Chiefs Rumors

Eric Fisher Injuries Groin In Practice

The Chiefs will be down one of their top players Sunday, with Tyreek Hill out for the foreseeable future. But they now have another offensive cornerstone player questionable because of a late-week injury. Eric Fisher suffered a groin injury during Kansas City’s Friday practice and is now questionable, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). The former No. 1 overall pick has not missed a start since his rookie season, in 2013, so it will look a bit strange if he is not manning his left tackle post in Oakland. The Chiefs have former Browns first-rounder Cameron Erving as a possible backup option; Erving did not play last week in Jacksonville. They also have former guard-tackle starter Jeff Allen on their bench and traded Carlos Hyde for Texans tackle Martinas Rankin.

Chiefs Cut KR Tremon Smith

The Chiefs have moved on from a former draft pick. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that Kansas City has cut special teamer Tremon Smith. The team will be promoting receiver Byron Pringle from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.

Smith, a 2018 sixth-round pick, broke onto the scene as a rookie after earning NFL All-Rookie Team honors as a return man. He ultimately finished the 2018 season having returned 33 kicks for 886 yards (26.8-yard average). However, he played sparingly on defense, compiling only five tackles and one pass defended in 14 games. The Chiefs also briefly experimented with him at running back during the preseason.

With the Chiefs in need of receivers following the injury to Tyreek Hill, it made sense to move on from Smith, although there’s a good chance the 23-year-old could land on Kansas City’s practice squad. For the time being, the Chiefs will likely turn to Pringle and De’Anthony Thomas for return duties.

Pringle, 25, joined the Chiefs in 2018 as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas State. He made his NFL debut in Kansas City’s season-opener, but he was let go earlier this week to make room for Thomas, who returned from suspension.

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AFC West Notes: Bolts, Gates, Rivers, Chiefs

Despite losing Hunter Henry to yet another serious injury, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn did not seem optimistic on a potential reunion with Antonio Gates, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN. “I have not been in contact with Antonio,” Lynn said. “I’m not sure what his situation is.”

After Henry’s injury last year, Gates was brought back to the only organization he’s ever known, serving mostly in a backup role. Appearing in all 16 games for the Chargers, Gates totaled 28 receptions for 333 yards, with only two touchdowns.

In the interim, the Chargers seem content with expanding the roles of tight ends Virgil Green and Sean Culkin while Henry recovers from his injury. Green is coming off a lackluster 2018 campaign, where he hauled in 19 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown, while appearing in all 16 games for the Chargers. Despite this, he is expected to start, with Culkin serving in a back up role.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • For the second straight day, wide receiver Mike Williams was absent from Chargers practice, and is not looking good for Sunday’s game against the Lions, according to Eric D. Williams. Lynn has been concerned about the knee of Mike Williams, and another missed practice tomorrow would not bode well for his chances of suiting up this weekend.
  • On the most recent edition of the RapSheet + Friends Podcast, quarterback Philip Rivers spoke with NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport about a number of topics, including his current contract. “I really just feel at peace about that. Tom [Telesco] and I had really good conversations throughout the last couple months. I think it’s sincere, the both of us, really desire I’m still a Charger in 2020,” Rivers told Rapoport. “I think that sincerity will make it all work out. Had it worked out before the regular season got started, I’d have been fine with it, but it didn’t. Shoot, hey let’s just wait and it kinda worked best for both sides to do that. I really feel good about it. I’m in a good place.” Rivers is in the final year of a four-year, $83.25 million contract extension he signed in August 2015.
  • In an effort to create cap space, Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher‘s contract was restructured, which included the conversion of his $9.54MM base salary to a fully guaranteed roster bonus that will be prorated from 2019 to 2021, dropping his 2019 cap hit to about $6.4MM, according to Yahoo Sports’ Terez A. Paylor. Paylor also reports that linebacker Anthony Hitchens‘ restructure, which included the conversion of $5.6MM of his base salary to a fully guaranteed roster bonus that will also be prorated from 2019 to 2022, created roughly $4.2MM in cap room.

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill To Miss 4-6 Weeks

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, sources tell NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Recovery from his sternoclavicular joint injury won’t be fun, but on the plus side, the Chiefs are not planning on putting him on injured reserve. If he was placed on IR, Hill would be barred from playing for at least eight weeks. 

It’s a bad blow for the Chiefs, but they might not miss a beat thanks to their collection of outstanding offensive weapons. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins is in the midst of a renaissance and rookie Mecole Hardman offers a similar skillset to the lightning-quick Hill.

Hill opened up his season with two catches for 16 yards and one carry for five yards against the Chiefs before being forced out with his injury. If he misses exactly six weeks, he’ll be back in time to face the Packers on October 27. In the interim, KC faces the Raiders, Ravens, Lions, Colts, Texans, and Broncos.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 9/10/19

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

 

Chiefs Create Cap Space

The Chiefs did base salary-to-signing bonus conversions for linebacker Anthony Hitchens & offensive tackle Eric Fisher, Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With that, they’ve carved out nearly $10.6MM in cap room for this year. 

Between these deals and the cap-smoothing extension for Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs are in solid cap position. Of course, they’ll be in better position in general when Hill returns to action, but they have plenty of offensive firepower to keep things moving in the interim.

Hitchens signed a five-year, $45MM deal with the Chiefs in 2018 that made him the league’s seventh-highest paid inside linebacker on an annual basis, at the time of signing. The pact counted for $3.6MM against Kansas City’s salary cap last year, but was set to triple in size for this year. Fun fact: The Chiefs tried to trade for Hitchens in 2017, when he was on the Cowboys. Ultimately, they got their man anyway.

Fisher, 28, is under contract through 2021 thanks to the four-year, $48MM extension he inked in 2016. There’s no guaranteed money in the final year of the contract, but the Chiefs have no plans to ditch him after he earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in 2018.

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Contract Details: Tyreek Hill, Joe Haden

Here are some contract details on a pair of recently-signed extensions:

  • Tyreek Hill, WR (Chiefs): Three years, $54MM. Injury guarantee is $35.26MM. $18.34MM guaranteed as of tomorrow (via $5.8MM signing bonus, 2019 minimum base salary, 2020 minimum base salary, $11MM roster bonus (paid in 2020)). Cashflow includes $6.52MM (2019), $16.2MM (2020), $15.4MM (2021). Team has flexibility to go year-by-year, roster bonuses determined early in league year. Details via Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com on Twitter.
  • Joe Haden, CB (Steelers): Two years, $22MM. $13.8MM signing bonus, dropping 2019 salary from $10MM to $1.2MM (with a $3MM roster bonus). Non-guaranteed $7MM via salary/bonuses for 2020 and 2021. Cap numbers: $8.772MM (2019), $12.6MM (2020), $12.6MM (2021). Details via ESPN’s Dan Graziano on Twitter.

Mahomes Has Ankle Sprain

  • Fans were also left holding their breath when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went limping off the field. Mahomes returned to Kansas City’s win over the Jaguars, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game Mahomes had a sprained ankle, according to Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). It doesn’t sound like Mahomes will miss any games, although his mobility may be limited moving forward.

Latest On Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill

Potentially scary situation out of Jacksonville, as Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill was transported to a local hospital after suffering what looks like a serious injury during the team’s game against the Jaguars.

The Chiefs released a statement that might raise more questions than it answers, which you can read courtesy of this tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The statement is vague, but it makes it sound like Hill came close to something very serious as his “clavicle came into [his] sternum,” but ultimately dislocated his shoulder. In a separate tweet, Rapoport notes that it’s a “rare” injury, and that Packers receiver Jake Kumerow missed about two months with the same issue last year.

Fortunately, Hill seems to have dodged a bullet. He won’t require surgery and will “miss a couple of weeks,” a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com (Twitter link). Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that it’ll be a “few” weeks. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets that it sounds similar to an injury Danny Amendola suffered years ago, which the Rams treated as a “potential life-threatening situation.”

Details are still scarce, but the language in the Chiefs’ statement makes it seem like Hill came very close to having a serious medical issue. It looks like Kansas City’s offense will be without its best weapon for the next few games, although it likely won’t slow them down too much. The Chiefs put up 40 points today and continued to click even after Hill left the game, with number two receiver Sammy Watkins going off for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

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Chiefs, Tyreek Hill Agree To Extension

The Chiefs have agreed to a brand new deal with star wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The deal is worth $54MM over three years, Mike Florio of PFT tweets

Hill, of course, is a controversial figure. His partner, Crystal Espinal, has accused him of domestic violence, and, recently, there were allegations that Hill broke his three-year-old son’s arm. Hill did not receive league discipline or legal consequences for the claims of child abuse, and the Chiefs have stood by him.

Recently, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt met with Hill in person to discuss the latest controversy.

So I had a good visit with him,” Hunt said. “I’m not going to get into the details of that conversation, but it was a very frank conversation, talking to him about responsibility as he comes back to be a Kansas City Chief.

On the field, Hill has been absolute dynamite for the Chiefs. Last year, Hill nearly reached 1,500 yards receiving, averaged 17.0 yards per grab, and gave opposing defensive coordinators nightmares. His nickname – Cheetah – says it all. Hill is one of the fastest players in the entire league and one of the most dangerous on-field weapons the game has seen in years.

The $18MM average annual value of the deal makes Hill one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. It’s also shorter than it would have been, if not for his off-the-field issues, and includes a “unique structure” that is almost certainly team-friendly (Twitter link via Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports). Hill will get a relatively modest $5.8MM signing bonus, though the deal includes $35.2MM in total guarantees.

From a football perspective, the deal is a big win for the Chiefs. They boast one of the league’s very best offenses with a core that is locked down for years to come thanks to these recent extensions:

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