Chiefs Musings: Draft Tidbits and 2017 Schedule
By Nick Athan
We think the NFL schedule will debut to the world on Thursday evening. If that’s the case, there are already rumblings the Kansas City Chiefs will open the 2017 Regular Season against the Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots in Foxboro. Will KC get any other prime time games? How about some Royals and Jayhawks tidbit as well?
Kansas City Chiefs – It might be the worst kept secret in the NFL, when it comes to the upcoming announcement of the 2017 schedule, but it appears the Chiefs will open the season on the road Thursday, (September 7th) in Foxboro, to face the defending Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots.
If the multiple reports are true this morning, at least the Chiefs are getting their most difficult game of the brutal road season they face this year, out of the way. With that said, I’d just give the Chiefs the double duty of playing at Oakland Raiders in week two, so they can get some pain out of this brutal road schedule out of the way. In my view, anyway you slice the upcoming season, the Chiefs at best, will be an 8-8 team.
However, my prognostication aside, which is based on having the second or third toughest schedule in the NFL this year, and the fact they won the AFC West last year, means they’ll likely get four prime time games to showcase the success they enjoyed in 2016.
With the NFL leaning very heavy on NFC games on Turkey day the last several years, the scheduling options do favor the Kansas City Chiefs playing the Dallas Cowboys on CBS on Thanksgiving Day. Kansas City, which used to host the Turkey Day game back in the 60’sand early 70’s, would be an attractive get for CBS to host a game between the two teams who lost at home to open their 2016 playoff run.
If the schedule makers reward Kansas City for their tough road schedule with two high profile primetime games away from Arrowhead, they should get at least two games at home on NBC or ESPN. Assuming the Chiefs open on the road against the Patriots, they’re likely going to open the season week two in prime time. The candidates for that game include the Oakland Raiders or Pittsburgh Steelers. Both games a year ago at Arrowhead (plus the Christmas night game at home versus the Denver Broncos) were three of the highest viewed prime time games by NBC in 2016. As far as ESPN, it’s unlikely Kansas City gets a home Monday night game, instead they’ll likely get another Thursday clash at Arrowhead late in the season.
Chiefs Draft Tidbits – Believe it or not, I can’t get a pulse on the Chiefs upcoming draft thoughts about pick #1 (27). There is so much smoke centering on Kansas City selecting one of six quarterbacks they have on their radar, I can’t judge, if they’ll take one in rounds one, two or three. I’m certain of this, they’ll draft one, but when that occurs, remains a mystery.
My reasoning it will happen later, tends to lean on the fact, I can’t see Head Coach, Andy Reid and General Manager, John Dorsey (both without a contract for 2018 and beyond), would open themselves up to the Chiefs Nation, about starting the young quarterback they select, that might has star potential in the eyes of the fan in 2018 versus their demands to play him in 2017. There is NO question in my mind, incumbent starter, Alex Smith will not guide the Chiefs to another playoff win in what will be his final season in a Chiefs uniform once the 2017 has concluded (with KC missing the post season). He’s in an absolute no win scenario, that even Captain James T. Kirk, could alter him being a winning decision to be the teams’ starter this season.
If that’s the case, and I argue against anyone telling me anything different, Reid won’t have the chops to play the young kid, on a team that could absorb the move with a solid defense. In my view, they could stand up to the ups and downs of a young quarterback such as Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, and my personal preference for the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes.
You can believe all you want about my theory Kansas City Chiefs Chairman of the Board, Clark Hunt, may not be anxious to sign Reid and Dorsey to an extension, until he sees them penetrate the glass ceiling of playoff futility in Kansas City, but I think it has merit.
You can spin all the good things each man has brought to the table the past four years. However, you can’t argue their post season record in three trips to the Super Bowl tournament, stands at a disappointing and finger pointing 1-4 record. That’s not a Super Bowl winning percentage nor one that should be rewarded with rich new deals.
In my view, though the hard-core base is in denial, the Chiefs fans are sick and tired of waiting for someone to take control of this organization, that will bring some fire and brimstone to its core. If they don’t get their act together soon, they run the risk of a fan base won’t pay higher prices at Arrowhead to watch Reid, Dorsey and Smith, tank again under the pressure.
Kansas City Royals – With their recent home sweep of the Anaheim Angels, the Royals finally climbed back to the Mendoza line. That’s a good thing. However, the fact it took them two weeks to do it, is a tad bit concerning. Still, when you consider that Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Paulo Orlando (who for some reason continues to play every day and isn’t in Omaha or released), this team has played as well as it can to open their April schedule.
Yet of the three concerns, Hosmer appears to be a player caught between hos internal desire to remain with the Royals long term, and his agent Scott Boras, who had been attempting to work out a new deal, can be seen visibly with his play at the plate.
In that vein, I’m told Royals General Manager; Dayton Moore had been pushing to sign the Royals most popular player to an extension before the start of the season. In fact, Moore and Boras met face to face last month to get that done, but despite a big time offer on the table endorsed by Royals Owner, David Glass, Hosmer hasn’t been able to get his agent to budge, who believes a bigger deal awaits his client after the 2017 season. The problem with that theory is that deal isn’t coming in 2018. Hosmer is the premier defensive first basemen in the game. Offensively, he’ll hit between 20-25 home runs and drop down 100 plus RBI’s, but that’s his ceiling. The Royals know it, and if Boras thinks he can get Hosmer $200 million, he’ll be traded well before the July deadline. As it stands now, you can forget any talks centering on Hosmer soon, until the Royals first baseman decides otherwise. Only Hosmer has the power to get this deal done, but has yet to break the spell his agent has vast over his real value.
On the plus side, the Royals have engaged in serious talks with Third basemen, Mike Moustakas, another Boras client. I’ve heard rumblings that the deal could be very similar in length and dollars as to the one that, Alex Gordon, signed prior to the 2016 season. If that’s the case, and I can argue Moose over Hosmer makes far more sense for Kansas City, it would be a wise move after the hot start to the 2017 season that Moose has had with the bat, that Moore get this deal done before the end of April.
Kansas Jayhawks – I might be in the absolute minority who thought this was possible, but I think Guard, Josh Jackson, made a big-time mistake not returning to Kansas for his Sophomore season. Putting aside his missteps off the court, and there are plenty of them to discuss, the kid appears to be someone that’s not ready for the NBA. Sure, his basketball talents are off the charts, but his inability to corral his emotions (on the court and multiple times off the court), should have come his senses that one more year under the tutelage and guidance of Head Coach, Bill Self, plus the Senior leadership of Guard, Devonte Graham, would benefit the young player in the long run.
If he indeed chose the lesser of the well-traveled one and done NBA roads, the Jayhawks would have risen atop the 2018 Final Four Championship betting lines in Las Vegas. Sadly with the news Jackson hired and agent, and the decision of certain 2017 Lottery Pick, Miles Austin decided to return to the Spartans this season, the battle versus Jackson for a potential national championship game, would have been legendary.