Sunday mornings during football season are a high-speed collision of gameday rituals, bold predictions, and pregame jitters. In the offseason, we opt to take it slow and recap the week that was.
Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Lead Writer – @ChiefsFocus
This is one of the scariest times of the year.
Sure, the NBA Finals are tied 2-2 and look like they may go all the way to 7 games based on the back-and-forth nature of the series so far. Warriors in 7, as I’ve said from the jump. The NHL is getting ready to drop the puck on an extremely riveting Stanley Cup Finals matchup. The Colorado Avalanche have been an absolute wagon this postseason, only losing two games to the St. Louis Blues en route to a 12-2 record in the Western Conference playoffs behind what looks like the best team in the NHL.
But waiting for them in the Cup finals is the 2-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, who have the experience factor and an apparent ability to flip the proverbial switch and take a series whenever they please. After falling down 0-2 to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Lightning took the next 4 consecutive to advance to their third straight try for Lord Stanley’s cup.
Even over in golf you have the LIV Tour snagging big names left and right from the PGA Tour and creating a skirmish that golf itself isn’t ready for. The thing about professional golfers and those who run the professional golf leagues – they are generally the country club type. This is not 100% the case – some players like Jason Day have found success in the game after rougher upbringings – and guys like Roger Steele are working today to champion the game in inner cities to bring it to a new audience. Steele’s Trap Golf and Golf is Dope social media campaign and merchandise are geared towards “making golf cool and inclusive by connecting people, golf, and art.” And I’m all for that.
But let’s not forget where golf came from. To be blunt – rich white dudes. And if there is one class of individual who isn’t used to fighting hard (or fighting fair, anyway) for something that they want, or having something taken away from them – it’s old rich white dudes. The world has been kind to people like Jay Monahan for most of their lives. But now the Saudis, questionable human rights practices and all, are changing that. This week the LIV Tour snagged Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and several other players from the PGA Tour. The PGA responded by suspending all players who participated in the LIV’s inaugural tournament this weekend in London. They did so after the tournament teed off, making it impossible for those players to reconsider their stance.
The contracts the Saudis are offering are insane. 9-digit deals just to play on this tour. Not to win, to play. The PGA will either have to become flexible and allow for dual membership or pony up and start paying purses similar to what the LIV is doling out. It’s going to be tough for them – with Saudi money and Dustin Johnson’s party favors aiding the LIV recruiting push, the PGA is going to have to pivot soon.
Country club drama on the world’s biggest stage, you love to see it.
We have these things going for us right now, which is nice. But we’re about to stoop into the most crushingly boring portion of the entire sports calendar. The dog days of summer. NFL teams are wrapping up mandatory mini-camps this coming week, the O’Brien Trophy and Stanley Cup will soon be awarded to either a dynastic familiar face (the Warriors and Lightning) or an exciting up and comer (the Celtics or Lightning), and all we’ll be left is a halfhearted attempt to care about Wimbledon and mid-season baseball.
Across the state the Cardinals are in first place, which is exciting until you remember it’s not even July yet. The Royals, though? Well, they’re in a neck and neck battle with the Cincinnati Reds for baseball’s worst record. What was again a promising team has become an immediate disappointment once again. At least they didn’t waste the city’s time meddling around the .500 mark until the All-Star break. Going to be a long summer in KC for baseball fans. At least the city connect jerseys and hats are sick.
Needless to say, we should all count our blessing and remember that NFL training camps kick off towards the end of July. There are a few mile markers in between now and then.
Early July – the NFL could elect to bring back the supplemental draft if it chooses, but it has not made an announcement on whether or not it will. The last supplemental draft was held in 2019 (pre-COVID) and the league elected to cancel it in 2020 and 2021. If it were to happen again in 2022, it would be in early July as that has been its traditional slot on the league calendar.
July 15 – This is the franchise tag deadline. Meaning players, like the Chiefs Orlando Brown, Jr, have until this date to sign their franchise tag tenders. If players do not sign these tags or come to an agreement on a contract extension with their existing team by July 15, they will not be able to negotiate a contract with any NFL team. There are other options – the teams could elect to trade the players to a different franchise that would then (likely) extend them, or they can cut them. A couple big names have yet to sign the tags placed on them by their current franchises, leaving a little room for more offseason NFL drama. Brown, Jr, who we discussed last week, as well as Bengls safety Jessie Bates III have yet to sign their franchise tag tenders.
Brown and the Chiefs appear to still be amicable in their negotiations for a contract extension. Bates’ situation with the Bengals had been described as having reached an impasse as of late May. Let’s see if Cinci’s historically frugal operating principles are still alive after a surprise Super Bowl appearance.
This week in Chiefs Kingdom, we were subjected to one of those “slower news cycle” weeks. But between some of the action going on around the league, as well as action on the practice field and in media sessions here in KC, we’ve got some quick hitters for you for your Sunday morning.
The Member’s Mark Broncos sold for $4.65 BILLION dollar
The Walton-Penner Group – headed up by Wal Mart heir Rob Walton – submitted and had accepted a $4.65 billion offer to buy the Broncos from the Pat Bowlen Trust. Absolutely wild figures on this deal – the previous high for a professional sports franchise purchase was $2.4 billion when Steven Cohen bought the New York Mets in 2020. Couple of thoughts here :
They know they’re buying the Broncos right? I mean, I know you’ve got a little bit of history here with John Elway’s teams back in the day. But we’re talking about a team that in the last 6 seasons is 39-58, and has finished second in the division once. Outside of the 4 years the team leased Peyton Manning, they have won the division twice since 1999. If the Broncos are worth $4.65 billion, what are the Chiefs worth with Patrick Mahomes coming into his 6th year at age 26? Sure, the Broncos have Russell Wilson…but, I mean..what does that do? Does that move the needle that much for that team? I don’t think so. Chiefs are worth like $20 billion and I can’t be convinced otherwise. Diamond hands, Clark. Diamond hands.
Second funny observation – John Elway could’ve made like $900 million on this deal had he not turned down 20% equity in the Broncos back in 1998. Long story short, Pat Bowlen offered him 10% ownership for $21 million they owed him, and another 10% for $15 million more. He took that money, gave it to a hedge fund and invested in some service based businesses, and lost it all. 1,330% return on investment gone, $930 million gone. Sucks to suck Elway. Wonder if he lets his money guy pick his QBs too.
John Elway is worth about $150 million, so to say his financial decisions have all been trash would not be fair. But he could’ve been in Tiger/MJ/LeBron territory with equity in the team. We talked about hindsight a couple weeks back, this one’s gotta sting for Johnny Horseteeth.
I’m not going to waste much time on this. My notes are below on the debut episode of “It Needed To Be Said” –
- Tyreek loved KC and wanted to (and still wants) to be here. Drew Rosenhaus ruined this by demanding Davante Adams money.
- Tyreek is a good teammate. So much so that he will delusionally give Tua a nod in any quarterbacking category over Patrick Mahomes just to hype his guy up. Bold, but I respect it.
- Julian Collins, Esquire is a sensationalist lawyer trying to make a name for himself on Tyreek’s back.
- Drew Rosenhaus wants to live forever because of course he does. Prick.
- The Chiefs didn’t suppress Tyreek Hill in 2021, the Chiefs zagged when teams forced them to. Also, he was locked down by Marlon Humphrey and a guy named Anthony Averett in the Baltimore game. Also, the Andy Reid not letting him see his grandpa story seems fabricated. On him saying McDaniel lets him do whatever he wants – of course he does, they bent over to get you, they’ll keep bending over for you.
I’m not going to get petty and dig into his shortcomings with the Chiefs. Did he make some mistakes? Sure. Did he cost the Chiefs some games? You could argue that. But he didn’t cost them as many as he helped the team win.
This is the bottom line – Tyreek Hill is the third best skill player in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs, behind two tight ends. Anyone who expected him to be calculated and methodical with his interviews and press post-Kingdom needs to do some personal inventory on realistic expectations. He’s an emotional guy, always has been, and to have a reaction like this is pretty natural when you go from a great situation to an undetermined one. What he really needs is people around him who want what’s best for him, not to gain fame off him. Which appears to be what he has with his lawyer and agent.
Inside the building, Tyreek’s shoes appear to be being filled nicely by newcomer Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Coaches and media have been raving about MVS rapport with Patrick Mahomes this early in the offseason, and the fact that he literally played his cards perfectly going from Aaron Rodgers to Patrick Mahomes for Act II of his career is an indication that the man is indeed intelligent.
On the defensive side of the ball, Andy Reid has been very outward about Nick Bolton’s intensity in camp. This is a good, good sign. From week 1 of last year Bolton brought a renewed intensity to the linebacking corps for the Chiefs. With all of the focus on edge rushers and corners this offseason, it seems like people have forgotten how important it is to have a MLB in the middle of the field that can be the QB for your defense. That’s Bolton.
Bolton himself spoke out this week about the intensity two of his teammates – Willie Gay and Justin Reid – were bringing to practice. We knew Gay was an absolute rocketship of a player on and off the field, but Reid bringing the energy and leadership as the new guy is an encouraging thing to see. Especially with a secondary that’s still presently under reconstruction. Reid had this to say this week :
“You earn it every day. In my role in the back end, your teammates have to know you’re going to be where you’re going to be and you’re going to handle your responsibility on the field. That’s what comes first. Your leaders need to be your best players, but your best players also have to be your hardest workers. I live by that.”
We won’t know if he can back it up until the season kicks off, but he’s saying the right things and bringing intensity to practice right now. I’m good with that for mid-June.
Also, Juju’s already making TikToks in the locker room. I don’t care, I’m not going to pay attention to it. Just let it be. If he produces on the field, I don’t care. If he doesn’t, ship him off wherever they shipped Jackson to.
Let’s have ourselves a week, Chiefs Kingdom.