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Orlando Brown completes Chiefs’ transformation of offensive line since Super Bowl – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Say this for the Kansas City Chiefs: When they see a weakness on their roster, they go all-in on fixing it.

The Chiefs couldn’t afford to overlook the mess their offensive line had become, not after the way quarterback Patrick Mahomes was harassed during last season’s Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Mahomes ran for a total of 497 yards before his passes or sacks during the Super Bowl, the most pre-throw or pre-sack yards by any quarterback in any game last season.

The Chiefs hadn’t put many resources — free-agent dollars or premium draft picks — into their offensive line in recent years, and though they patched up things remarkably well last season, that neglect showed against the Bucs at the worst possible time.

Friday’s trade with the Baltimore Ravens for left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. completes their offseason overhaul of the offensive line. The Chiefs will have five new starters from last year’s season opener. The Chiefs not only traded for Brown and signed free-agent linemen Joe Thuney, Kyle Long and Austin Blythe, but they are expecting the return of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang.

Both opted out of last season and did not play in 2020.

The Chiefs will sort positions and starters as the offseason and training camp unfolds, except for Brown. A Pro Bowler in each of the last two seasons, Brown is the left tackle, a position the Chiefs had to get right before they could look at their efforts to transform their line as a success.

They tried earlier in the offseason to sign veteran tackle Trent Williams, who eventually re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers instead.

“Trent was a guy we thought would really have helped us on that left side and we weren’t able to get that done,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. “Right after that, it was our responsibility to be disciplined. Some of the alternatives out there just didn’t make sense for us. We didn’t want to sign someone just to sign someone.”

The miss with Williams worked out in a sense for the Chiefs. Veach said if the Chiefs had signed Williams, they wouldn’t have been able to afford to sign defensive tackle Jarran Reed

The effort with Williams indicated the Chiefs wouldn’t just be settling for any left tackle. They had free-agent options and could have used the first-round pick they used instead in the Brown trade on a left tackle.

The Chiefs liked none of those alternatives as much as Brown, who won’t turn 25 until next month. For this trade to work the Chiefs need to sign Brown for the long term — he’s headed into the final year of his contract — but if they were able to load a hefty long-term deal for Williams before he declined, they’ll have the necessary money for Brown.

The offensive line renovation is reminiscent of what the Chiefs were able to do with their defense in 2019. They brought in a new defensive coaching staff and changed systems. They signed Tyrann Mathieu, traded for Frank Clark and in the season opener had six new starters from the previous season.

It took a few games before the transformation took hold but by season’s end the Chiefs were playing well defensively. With a huge assist from their defense, the Chiefs wound up winning the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years.

The Chiefs may or may not win a Super Bowl next season. But one thing seems certain from this very-early vantagepoint: If they don’t, their offensive line won’t be the reason why.

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Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy says he believes Dak Prescott will be cleared for camp

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FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy says he believes Dak Prescott will be completely cleared for work by the time training camp begins in July, if not sooner.

“I have no reason not to think that,” McCarthy said Saturday. “I think this week in Phase 2 will be a nice step in that direction.”

Prescott’s recovery from the compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle he suffered last October has gone well. He has been at The Star for rehab and workouts and has also been working out with his personal quarterbacks coach.

The Cowboys open Phase 2 of the offseason program with on-field teaching sessions this week. In Phase 3, they will go through organized team activities and the mandatory minicamp that runs June 8-10.

“He’ll do most things,” McCarthy said when asked what he anticipates Prescott will do during the on-field work. “There’s a plan in place that’s coordinated with [athletic trainers Britt Brown and Jim Maurer] and the training room so I know he feels really good. He’s really had some excellent workouts here in the last couple weeks. I’d see him doing most of the work.”

After suffering the injury last October, Prescott was given a four-to-six month recovery period. He had a second clean up surgery in December that was unrelated to the break, but the Cowboys had no worries about making him the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL with a four-year, $160 million contract.

In the wild-card round of the 2018 playoffs, wide receiver Allen Hurns suffered an injury similar to Prescott and was back on the field taking part in the organized team activities and minicamp.

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Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy expects Dak Prescott to be cleared for training camp

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FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy believes Dak Prescott will be completely cleared for work by the time training camp begins in July, if not sooner.

“I have no reason not to think that,” McCarthy said. “I think this week in Phase 2 will be a nice step in that direction.”

Prescott’s recovery from the compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle he suffered last October has gone well. He has been at The Star for rehab and workouts and has also been working out with his personal quarterbacks coach.

The Cowboys open Phase 2 of the offseason program with on-field teaching sessions this week. In Phase 3, they will go through organized team activities and the mandatory minicamp that runs June 8-10.

“He’ll do most things,” McCarthy said when asked what he anticipates Prescott will do during the on-field work. “There’s a plan in place that’s coordinated with [athletic trainers Britt Brown and Jim Maurer] and the training room so I know he feels really good. He’s really had some excellent workouts here in the last couple weeks. I’d see him doing most of the work.”

After suffering the injury last October, Prescott was given a four-to-six month recovery period. He had a second clean up surgery in December that was unrelated to the break, but the Cowboys had no worries about making him the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL with a four-year, $160 million contract.

In the wild-card round of the 2018 playoffs, wide receiver Allen Hurns suffered an injury similar to Prescott and was back on the field taking part in the organized team activities and minicamp.

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Ja’Wuan James considering grievance to recoup potential lost 2021 salary, source says

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Former Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James is strongly considering filing a grievance through the NFL Players Association for lost wages after he tore his Achilles tendon away from the team facility, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Saturday.

James, who was released Friday with a post-June 1 designation, could seek more than $10 million in salary for the 2021 season that the Broncos appear likely to void after they designated him with a non-football injury.

The injury has already been a flashpoint between the NFL and the NFLPA over the “non-football injury” designation, which means teams are not required to pay players their full base salaries if they were injured outside of team facilities.

The day after James was injured earlier this month, he was specifically named in a memo from the NFL’s management council to team executives and head coaches. In that memo it was outlined under the “Non-Football Injuries” designation that teams like the Broncos would have “no contractual obligation” to pay players like James who were injured away from the team facilities.

The memo also outlined why a player’s salary would be paid if the injury had been suffered during a workout at a team’s complex. The memo also said: “Clubs are encouraged to remind players of the significant injury-related protection provided if they choose to work out at the club facility and the risks they undertake in choosing to train at a non-NFL location.”

The NFLPA responded two days later in an email to players that said: “It was gutless to use a player’s serious injury as a scare tactic to get you to come running back to these workouts.” Free-agent safety and NFLPA executive board member Michael Thomas also told ESPN’s Dan Graziano this week that “all the players are watching” how James’ situation plays out.

The 28-year-old James suffered his season-ending injury earlier this month. On Friday, he posted on social media that his “surgery went well,” adding: “Appreciate everyone reaching out. Always remaining positive & striving to be better than yesterday.”

Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, whom Denver was trying to trade in recent days, also suffered a torn knee ligament in a workout away from the team’s complex, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.

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