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ggy Ansah made it th
The roster overhaul of the two-time defending AFC West champions began in earnest weeks ago Dmitry Kulikov Jersey , when the Kansas
City Chiefs agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins.
It began for real on Wednesday.
That’s when the new league year ushered in a flurry of moves that could finally become official, including the blockbuster deal that sent Smith to
the Redskins – where he had already agreed to a new contract – for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick in this year’s draft.
”I have a tremendous amount of respect for Alex and what he was able to accomplish with us these past five seasons,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
”He put every ounce of energy into making our team better and I appreciate his leadership and how he came to work with the right attitude every
The Chiefs also made official a trade of two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams for a fourth-round pick this year and a
second-round pick next year, and the signings of wide receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Anthony Hitchens to fill two of their biggest holes.
Among their own free agents, the Chiefs are bringing back fullback and special-teams standout Anthony Sherman and defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins.
They also put a sixth-rounder tender on defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches and non-tendered linebacker Ramik Wilson and cornerback Keith Baxter.
The 24-year-old Watkins agreed to a $48 million, three-year deal Tuesday that includes $30 million in guarantees. Watkins spent four injury-filled
years with Buffalo before spending last season with the Rams, where he managed to stay healthy enough for the Chiefs to feel comfortable signing
At his best, Watkins is a potent playmaker with blazing downfield speed, and he should pair nicely with Tyreek Hill to give new quarterback Patrick
Mahomes II plenty of options.
Throw in the emergence of running back Kareem Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie last season, and perennial Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce,
and the Chiefs should have one of the AFC’s best offenses even after trading their Pro Bowl quarterback to Washington.
The 25-year-old Hitchens, who likewise agreed to a $45 million, five-year deal on Tuesday, should fill Derrick Johnson’s old spot at middle
linebacker alongside Reggie Ragland. Hitchens was a fourth-round pick who exceeded all expectations in Dallas, earning a contract in his first free
Earlier this offseason Barkevious Mingo Color
Rush Jersey , the Chiefs parted ways with franchise tackles leader Johnson and Tamba Hali, who ranks second only to Derrick Thomas in career
sacks. The veteran linebackers were let go along with safety Ron Parker, who had become a critical part of the defensive backfield – especially when
star safety Eric Berry went down with a season-ending injury last year.
All of the offseason decisions, including the aggressive trades of Smith and Peters, have served two purposes for new general manager Brett Veach: get
younger and save money.
The Chiefs’ rapidly aging defense was a particular concern last season, and bringing Hitchens and Fuller into the mix immediately lowers their
average age. Throw in the potential rookies that they net with their new draft picks and the pieces are in place for a massively revamped unit.
”After a thorough evaluation of our roster we decided it was in the best interest for us and for Marcus to move in different directions,” Veach
said of the embattled cornerback, whose immature antics rubbed many the wrong way. ”We appreciate Marcus’ contributions and wish him the best of
Veach also inherited a salary cap mess from former GM John Dorsey, whose unparalleled ability to unearth talent was tempered by a dismal record in
signing long-term contracts. The decision to trade Smith was a no-brainer with Mahomes waiting in the wings, as were the decisions to move on from
Johnson and Hali, while the trade of Peters was made with an eye toward the future.
The money the Chiefs freed up allowed them to aggressively target Watkins and Hitchens, and thus filled two of their most pressing needs the moment
free agency began.
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — At last, a new face on the other side of the line.
The Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions conducted the first of two joint practices Tuesday in preparation for their preseason opener Friday at the
Oakland Coliseum, allowing players on both teams to get a new perspective after practicing against teammates for the past two weeks.
“It was nice to see some new coverages, some different stuff http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-connor-mcdavid-jersey ,” Oakland quarterback Derek Carr said. “It was good
for us. It’ll be good film. A lot of things happened today, good and bad things that we needed to have happen that we haven’t had happen in
The practice was conducted in a controlled environment after Raiders coach Jon Gruden met with first-year Detroit coach Matt Patricia in the
offseason. The two friends mapped out the workouts well before the Lions arrived in Northern California.
Patricia said the joint practices offer an opportunity for rookies and young players from both teams to make an impression.
“For a lot of the young guys that haven’t stepped onto an NFL field with anyone except for their own teammates it certainly brings a different
element from the standpoint of competitiveness and an evaluation standpoint,” Patricia said. “Even the veteran guys, it’s good to get out there
and compete against somebody else. You kind of get into that rhythm and that mentality of going against the same guy every day.”
Unlike in previous years when the Raiders have held combined practices with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, there were no fights and only
a few minor scuffles.
Oakland linebacker Tahir Whitehead was at the center of one after hitting a Lions player who was getting up after making a long catch near the end
zone. Whitehead, who played six seasons in Detroit, including the last four as a starter, also exchanged good-natured ribbing with Lions running back
Ameer Abdullah during a goal line drill near the end of practice.
“It was fun getting a chance to catch up with the guys even though we’re chirping and everything going back and forth,” Whitehead said. “When
I was there we did the same exact thing. We were going back and forth. It’s all competitive and we’re just trying to get each other better. This
time I’m in the black and silver and it’s just a different feel.”
The teams went through individual position drills on separate fields before coming together on both fields for team scrimmages.
Fans filled the east stands while members of the military and a handful of youth football teams sat on the west side, adding a livelier feel to
“The fans made it even better,” Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson said. “Everybody’s tired of hitting each other for however many weeks
we’ve been going against each other. It’s a new face, a new venue. It made it fun and it made it like a real game and we really enjoyed it.”
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford looked crisp while leading the Lions’ first unit. At one point he completed a deep throw to Marvin Jones Jr.
for a touchdown after Jones raced past Raiders cornerback Antonio Hamilton.
Carr was equally sharp but threw his first interception of training camp when he was picked off by Detroit’s Darius Slay.
“On a stupid scramble drill, too,” Carr said. “I was bummed.”
Notes: Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah made it through his second practice after coming off the physically unable to perform list earlier in the week.
“There’s certainly some different things for him that we’re going to have to learn this year to be able to do,” Patricia said. “Just getting
him on the field is one step closer.” . Raiders running back Chris Warren provided the play of the day when he leveled Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis
and sent the former first-round draft pick flying back.