Patrick Mahomes is not fazed by no longer being the NFL's highest-paid quarterback because his contract still means he is "set for life".

When he put pen to paper on a 10-year, $450million extension with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020, Mahomes became the best-paid player in the league with an average annual salary of $45m.

However, deals signed by Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson this offseason have bumped the Chiefs signal caller down to fourth on the list.

It is not something that matters to Mahomes, who expects he will slip further away from the top spot in the coming years.

"When I signed my deal, I knew I was going to be pretty set for life regardless of how the market happens,'' Mahomes said.

"You just keep playing. Money is one thing, but when you get those Super Bowl rings at the end of your career, I think that's going to be the thing that you look back upon. I think I've made enough money from the football field and off of it as well that it won't matter at the end of the day.

"Especially at the quarterback position, the next guy is the top-paid guy. Any of these top-tier quarterbacks, they make such a difference on NFL football teams that [older contracts are] going to get passed up.

"They'll keep setting the bar even higher. You always want to get paid and take care of your family, but I want to have a great team around me as well. Whatever way that is, I'm going to make sure I have a great team around me for the rest of my career."

The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Orlando Brown last March but were unable to sign him to a long-term deal before last week's deadline, and it is unclear whether the left tackle will report for training camp next week.

"He's a great team player. He has a high IQ," Mahomes said. "You want him to be here just because of the guy he is, and he's a leader on this football team.

"But at the same time when it comes to money and contracts and stuff like that, I never force anyone to do anything because I know they're trying to provide for their family long term. But as a team-mate and as a friend, you want him to be here and be a part of this.

"It didn't work out for him this offseason the way that he wanted it to, but whenever he gets here I'm sure he will be ready to go and he'll go out there and show what calibre of player he is again."

For years, there has been talk of the NFL entering an era of 'positionless' football and, looking back on the 2021 season, there is a case to be made that it's finally here.

With the league dominated by dual-threat quarterbacks and defenses increasingly reliant on secondary defenders who can move around the field, the phrase 'the more you can do' has never more definitively applied to the NFL – at least not since the bygone era of the two-way player.

Indeed, players who can excel in several positions and fulfil a multitude of different roles are more valuable than ever, with three of the teams that made last season's final four dependent on players who are among the league's most versatile.

Using advanced data, Stats Perform can break down the league's multi-faceted stars and look at some of the more versatile players who have flown somewhat under the radar.

The NFC West Unicorns

Aaron Donald - Los Angeles Rams

We would be remiss to mention the most versatile players in the league and not start it with Donald.

Donald is the NFL's pre-eminent defensive player and the most remarkable aspect of his dominance is that he maintains it irrespective of where he lines up on the defensive line.

His pressure rate of 28.1 per cent last year led all interior defensive linemen and it only dipped to 27.7 per cent when he moved out to the edge, though he did so for just 94 pass-rush snaps in 2021 compared to 448 from his defensive tackle position.

And 108 of his 127 pressures on the inside involved him beating a pass protector. That was the case for 23 of his 26 edge pressures, which illustrates his ability to confound offensive linemen regardless of whether he's working within tight confines or from wide-open space.

Jalen Ramsey - Los Angeles Rams

Donald is the engine of the Los Angeles defense, but a unit that has leaned on its top-end talent would not have remained among the league's elite if not for the presence of arguably the NFL's top secondary defender.

Ramsey still played the vast majority of his snaps as an outside corner in 2021, playing 784 in that position. However, as the 'star' player on the Los Angeles defense, Ramsey spends most of his time locked on an opponent's top receiver, which frequently means playing in the slot.

Indeed, Ramsey played 366 snaps in the slot and was outstanding when lined up there. Targeted 31 times from the slot, Ramsey allowed a burn, which is when a receiver wins a matchup on a play in which they're targeted, 38.7 per cent of the time. The league average for slot corners with at least 50 coverage snaps was 50.7 per cent.

Ramsey posted the ninth-lowest burn yards per target average (5.84) and was the seventh-best slot by big play rate. He gave up a big play on just 6.5 per cent of targets.

His numbers as an outside corner were less impressive. Ramsey gave up a burn 48 per cent of the time and surrendered 10.32 burn yards per target. However, his big-play rate allowed of 19.4 per cent was still better than the average of 26.1 per cent (min. 50 snaps) and amounted to him giving up 15 big plays on 75 targets across 398 coverage snaps.

In other words, Ramsey allowed a big play on under four per cent of his coverage snaps as an outside corner. The 'lockdown defender' tag applies to Ramsey wherever he is on the field.

Deebo Samuel - San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have dug in their heels and refused to indulge Samuel's trade request, with their determination to hold on to the wide receiver unsurprising given his outsized value to San Francisco's offense.

Samuel is to the 49ers' offense what Donald is to the Rams' defense. Last season, he was the reason it worked and the reason the Niners came agonisingly close to completing three wins over the Rams and claiming the NFC championship.

In a career year for Samuel, he racked up 1,405 receiving yards, leading the league with 18.2 yards per reception while his 10.1 yards after catch average was also the best among wideouts.

Yet it was the way in which the Niners utilised his ability in the open field to turn him into a de-facto running back in the second half of last season that weaponized the San Francisco offense.

When lined up in the backfield as a running back, Samuel averaged 6.58 yards per rush last season. He recorded 4.11 yards before contact per attempt, 2.67 yards after contact and averaged 4.77 yards per attempt on carries in which there was a run disruption by a defender. 

No running back could match his yards per carry average or top his performance on rushes disrupted by a defender. Rashaad Penny of the Seattle Seahawks and Dontrell Hilliard of the Tennessee Titans were the only players with over 50 carries at running back to average over 4.0 yards before contact per rush. Kareem Hunt (2.84) of the Cleveland Browns was the only player to average more yards after contact per attempt than Samuel.

With the option to hand the ball off to Samuel or flare him out and get him the ball on screens, lining Deebo up in the backfield allowed the Niners to limit Donald's impact for long periods and lessen Ramsey's effectiveness when he played the 'star' role by forcing him to follow Samuel into the box.

The duplicity Samuel brings in his hybrid receiver-running back role is critical to head coach Kyle Shanahan winning the play-calling chess match. Despite his trade demands, it's why the Niners will ensure he remains on their board.

Cooper Kupp - Los Angeles Rams

While Kupp may not do the damage Samuel does out of the backfield, it is impossible to leave the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year off this list.

Kupp was the only receiver in the NFL last season to finish in the top five in burn yards per route as an outside receiver (fourth, 3.9) and from the slot (third, 4.0).

On top of that, he was fifth in big-play rate among outside receivers with at least 50 targets, registering an explosive on 39.7 per cent of targets. Only two wideouts, Christian Kirk (36.7) of the Arizona Cardinals and Cedrick Wilson (36.5) of the Dallas Cowboys produced a higher rate of big plays from the slot than Kupp's 36.4 per cent.

Lined up for 24 snaps as a running back, Kupp was also utilised as a safety net for Matthew Stafford out of the backfield on occasion. His proficiency in contributing to pass protection by blocking defenders before getting out into his route perfectly encapsulated just how well-rounded of a player he has become.

Queens on the Chessboard

Cordarrelle Patterson - Atlanta Falcons

Patterson was overdrafted by the Minnesota Vikings back in 2013, but he carved out a hybrid role last season in the Atlanta offense in which he, like Samuel, spent time in the backfield and lined up as a receiver.

Designated as a running back, Patterson averaged 4.07 yards per carry, racking up 2.0 yards after contact per attempt and 3.06 yards per attempt on rushes in which there was a disruption by a defender.

Among running backs who registered 100 carries and were targeted 50 times, Patterson's 22.6 per cent big-play rate on passing targets was the highest in the NFL. Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints was second at 21.3.

With the Falcons transitioning to a new era at quarterback as Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder compete for the job, Patterson's ability to create yards after contact as a runner and explosive plays on routes out of the backfield will again be extremely valuable in 2022.

Between Patterson, Kyle Pitts and first-round pick Drake London, the Falcons have a trio of malleable playmakers who can ensure the offense is still explosive as they move away from the Matt Ryan era.

Travis Kelce - Kansas City Chiefs

In terms of value to his team, Kelce rivals Samuel with the multiple roles he plays for the Chiefs and the importance of him excelling from several spots will likely increase in 2022 following the Chiefs' trade of Tyreek Hill.

One of the league's most effective 'power slots' who uses his size and route running to his advantage when lined up as a de-facto slot receiver, Kelce played 333 snaps in that position in 2021.

He played 184 as an outside receiver and 136 from his traditional in-line tight end spot in an encapsulation of the evolution of a position that has grown ever more multi-faceted.

Kelce's burn rate from all three spots was over 70 per cent. He won his matchup with a defender on 79.1 per cent of targets as an in-line tight end. That ratio dipped to 76.3 per cent as an outside receiver and 74.4 per cent from the slot.

The majority of his big plays, however, came when he lined up outside. Kelce produced a big play on 34.8 per cent of his targets as an outside receiver and 32.3 per cent from the slot. He was not as explosive as an in-line tight end, a spot from where he delivered a big play 25.8 per cent of the time.

Though the numbers at each alignment may differ, they all paint the same picture: a playmaker who gets open regardless of where he is on the field. Combined with his underrated blocking, Kelce's remarkable versatility makes him one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL.

Elgton Jenkins - Green Bay Packers

Jenkins has played every position in the trenches apart from right guard during his three seasons in the NFL, and in that time he has established himself as one of the best young offensive linemen in the NFL and an integral part of the Packers' attack.

Last season, Jenkins played the entirety of his snaps at left tackle before injury curtailed his campaign after eight games. He allowed only 11 pressures on 163 pass protection snaps, with his pressure rate of 6.7 per cent superior to the average of 9.2 per cent among left tackles.

Prior to that in 2020, Jenkins played most of his snaps at left guard, but also filled in at center and made cameos at both tackle spots. His pressure rate of 4.7 per cent was fifth among left guards that year. At center, he gave up a pressure on just 2.1 per cent of snaps – the third-best rate among players at the position.

Essentially, Jenkins is a rare breed of offensive lineman who can hold up in pass protection at every position on the offensive front. He appears set to slot in at right tackle for 2022, but Jenkins will likely be the first person the Packers call upon if they have an injury at another spot up front.

Ambidextrous Defenders

Micah Parsons - Dallas Cowboys

Parsons claimed NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2021 thanks to an exceptional first-year campaign that saw him make an unexpectedly outsized impact as a pass rusher.

On 220 pass-rush snaps, Parsons generated 69 pressures for a pressure rate of 31.4 per cent that was tops among linebackers with at least 50 pass rushes.

Parsons spent 153 of those snaps on the edge but also proved extremely effective in coverage. Allowing a burn on 41.9 per cent of targets last season, Parsons gave up only 6.86 yards per target – the fourth-fewest among linebackers targeted at least 25 times.

Also second for his position with a run disruption rate of 16.4 per cent, Parsons swiftly proved his ability to influence every facet of the game and his multiplicity will make him somebody opposing play-callers will constantly have to think about when game planning for the Cowboys.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - Cleveland Browns

Though Parsons was the standout defensive rookie in the league last season, he was not the best first-year linebacker in coverage. That distinction went to Owusu-Koramoah, who slid to the second round of the 2021 draft and went on to lead all linebackers with 5.83 burn yards per target allowed and give up a big-play rate of 4.5 per cent that was also the best for the position.

Owusu-Koramoah played most of his snaps (414) at inside linebacker but also spent time at outside linebacker, on the edge and in the slot on top of a handful of snaps at outside corner.

He did not pass rush often, logging just 27 snaps in that regard, but gained nine pressures for a pressure rate of 33.0 per cent. Against the run, he registered a disruption rate of 15.3 per cent.

Owusu-Koramoah is a player the Browns can trust to hold up in man and zone coverage and has the flexibility to operate in almost every position in the back seven. He can play the run extremely well and has produced encouraging flashes as a pass rusher to suggest he can grow in that area.

Any success the Browns enjoy on defense in 2022 will likely in part be a product of Owusu-Koramoah's malleability.

Chuck Clark - Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens added Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams to their safety room this offseason but have, to this point, kept hold of Clark.

On the surface, that may be something of a surprise. However, a deeper dive into the numbers illustrates the value he has to Baltimore's defense.

Though Clark operated at free safety for 526 snaps in 2021, he also played 108 at strong safety, 97 in the slot, 81 on the edge and over 100 at linebacker.

He defended double-digit targets from free safety, strong safety and in the slot. Only at free safety did he allow more 10 burn yards per target.

His average of 8.01 burn yards allowed per target when lined up as a deep safety was 12th in the NFL. In the slot, he gave up 9.25 per target – better than the average of 9.53 for slots with at least 50 snaps.

With Williams set to slide in at free safety, Hamilton and Clark will have the freedom to roam around the field in three-safety looks and their proficiency in playing the slot should offer the Ravens more answers in defending tight ends and the bigger wideouts that are spending an increasing amount of time on the inside.

Under the Radar Rovers

Kamren Curl - Washington Commanders

Sticking at the safety position and with teams that play their football in Maryland, Curl has quietly emerged as a stud who can fulfil a variety of roles in the defensive backfield.

Last season, Curl played 342 snaps as a free safety, 211 in the slot, 90 as a strong safety, 56 as an inside linebacker, 53 as an outside linebacker and 45 as an outside corner. To say the Commanders have confidence in him all over the field is putting it mildly.

Lined up as a deep safety, Curl allowed 6.02 burn yards per target – the best ratio in the NFL. He allowed a big play on 14.8 per cent of targets, which was the fourth-best rate among deep safeties.

In the slot, he surrendered only 6.15 burn yards per target and a big play on two of his 21 targets. Though Curl was not asked to do as much in coverage when he played closer to the line of scrimmage, he influenced the game with his play against the run. His run disruption rate of 10.0 per cent from the inside linebacker spot was equal to that of Derwin James of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Defensive centrepieces are rarely found in the seventh round, but the Commanders have clearly unearthed one who has the multiplicity to rival defenders of a much higher profile.

Elijah Moore - New York Jets

If former 49ers defensive coordinator and now Jets head coach Robert Saleh is hoping to develop his version of Deebo Samuel, then Moore may be his best candidate.

Moore thrived playing as both an outside receiver and in the slot in his rookie season after being picked in the second round last year. He was tied for 16th in burn yards per route (3.0) among receivers with at least 50 targets. Moore also finished 16th in that group in big-play rate, delivering a burn or a burn for a touchdown on 35.7 per cent of targets.

Though the explosive plays (25.7 per cent) dropped off when he was in the slot, Moore excelled at maximizing his separation as an inside receiver, finishing tied for 10th (min. 25 slot targets) with 3.1 burn yards per route.

Moore carried the ball only five times as a rookie, but he averaged over 10 yards per attempt, with one of those attempts going for a touchdown. Though it is an extremely small sample size, that's the kind of efficiency to suggest he should be given increased opportunities on designed touches out of the backfield in his second season.

Asking Moore to replicate Samuel would be ambitious. However, if he can succeed in a more varied role while continuing to produce from several receiver spots, it would be a substantial boost to Zach Wilson's hopes of a second-year leap.

The Kansas City Chiefs and offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. were unable to agree to a long-term contract, missing Friday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multi-year deals.  

Brown will make $16.7million under the franchise tag in 2022, but his future beyond that remains unsure.  

The Chiefs acquired Brown, 26, from the Baltimore Ravens last off-season, and he started 16 games last season protecting Patrick Mahomes' blindside.  

According to reports, the Chiefs had offered Brown a six-year contract that could be worth over $131m, but Brown’s agent, Michael Portner, balked at the lack of guarantees, especially late in the deal.  

"We got really close," Portner told NFL Network. "We enjoyed dealing with the Chiefs and we understand their position as well. I'm not gonna let these athletes sign a flashy contract without the substance or security there."

NFL Network previously reported that Brown would not report to the beginning of the Chiefs’ minicamp on July 26, but Brown has yet to declare his intentions.  

The stand-off between Brown and the Chiefs comes after long-time right tackle Mitchell Schwartz announced his retirement due to complications from a lingering back injury.  

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, a former All-Pro, has announced he is retiring from the NFL due to complications of a lingering injury.

Schwartz, 33, started 134 straight games before injuring his back in October 2020.

He underwent surgery the following February and sat out last season while undergoing rehabilitation.

On Thursday, he confirmed he has decided to call it a day, but has no regrets over the decision.

"I'm currently feeling as good as I have since then, but it’s clear my body won’t ever be the same," Schwartz said on Twitter.

"The nerve pain down my legs is no longer a daily occurrence, but it might never fully go away."

Schwartz was a second-round draft choice by the Cleveland Browns in 2012 and was an opening-day starter, beginning a streak of 7,894 consecutive snaps played.

That streak continued into his career with the Chiefs, with whom he signed as a free agent in 2016.

Schwartz was named to the All-Pro First Team in 2018 and was named a second-team All-Pro three times, in 2016, 2017, 2019.

With Schwartz starting at right tackle, the Chiefs amassed a 51-19 regular-season record and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ers in February 2020.

"I've enjoyed so much about my time in the NFL and am walking away feeling very fulfilled," Schwartz's statement continued.

"Winning the Super Bowl was the pinnacle of my career. My 7,894 consecutive snaps streak and four All-Pro nominations are my proudest individual accomplishments, far exceeding my own expectations."

Schwartz thanked his wife Brooke for making his career possible, along with multiple coaches and mentors, but his praise of Andy Reid was gushing.

"[Reid] is the best coach you can ask for and an even better person. It was a privilege to sit in those meetings and hear him speak. It is special being a part of his offense and football team," he said.

Schwartz said that he will continue to produce his "Mitch in the Kitch" video series, which airs on multiple platforms, and plans to continue living in Kansas City.

"My last thank you is to Kansas City and all the Chiefs fans," Schwartz said. "It has been a privilege to represent you on and off the field.

"The bond I've formed with this city and the people here lasts forever."

Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid took the high road when responding to criticism from former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, opting not to start a war of words through the media.

Mahomes did, however, say he did not expect to hear critical comments from Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins earlier this offseason.

Hill said on the first episode of his 'It Needed To Be Said' podcast that the Chiefs and Mahomes may struggle without him and argued he should have received the ball more last season.

"I'm surprised a little just because I feel like we love Tyreek here," Mahomes said at the conclusion of the Chiefs' offseason program Thursday. "We've always loved him. We still love him.”

Reid's comments were brief but echoed a similar sentiment.

"I love Tyreek," Reid said. "He's a good kid. We think the world of him."

Hill made a career-high 111 catches in 2021 and carried the ball nine times, totalling 1335 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns.

He also said his new quarterback, Miami's Tua Tagovailoa, is a more accurate passer than Mahomes.

"It doesn't get to me at all," said Mahomes, a former league MVP, on being compared to Tagovailoa.

"As long as we're winning football games and we're putting up points, I think I'm doing my job the right way. It doesn't have to be the best accuracy and completion percentage in the world. So long as we're scoring touchdowns and winning Super Bowls, I'll take it."

Mahomes said he has not spoken to Hill since the release of the podcast but mentioned there was no tension between them when they attended a Formula One race together in Miami last month.

"It's something where I'm sure he's trying to show he loves where he's at in Miami - he loves his teammates," Mahomes said. "But at the end of the day, it's just going out there and playing football. You kind of let other people talk about who is the best and other type of stuff. You just want to go out there and win football games."

Hill has hinted on social media that his comments were made strategically in an attempt to boost the confidence of his teammates, chiefly Tagovailoa.

Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III said on Twitter, "Tyreek knows Tua isn't Mahomes. Two different styles of play and Mahomes has certified greatness. Tua is accurate but [Hill] is just tired of people going in on his QB and I respect his support."

Hill replied: "Finally someone gets the message."

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has heard plenty of criticism from NFL pundits and fans about his arm strength and his deep throws.

One person not questioning his arm is new team-mate Tyreek Hill.

Speaking on his new podcast, 'It Needed To Be Said', Hill was asked by co-host Julius Collins who has the stronger arm, Tagovailoa or Hill's former quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes.

"Obviously, I'm going to go with 15 as the strongest arm, but as far as accuracy-wise, I'm going with Tua all day," Hill said.

Acquired in a trade with the Chiefs in March, Hill defended his new quarterback, saying he has plenty of arm strength and is adept at running an offense.

"I've had a chance to see Tua throw the ball, to myself, but he's that dude, bro," Hill said.

"What a lot of people don't know – I'm not just sitting just saying this because he's my quarterback now, I'm not trying to get more targets right now – what I'm trying to say is Tua is that deal, bro.

"Bro, he has a heck of an arm. He's accurate. He can throw the deep ball, and he actually goes through his reads, where people are on Twitter saying, 'Oh, he doesn't go through his reads'. Man, this dude is that dude."

Tagovailoa has come under fire for having nominal success on deep balls despite this being considered the golden age of passing with all the rules that give offenses an edge in the wide-open NFL.

Among the 30 quarterbacks with at least 300 attempts last season, only the New York Giants' Daniel Jones had fewer pass plays of 25-plus yards than Tagovailoa's 16, with 15.

Tagovailoa attempted just 11 passes of more than 20 yards in 2021, completing three of them for 112 yards with an interception. Meanwhile, Mahomes went 27 for 63 (42.9 per cent) for 1,098 yards with seven TD passes and two picks on throws of at least 20 yards.

However, Tagovailoa did throw more catchable balls on all throws last season, ranking fifth in well-thrown percentage at 81.0 per cent, while Mahomes ranked 12th at 79.5 per cent.

Hill threw more shade in Mahomes' direction, saying he did not need the 2018 NFL MVP to excel, pointing to a game against the Minnesota Vikings in 2019, when Matt Moore started for an injured Mahomes and the three-time All-Pro wide receiver finished with six catches for 140 yards.

"I just want people to understand I went for 150 with Matt Moore as my quarterback," Hill said. "I love you, Matt Moore.

"Versus the Minnesota Vikings. If you don't remember that game, 150 and one touchdown with Matt Moore as my quarterback. And Tua T is 10 Matt Moores. I love Matt Moore, but Tua T is 10 Matt Moores."

It is not surprising for a player to throw so much support behind a new team-mate the way Hill is embracing Tagovailoa, but it is still quite startling to see Hill give so much love to Moore while spurning Mahomes.

This will be Mahomes' first season without the six-time Pro Bowler Hill, so time will tell how the Kansas City offense operates without the dynamic playmaker.

The reigning Super Bowl champions will kick off the NFL season in Thursday night's primetime slot on September 8, as the Los Angeles Rams host this season's Super Bowl favourites, the Buffalo Bills.

There will be plenty of the Rams in this season's marquee timeslots as the full 2022-23 schedule was released on Thursday, including a Monday night fixture against the Green Bay Packers in week 15, and a Christmas Day game against Russell Wilson's Denver Broncos six days later.

The Broncos will not have to wait long for their first eyebrow-raising matchup, travelling to take on Wilson's former team, the Seattle Seahawks, in the first Monday night fixture of the season.

Week one's third primetime game sees Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading to 'Jerry World' to take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Patrick Mahomes – the man with the richest contract in the sport – will get his first primetime appearance of the season in week two's Thursday night showdown, as his Kansas City Chiefs host arguably Mahomes' only competition for best young quarterback, taking on Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers gets the Sunday night fixture in week two against the Packers' long-time rivals as the Chicago Bears come to town, and his week three matchup against Brady's Bucs will be must-see TV.

The Rams have the toughest strength-of-schedule based on their opponents' 2021-22 records (164-125, .567 winning percentage), while the Cowboys and the Washington Commanders are tied for the easiest schedule (133-155-1, .462 winning percentage).

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions will be the only team in NFL this season to not have a primetime game.

The complete week one schedule features:

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (Thursday night)

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday afternoon)

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (Sunday late-afternoon)

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers 

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday night)

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (Monday night)

The Kansas City Chiefs selected wide receiver Skyy Moore with the 54th pick in the NFL Draft.

Moore, 21, has shot up draft boards since the beginning of the pre-draft process after running a slick 4.41 40-yard dash, and had seven games in 2021 with at least eight catches and 100 yards.

The Western Michigan receiver's best game came against Northern Illinois, with 12 catches for 206 yards and four touchdowns. From 12 games, he finished the season with 1292 yards and 10 touchdowns from 95 receptions.

Kansas City are in desperate need of wide receiver help after trading superstar Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, and the hope will be that Moore can fill the role of a field-stretcher for Patrick Mahomes.

Moore was the 13th wide receiver selected in the first 54 picks, setting an NFL Draft record.

Plenty of bad teams have needs at wide receiver, but that is hardly unique to this 2022 NFL Draft.

The Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons, for instance, just need good players at any position.

Elsewhere, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears are attempting to build around young quarterbacks, perhaps optimistically hoping to follow the example of the Cincinnati Bengals – who took Joe Burrow and the 2021 WR1 Ja'Marr Chase all the way to the Super Bowl.

The upcoming draft is a little different, though, in that at least two teams with far more realistic title ambitions will be targeting the brightest and best receivers another deep class has to offer.

Both the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs have two first-round picks; particularly in the case of the Packers, they badly need them.

Aaron Rodgers is back for another year, but Davante Adams is not. Adams – who was stunningly traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, where he was given a lucrative contract – accounted for 30.6 per cent of the Packers' catches and 34.3 per cent of their receiving yards last season. He leaves a huge hole.

Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are returning and will have big roles to play, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling – the Packers' deep-ball option, with the greatest average depth of target in the NFL in consecutive seasons – is also gone.

The Packers are only too aware of what can happen when quarterback Rodgers is not backed in the first round of the draft, so it would be no great surprise to see two leading wideouts head to Green Bay.

The Chiefs are in a similar position, having also traded their dominant receiver and allowed another team – the Miami Dolphins – to pay Tyreek Hill. Only Adams (47) has caught more touchdown passes than Hill (43) since Patrick Mahomes' debut on New Year's Eve 2017.

Although Mahomes does have a leading tight end to fall back on in Travis Kelce, the Chiefs' work so far in this offseason – including bringing in Valdes-Scantling – does not quite look to have restored their offense to its former glories. Especially in the highly competitive AFC West that Adams now occupies.

Finding a player of the ilk of Adams or Hill is a tall order, but the Chiefs, like the Packers, have to try. So, who are the pass catchers under consideration in the first round?

Jameson Williams

On pure talent, Williams – who had 79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 TDs in 2021 – should be gone long before the Packers or the Chiefs are on the clock. But an ACL tear in January might see him fall just a little further.

There is not a statistic that reflects poorly on Williams, although he is of interest primarily due to the remarkable speed that makes him an elite separator, much like Hill. At Alabama, the transfer from Ohio State had a burn rate of 74.6 per cent, winning his matchup with a defender on almost three-quarters of his targets and recording 19.3 burn yards per target – both well clear of his fellow first-round candidates, as he was in getting open on 86.0 per cent of targets.

Hill (70.8 per cent) ranked fourth in the NFL last year for burn rate and was open on 82.7 per cent of targets.

Crucially, heading into the NFL, Williams showed himself to be capable of operating either out wide or in the slot. The 21-year-old's burn rate playing inside was 77.5 per cent, actually up on his 73.0 per cent playing as an outside receiver.

Garrett Wilson

Williams left Ohio State having found himself behind two receivers who may go in the first round this year – including Wilson, who is rivalling Williams for WR1 in a number of mock drafts.

Wilson had 70 catches for 1,058 yards and 12 TDs last year and also does not lack for speed, running a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. His calling cards, however, are the lower-body flexibility, foot quickness, and route-running savvy that propelled him to 15.1 yards per reception and allowed him to register a burn on 71.6 per cent of his targets.

Of the two Ohio State receivers on this list – we'll come on to the other – Wilson was less of a deep-ball threat, with his average depth of target 11.3 yards.

That is far from an issue for a team looking for a primary option, however, instead showing the variety that was asked of Adams (9.4 yards) and Hill (10.3 yards) in 2021.

Chris Olave

Completing the trio who were Buckeye team-mates for two seasons is Olave, who also shared touches with Wilson last year, even if they were tasked with different roles.

Olave was targeted on just 26.9 per cent of his routes, compared to 30.6 per cent for Wilson, but that was because he often provided the deep threat.

His average depth of target was 14.3 yards in 2021 and had been a huge 18.9 yards in his previous full season in 2019, third-most among Power 5 receivers. Perhaps he makes more sense for the Packers, who have just lost Valdes-Scantling, than for the Chiefs, who have just signed him.

Either way, this is a role Olave relishes, catching 13 TD passes last season to boost him to 35 across a four-year college career, the most in Ohio State history. A smooth and, like Wilson, detailed route-runner who tracks the ball extremely well, Wilson would surely thrive immediately if paired with Rodgers. 

Treylon Burks

If Olave does not fit the bill for either the Packers or the Chiefs, Burks might, for his game is completely different to the man from Ohio State.

Burks' average depth of target last year was just 9.4 yards as he was regularly deployed out of the backfield by Arkansas, who consistently got the ball in his hands through screen passes and designed hand-offs. 

Part of their reason for doing so was the threat Burks poses in the open field. He averaged 9.27 yards after the catch in 2021 – more than Williams' 9.16.

Burks far outperformed his 7.96 expected yards per target and recorded 14.08 burn yards per target, making excellent use of his combination of physicality and play speed that was not reflected by his 4.55 40-yard dash. 

Able to win downfield by relying on his frame and his route-running ability, Burks may possess the most varied skill set of any receiver in the draft, having registered 38 carries across three seasons with the Razorbacks and drawing comparisons to San Francisco 49ers 'wide back' Deebo Samuel.

If he can be that sort of player in the NFL, Burks works for the Packers, the Chiefs or just about anybody.

Jahan Dotson

While some on this list are worth considering for their physical attributes alone, it is Dotson's ball skills that make him stand out.

His catch rating – measured between 0 and 1 based on how well a receiver successfully catches throws that are considered catchable – was an outstanding 0.978 in 2021. He dropped only a single pass.

Reflecting on an incredible one-handed catch against Ohio State in 2020, the Penn State star said: "I approach that [ball] as a million dollars. It's a million dollars in the air. If you want it, you go get it." Dotson will make plenty of money in the NFL if he continues to rein in similar passes.

Dotson was not outstanding at beating defenders (63.8 per cent) or getting open (76.6 per cent) last season but still caught 12 TD passes on a Penn State team that struggled amid sub-par quarterback play in 2021.

Drake London

Now, the Packers and the Chiefs will not be looking at London as a like-for-like replacement for Adams or Hill.

Finding a comparison for London is not an easy task, as few players are blessed with his blend of size and fluidity as a route-runner. 

London is 6ft 4in but just 213lbs and initially played basketball as well as football at USC.

A broken ankle meant he did not run a 40-yard dash at either the NFL Combine or his pro day, but his speed is not considered to be anything special – not that it matters.

Despite getting open on just 67.2 per cent of his targets in 2021, he beat his defender in 71.3 per cent of matchups, speaking to the ease with which he can change direction. 

"I really don't have to blow by guys to catch the ball," he said. "I can, but I don't have to."

There were five drops, but London faced a huge number of contested catches and usually came out on top thanks to long arms and considerable wingspan.

He will need a quarterback who will trust him to come away with the ball even if he is not open, as was the case last season when he was targeted on a mammoth 42.4 per cent of his routes.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was shocked when his top wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, was traded away to the Miami Dolphins.

In his six seasons in Kansas City, Hill caught 479 passes for 6,630 yards and 56 touchdowns, emerging as arguably the most dangerous receiver in the entire NFL with his unique speed and explosiveness.

Hill signed a three-year, $54million extension with the Chiefs in 2019, but after recent extensions and signings – including a 10-year, $450m contract for Mahomes, and a four-year, $80m deal for defensive lineman Chris Jones – it appeared unrealistic that Kansas City would be able to afford his demands while adhering to the salary cap.

In March, the Las Vegas Raiders made Davante Adams the highest-paid receiver in league history with a five-year, $140m deal and six days later, Hill reset the market after being traded to the Dolphins for five draft picks, including a first and second round pick this year.

Hill's four-year deal has him earning an average of $30m per year, which is a number usually reserved for quarterbacks.

Speaking to the media on Monday as the Chiefs began their offseason program, Mahomes said that while he knew it was a possibility, he was still shocked to see Hill leave.

"My initial reaction was a little bit of shock,'' he said.

"Even though you knew this was a possibility, [losing] a guy you had played with and built a friendship with over the last six years, it was definitely something [where] you didn't want him to leave more for being able to hang out in the locker room and do that stuff more than the actual on-the-field stuff.

"But you're happy for him. Obviously, he got a great contract, he's back where he has a house in the offseason around a lot of his family. I wish the best for him."

As for the problems Hill's departure creates for the Chiefs, Mahomes conceded they will have to do things a little differently.

"We've just got to keep rolling," he said. "That's just how it is in this league. 

"It's a business as much as it is about friendships. We know in order to have success in this league we have to keep evolving and keep getting better. 

"So I got with those new receivers as quickly as possible and tried to build that [chemistry] so we could have success when we get going this year.

"We'll have to find production in different ways than we did last year, because Tyreek was such a big part of our offense.

"I think you've seen in games when we haven't had Tyreek, or we haven't had certain people, other guys have stepped up and made plays happen, and I expect that to happen this year, as well.''

The NFL Draft is rarely dominated by teams in contention to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the upcoming season.

Though trades regularly shuffle the pack, more often than not the draft headlines are made by teams who finished at the wrong end of the regular-season standings in the previous campaign, such is the nature of league's annual selection meeting.

While those franchises with rosters capable of contending to go all the way to the Super Bowl may not be as reliant on the draft as those rebuilding their teams, the selections they make can be critical in providing the potential final piece of what they hope will be a championship-winning puzzle.

Inevitably, not every team expected to contend in April will do so once the season gets under way in September.

Yet we can make educated guesses as to which teams will be in the mix to go deep into the postseason in each conference.

Here Stats Perform has identified four such teams from each conference, with the Cleveland Browns omitted from the list due to the threat of a possible suspension for new starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.

With help from some advanced metrics, we look at what each of these eight teams need to add in the draft to maximise their hopes of standing underneath the confetti in Arizona next February.

NFC

Los Angeles Rams

Identifying draft needs for the Rams is a difficult task not because they don't have any, but because they so often fill their holes by trading away their picks to land superstars.

This year, the Rams don't pick until 104 overall in the third round, not that the Super Bowl champions will mind skipping the first two rounds.

When it finally comes to their turn, the interior of the offensive line stands out as an area of weakness, while the Rams might also be eyeing an edge rusher to help fill the void left by Von Miller, whose stunt-adjusted pass rush win percentage of 43.4 was fifth among edge rushers with at least 100 one-on-one matchups last year.

San Francisco 49ers

The Niners are in a similar position to the Rams in that they don't have a lot of needs, though the urgency is greater for a team that let a fourth-quarter lead slip against Los Angeles in the NFC Championship Game.

Right guard has been a long-standing issue for San Francisco, and the Niners will also need to find a developmental center to replace Alex Mack when he eventually retires. Nebraska's Cam Jurgens is a name to watch there.

San Francisco do not pick until 61st overall in the second round, having traded this year's first-rounder in the package that landed Trey Lance. A defense that ranked first in pass rush win rate could be stacked further by another edge rusher to pair with Nick Bosa, and there is a clear need next to Jimmie Ward at safety.

Of course, what would really make it a successful draft for the Niners would be finally trading Jimmy Garoppolo to secure more picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's a theme here, and the theme is that trying to find needs for NFC contenders is tough, especially in the case of the Bucs, who brought back Tom Brady after he quickly got bored with retirement and re-signed a host of free agents many expected to depart.

With Todd Bowles assuming the head coaching reins from Bruce Arians, it's fair to anticipate a focus on the defense from the Bucs, who own the 27th pick in the first round as well as two other top-100 selections.

More beef on the interior of the defensive line is required with Ndamukong Suh as yet not re-signed and, though Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal have signed as safety help to atone for Jordan Whitehead's departure, a rookie who can make a difference down in the box and in coverage would be a welcome addition to the defense.

Green Bay Packers

Now this is more like it. The Packers have one glaring, obvious need and there's no way they can fail to address it, right?

Brian Gutekunst may have a history of eschewing first-round wide receivers but, after trading Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, it would be an extremely bemusing move to risk Aaron Rodgers' wrath and do so again.

Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson... they all must be in the mix here and, with two selections in the first round, the Packers could even double up at the position.

There are other holes. The secondary could use some more quality depth, and an offensive line that ranked 28th in run-block win rate could also be improved, but the Packers' hopes of getting over the hump in 2022 likely rest on their ability to give Rodgers weapons that mitigate the impact of Adams' stunning departure.

AFC

Kansas City Chiefs

After Patrick Mahomes faced the most pressures in a Super Bowl since 2006 in consecutive years (28 in SB LIV, 34 in SB LV), the Chiefs overhauled their offensive line heading into 2021 and were confident they were on course for the title game once again – only for Mahomes' own stunning playoff collapse to end both the team's season and the career of Tyreek Hill in Kansas City.

Hill's departure in a trade to the Miami Dolphins leaves a gaping hole.

New signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling at least offers a downfield option, but that was his sole responsibility with the Packers in 2021, recording a league-high average depth of target of 17.6 yards but making just 26 catches. Valdes-Scantling and fellow recruit JuJu Smith-Schuster, who's coming off shoulder surgery, have just one 1,000-yard season between them; Hill has four.

Thankfully, the Hill deal means the Chiefs have plenty of draft picks – two in each of the first three rounds – and plenty of options at wide receiver, but safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Charvarius Ward must also be replaced just to get Kansas City back to where they started.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are a year behind the Chiefs, beaten in the Super Bowl after leaving their quarterback horribly exposed. Joe Burrow faced 23 pressures against the Rams, tied for third-most since 2006.

Like the Chiefs, they quickly set about bolstering their O line in free agency, though there remains a pressing need at left guard. Ted Karras played there for the New England Patriots last year, but is set to move back into center after Trey Hopkins was cut.

That versatility at least gives the Bengals options at either position depending on how the draft plays out, with their first pick not until the end of the first round (31). In fact, given competition at cornerback, edge and/or tight end could also be sought, the Bengals may be flexible throughout.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are the Super Bowl favourites, and with good reason. They were a coin flip away from beating the Chiefs and would have backed themselves against the Bengals, which might have quelled some of the optimism in Cincinnati channelled above. Buffalo have also added Super Bowl champion Miller to a defense that gave up a league-low 4.57 yards per play.

That's not to say there don't remain areas for improvement, with cornerback an obvious place to start. Tre'Davious White is returning from an ACL tear, and the Bills need a new man opposite him, given the loss of Levi Wallace.

The Bills might also be advised to ease the burden on all-action quarterback Josh Allen with the addition of a reliable running back. Allen ranked third among QBs for rushing yards in 2021 (763) but accounted for 34.5 per cent of his team's total – far and away the greatest share at his position.

Second on the list was former MVP Lamar Jackson (767 yards, 30.9 per cent), who's already showing signs of wear and tear having been tasked with running the Baltimore Ravens' offense.

Los Angeles Chargers

Outside the Packers, the Chargers perhaps have the most obvious positional need of any contender at right tackle – despite their own strong signings so far.

Left tackle Rashawn Slater was their first-round pick in 2021 and earned Pro Bowl recognition in his rookie season. Among offensive tackles with 200 or more pass protection snaps, Slater's stunt-adjusted win percentage of 90.5 ranked third. However, that stood in complete contrast to right tackle Storm Norton, whose 63.0 per cent ranked third-last.

Norton was brought in to play 15 games after a back injury put Bryan Bulaga on injured reserve. Bulaga has now been cut, and the Chargers surely cannot run it back with Norton.

The very best OTs in the draft are unlikely to still be available when the Chargers get to work in the middle of the first round, but it's no surprise to see them widely linked with Northern Iowa's Trevor Penning.

Andy Reid insists there is no rift between him and Tyreek Hill after the Kansas City Chiefs traded their star wide receiver to the Miami Dolphins.

In the latest blockbuster move of an incredible offseason in the NFL, Hill was traded to Miami for five draft picks last week.

The Dolphins then handed Hill, a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, a four-year, $120million contract extension with $72.2m guaranteed, making him the highest-paid player at his position.

Hill was a pivotal part of a Chiefs team that has reached the AFC Championship Game for four straight years and won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2019 season.

Chiefs coach Reid stressed that his departure was directly related to contract negotiations and the Chiefs' situation with the salary cap.

"I love Tyreek Hill," said Reid, per ESPN. "There's no rift between Tyreek Hill and myself. 

"I thought he deserved an opportunity if that's where he wanted to go. 

"He's a family man that has a few kids and he's got to be able to support them now and down the road, and this gives him an opportunity to do that. 

"At the same time, it gives us great compensation."

Speaking publicly for the first time since the trade, Reid made it clear the Chiefs' initial intention was to find a way to keep Hill.

He added: "We came in aggressive [with a contract offer], and after we got to a point, we just said, 'Listen, in this day and age you have issues you have to deal with, with the cap'. 

"So we felt like it was better to allow him to go ahead and be traded. You can go different routes with a player. You can play hardball or you can go about it the way I did, or we did.

"You've got to be able to manage that the right way.

"If you're paying all of your money to a quarterback and you can't surround him with players, that can be a problem. 

"So you have to find a way with a Tyreek Hill maybe that you have to get rid of so you can replenish. That's offense and defense. I'm not just talking about the offensive side."

The departure of Hill is a huge blow for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, though Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster are two free agent pass-catchers who have been brought in so far.

"You want to surround him with great players," added Reid when he was asked about Mahomes.

"We did try to sign Tyreek at a certain cost. Once it gets past that, now you can see what we're doing here with the players we brought in and we feel they're very good football players.

"[General manager Brett Veach] is building this thing to where we feel comfortable that we can go win on Sundays."

The Chiefs have won the AFC West division for six straight seasons but face fierce competition this year.

Seattle Seahawks great Russell Wilson has been signed by the Denver Broncos to play QB, while the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders have also strengthened with big moves.

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing running back Ronald Jones II in their latest move following Tyreek Hill's trade, according to reports.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said the Chiefs would look to give Jones a one-year contract worth up to $5million.

The Chiefs are overhauling their offense after failing to negotiate a new contract with Hill, who headed to the Miami Dolphins in return for five draft picks.

One of those picks is in the first round this year, giving the Chiefs the opportunity to potentially replace Hill with a top receiver prospect, but they have also been busy in free agency.

JuJu Smith-Schuster was followed to Kansas City by fellow wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, while Jones provides an alternative pass-catching option at running back.

Jones twice racked up 1,000 scrimmage yards in a four-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including in their title-winning 2020 season (1,143).

That year, Jones led the Bucs in carries (192), rushing yards (978) and rushing touchdowns (seven) but also had 28 catches for 165 receiving yards and a TD.

Jones took a back seat to Leonard Fournette both on the ground and through the air in the playoffs, although he still had 12 carries for 61 yards in the Super Bowl.

In Kansas City, leading rusher Darrel Williams is a free agent, meaning Jones is set to share touches with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a first-round pick in 2020 who is yet to truly establish himself in the NFL.

Edwards-Helaire had just 517 rushing yards in 10 games last year, when the Chiefs' run game ranked a middling 16th with 115.0 yards per game.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to link up with Patrick Mahomes on the Kansas City Chiefs, even if he had to think long and hard about leaving Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers. 

Valdes-Scantling became a free agent after the 2021 NFL season and followed fellow Packers receiver Davante Adams out of Green Bay. 

Like Adams, Valdes-Scantling ended up in the AFC West, tasked with helping to fill the void left by Tyreek Hill after he departed the Chiefs for the Miami Dolphins. 

Rather than be daunted by the prospect of filling in for a six-time Pro Bowler, though, Valdes-Scantling revealed he only considered the Chiefs when Hill was traded. 

The 27-year-old had spent his entire time with the Packers playing second fiddle to Adams, averaging 4.2 targets per game across his NFL career while his team-mate enjoyed 10.8 targets per game over that period. 

Valdes-Scantling was used in recent years almost solely as a deep-ball threat, leading all NFL receivers with 50 or more targets in consecutive seasons in terms of depth of target – 17.6 yards downfield on average in 2021, slightly down on 18.3 yards in 2020. 

Hill's departure means Mahomes will have to look elsewhere for a downfield option, but Valdes-Scantling might see an opportunity to have a more prominent role in Kansas City. 

"Kansas City really wasn't on my radar [at first]," he told reporters on Friday. "My agent called me and said, 'Tyreek may be traded out of there. Would you be interested in hearing what they have to say?' And I said, 'Yeah, 100 per cent.' 

"I'd been talking to a bunch of teams for a week, just kind of weeding everything out, trying to make the best decision, doing a lot of praying about it. 

"The opportunity came and I said, 'Of course I'd be interested, I'd love to play with Pat.'" 

Each of the 13 touchdown passes Valdes-Scantling has caught to date have been thrown by four-time MVP Rodgers, but Mahomes is one of the few rival quarterbacks capable of operating at the same level. 

"Obviously, me and Aaron have a great relationship," the receiver said. "It was really tough to even walk away. 

"I still had that opportunity on the table to go in and play with him for the rest of his career – whether that would be one year, two, three or however long he decides to go in and play. 

"I walked away from that opportunity and walked into one with a very similar quarterback. Obviously, talent-wise, they've both been MVPs, both won Super Bowls, so obviously both are [excellent] football players. 

"I just think that having this opportunity to build something long-term with Pat is going to be life-changing." 

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing free agent Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year, $36million contract as they seek to rebuild their offense following the departure of Tyreek Hill.

Six-time Pro Bowler Hill failed to agree terms on a new deal with the Chiefs and so was traded to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks on Wednesday.

That left the Chiefs without their number one wide receiver – and it remains to be seen how exactly they replace the game-breaking attributes of Patrick Mahomes' top target.

Their first move – according to ESPN and NFL Network – has been to sign a receiver familiar with elite quarterback play, bringing in Valdes-Scantling after four years with Aaron Rodgers on the Green Bay Packers.

However, Valdes-Scantling played second fiddle to Davante Adams – now with the Chiefs' AFC West rivals the Las Vegas Raiders – in Green Bay.

He last year ranked as low as third among Packers receivers for targets (55) and receiving yards (430) and fourth for catches (26) and receiving touchdowns (three), albeit he played only 11 games due to a hamstring injury.

Valdes-Scantling was used primarily by Rodgers as a deep-ball threat, leading all NFL receivers with 50 or more targets in consecutive seasons in terms of depth of target – 17.6 yards downfield on average in 2021, slightly down on 18.3 yards in 2020.

That approach was less effective last year, as Valdes-Scantling got open on just 54.7 per cent of his targets – the third-worst rate in the league.

By contrast, in 2021, Hill's average depth of target was only 10.3 yards, yet he got open 82.7 per cent of the time and tallied 824 receiving yards at the point of catch, ranking sixth among receivers.

Valdes-Scantling alone is highly unlikely to plug the hole he leaves, with the Chiefs set to turn to the draft with two first-round picks. They have also signed JuJu Smith-Schuster.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.