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame and Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame.
“I do know Bud Grant was an opponent, however he was additionally a person I’ve all the time admired and like very a lot. And Warren Moon was such a terrific participant, each in Canada and the NFL. It’s totally, very heartwarming. I am thrilled and slightly bit amazed. ”
1 – Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
I labored with Andy Reid for 14 years in Philadelphia, who’s a transparent future Corridor Of Fame Head Coach. Mahomes’ mixture of athleticism, accuracy, intelligence, and management is deadly. Taking a look at every decade in soccer, there was a theme of 1 crew controlling the last decade by means of dominant play. The 80s had been managed by the Cowboys; the 90s by the 49ers; the 2000s and 2010s by Belichick and Brady. Once we look again on the late 2010s and 2020s, I believe we might be saying the identical in regards to the Chiefs. That is why they’re the highest crew on this checklist.
Across the NFL
The NFL suspended Hunt for the primary eight video games of the 2019 season on account of a violation of the league’s private conduct coverage. He recorded 464 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in his first season with Cleveland.
Hunt signed a one-year restricted free-agent tender to stay with the Browns in April 2020. The Toledo alum was given a two-year, $ 12 million extension 5 months later that saved him beneath contract by means of the 2022 season.
The 2020 marketing campaign was Hunt’s finest as a member of the Browns. He completed with 841 speeding yards, 304 receiving yards and 11 whole touchdowns. The 26-year-old appeared in all 18 video games, together with the playoffs, that season.
Cleveland has probably the greatest speeding assaults within the NFL. The group ranked fourth with 145.4 yards per sport on the bottom final season. Nick Chubb, who’s signed by means of 2024, ran for 1,259 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 begins.
“I assumed I performed effectively right here final 12 months, and I really feel like I can get higher and choose off from what I did final 12 months,” the defensive finish stated when itemizing the explanations he returned to the Browns.
“Then my boy got here right here, Deshaun.”
Clowney is coming off a breakout season with the Browns after signing a one-year deal final 12 months. Enjoying reverse All-Professional cross rusher Myles Garrett, Clowney completed with 9 sacks; each Garrett and Clowney ranked within the prime 4 within the NFL in a cross rush win charge.
“Me and [Garrett] did some good issues collectively, ” Clowney stated because the Browns accomplished their remaining minicamp apply at FirstEnergy Stadium. “We received alongside effectively. We performed effectively collectively. We fed off one another. We will do the identical factor this 12 months, even higher. … We received an excellent factor going from final 12 months. We wish to preserve it going this 12 months. ”
4) Whither Rob Gronkowski?
Because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended minicamp, there was no replace on whether or not Rob Gronkowski would return to the crew. The tight finish has been constantly non-committal about his want to play, even after Tom Brady returned to the fold following a 40-day retirement.
Gronk can afford to take his time – he will surely be on a lowered apply schedule in coaching camp, and has made clear that, if he returns, it is going to solely be to the Bucs. Tampa Bay seems to be holding open a spot for him – after the departure of OJ Howard, the Buccaneers have Cameron Brate and a handful of very younger gamers on the place. The Bucs would undoubtedly be higher with Gronk – Brady stated he was “hopeful” for his return – and for individuals who like enjoyable, the NFL is healthier with him in it, too.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pleasure
With organized crew actions (OTAs) and their necessary minicamp behind them, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs made 4 roster strikes on Thursday, signing defensive again Chris Lammons and extensive receiver Aaron Parker whereas waiving cornerback Luq Barcoo. Large receiver Mathew Sexton was additionally waived with an harm designation.
Lammons, 26, has been with the Chiefs for the final two seasons – nearly completely as a special-teams participant. He spent the 2020 season on the apply squad, from which he was elevated to the energetic roster for 2 regular-season video games and all three postseason video games. He made the 53-man roster in 2021, showing in 12 video games earlier than being positioned on the Reserve / Injured checklist in December.
Lammons was within the information through the offseason. He – together with New Orleans Saints working again Alvin Kamara and two different males – was wished by Las Vegas police after a person was crushed in a nightclub within the early-morning hours of February 5. Lammons turned himself in on February 16 – the day after information of his involvement within the matter initially broke. His signing means that the Chiefs have happy themselves that he won’t face important penalties from the incident.