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The countdown to the Patrick Mahomes II era in Kansas City began the moment the Chiefs traded up to select the strong-armed quarterback in the first round of last year’s draft. Officially Customized New York Jets Jerseys , it is down to about six weeks.
Practically, it has already reached zero.
The Chiefs agreed to trade veteran quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins late Monday, a deal that will become official with the start of the new league year on March 14. In doing so, the Chiefs made a bold statement that they’re ready for Mahomes, a prolific passer during his college days at Texas Tech, to assume the starting job for the foreseeable future.
Mahomes dazzled coach Andy Reid and his staff during training camp, making the kinds of downfield throws that Smith could never accomplish. And when he made his regular-season debut in Week 17, when the Chiefs were already assured of the AFC West title and the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, he not only played well but returned in the fourth quarter to lead the winning drive against the Broncos.
It was the kind of performance – and the kind of moxie – that made Reid draw comparisons to another of his prot锟絞锟絪 from his days with the Packers: Brett Favre.
Those are big shoes to fill. Then again, so are the ones Smith is leaving behind.
For all the angst he caused fans by going 1-4 in the playoffs, Smith succeeded in stabilizing a franchise that had been turning over quarterbacks for years. He went 50-26 as a starter and made a couple of Pro Bowl appearances, setting a slew of franchise records in the process.
”Alex, you are the definition of a true leader and your professionalism helped me grow as a player,” Chiefs offensive guard Laurence Duvernay-Tardif said in a statement posted to Twitter.
”Can’t say enough about the type of friend and teammate Alex Smith has been since getting to Kansas City,” Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman said, adding ”the Sherman family will miss the Smith family.”
Yet the Chiefs knew they were going to move on from Smith in part because of the hefty price tag that came with the final year of his contract. And his strong performance last season made Smith a hot commodity with at least five teams along with the Redskins.
That bidding war, even this early in the offseason, drove up the Chiefs’ asking price.
They wound up solving more than one problem in the trade with Washington: The Chiefs, drained of draft picks by previous trades, got a third-round choice in April; they acquired Kendall Fuller, one of the league’s top slot cornerbacks and a potential starter on the outside opposite Marcus Peters; and they freed up nearly $16 million in salary cap space to make additional moves in free agency.
Kansas City now has a pick in the second round and two in the third, along with selections in the later rounds, which could be used to address other pressing issues on defense.
Fuller certainly addressed one of them. He was a first-round talent who dropped to the third round coming out of Virginia Tech because of injury concerns Youth John Franklin-Myers Jersey , yet has played to a first-round grade – and stayed healthy – during his first two seasons with in the league. Scot McCloughan, the former Redskins general manager who drafted him in 2016, said on Twitter shortly after news of the trade broke: ”I would never have traded Kendall. He can play inside and outside, he’s high character, young and a football player.”
He’s also a bargain. Fuller will count $647,500 against the salary cap in 2018 and $750,000 the next season, giving the Chiefs a starting-caliber cornerback at a discount rate.
The Chiefs are expected to free up additional cap space by restructuring or moving on from some of their veterans, such as linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson. That in turn gives them some financial flexibility to sign some of their young stars to long-term deals – Peters and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, for example – or pursue help for their shortcomings in free agency.
They could still use help in the defensive backfield, linebacker and pass rush remains an issue, the offensive line needs additional depth and the wide receiver corps could use another target.
Now that the Chiefs have found a trade partner for Smith, the work in those areas begins.


NEW YORK — A lineup shakeup produced the desired results Monday night for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately for the New York Mets, rookie manager Mickey Callaway already unsuccessfully pulled that out of his bag of tricks.
The Pirates will look to lock up a series win Tuesday over the free-falling Mets Tuesday night, when the two teams play the middle game of a three-game set at Citi Field.
Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl (5-5, 4.56 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Mets left-hander Steven Matz (3-5, 3.68 ERA).
The Pirates ended a five-game losing streak Monday night, when a rejiggered top of the lineup scored five runs in a 6-4 victory.
The Pirates’ top three batters — Starling Marte, Josh Bell and Josh Harrison — were all occupying those spots for the first time this season. Marte scored three runs and stole two bases, Bell hit a two-run homer and Harrison delivered a sacrifice fly and scored a run.
The six runs were the most the Pirates (37-41) have scored since an 8-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on June 17. Pittsburgh scored nine runs in the subsequent six games.
“If it’s broken, you have to fix it, right?” Bell said Monday night. “Changing things up, giving us all a new view. Marte hasn’t led off in a while. ‘J-Hey’ is hitting third. Changing things up Customized Oakland Raiders Jerseys , it might have been the spark that we needed.”
The Mets (31-45) have been looking for a spark for weeks. New York has lost seven straight, 18 of 22 and 20 of 64 since an 11-1 start to fall dangerously close to the bottom of the National League. The only team with a worse record in the Senior Circuit is the Miami Marlins, who rank mere percentage points behind at 32-47.
Shuffling the lineup hasn’t worked for Callaway, who had three players (second-place batter Jose Bautista, cleanup batter Dominic Smith and sixth-place batter Jose Reyes) in unfamiliar spots Monday. Smith was batting cleanup for the first time this year while Bautista and Reyes were occupying their spots for the second and third time, respectively.
Against the New York Yankees on June 9, Callaway batted Amed Rosario leadoff for the first time as a major leaguer and Todd Frazier and Brandon Nimmo second and third, respectively, for the first time this season in a 4-3 loss.
With the Mets seeing no immediate payoff for Callaway’s mixing and matching, he is left to hope the lessons learned from the extended bleak times will yield results down the road.
“As hard as it’s been, we have to understand that this is something that we can benefit from in the long run,” Callaway said Monday afternoon. “No matter how many times you fall, you can learn from it. And I think our guys understand that and we talk about that type (of) stuff all the time.”
Kuhl and Matz will both be looking to bounce back from rough losses last Thursday.
Kuhl allowed eight runs over two innings as the Pirates fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-3. The eight runs were the second-most Kuhl’s allowed as a big leaguer while the two innings pitched marked his second-shortest start.
Matz gave up five runs over 5 2/3 innings in the Mets’ 6-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies. The five earned runs were a season-high for Matz, who allowed three runs or fewer in his seven of his previous eight starts.
Kuhl took the defeat in his only previous start against the Mets on May 26, 2017, when he gave up five runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Pirates lost, 8-1.
Matz also lost his lone start against the Pirates on June 7, 2016, when he allowed two runs over five innings as the Mets fell, 3-1.


Mer 17 Oct - 04:32 (2018)
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