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FFL: Offseason | NFL: Championship

After Super Bowl win, Chiefs already eyeing repeat next year

Mon Feb 3 9:22am ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Players: Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Damien Williams, Demarcus Robinson, Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, left, and Tyrann Mathieu celebrate after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, right, hands the trophy to head coach Andy Reid after the chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


CORRECTS THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN TO THE FINAL TOUCHDOWN - Kansas City Chiefs' Damien Williams, right, pulls away from San Francisco 49ers' Jimmie Ward on his way to the final touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


MIAMI (AP) It took the Chiefs five full decades to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Kansas City.

They don't intend to wait that long again.

With confetti still swirling and their thrilling Super Bowl triumph over the San Francisco 49ers mere minutes old, most of the Chiefs were already talking about next season. They got a taste of reaching the AFC title game last season and it drove them to make it back this season, and now that they've had a taste of winning the championship, the organization's mindset is quite simple: Why stop at just one?

“Next year we're coming back,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. “We're coming back for a repeat."

There's plenty of reasons to believe they can do it. The Chiefs will return just about every key piece that delivered the city its first championship in 50 years, including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, breakout star Damien Williams and the core of their rebuilt defense, along with a coaching staff that's gotten plenty of interest for head coaching jobs elsewhere.

So perhaps it was no surprise that most Las Vegas sports books already have installed the Chiefs as 6-to-1 favorites to win the Super Bowl next season. The Baltimore Ravens and NFC champion Niners were close behind.

“I'm really excited about it. You get one, you want to get another,” said Andy Reid, who finally got to bask in his first Super Bowl championship after 21 years of coaching. “But we've got to backpedal a minute and enjoy this one, and then we'll get busy on the next one.”

There certainly will be plenty of time to celebrate. The Chiefs wrapped up some media obligations in Miami on Monday, then were to head back to Kansas City, where an entire city was prepping for a victory parade Wednesday.

Not long after that, though, expect Reid and general manager Brett Veach to get down to business.

The Chiefs are likely to make Mahomes the NFL's highest-paid player this offseason, the first opportunity he will have to sign a contract extension. The Chiefs also must decide what to do with Jones, one of the league's premier defensive linemen, who is eligible for free agency but has expressed his desire to remain with the team on a long-term deal.

“Why wouldn't I want to be here?” he asked. “We have a chance to be a dynasty.���

The Chiefs also had a number of role players whose deals are expiring, and bringing them back or unearthing replacements will be crucial during free agency. Among them are defensive linemen Terrell Suggs, Emmanuel Ogbah and Xavier Williams, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, and cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller.

Another question facing the Chiefs: What will they do with Sammy Watkins, who proved his worth with a massive playoff run capped by five catches for 98 yards in the Super Bowl. He is due to count $21 million against the salary cap next year, so the Chiefs are likely to ask him to take a pay cut or restructure his contract or be forced to release him.

“If we keep going the way we're going, the sky is the limit for this team,” said Watkins, who contradicted reports he might even sit out next season by insisting he'd return. “Why not? We'll come back and win next year.”

But even with all those holes to fill, the Chiefs are still in enviable shape. They have arguably the league's best quarterback and one of its most electrifying pass-catchers in Tyreek Hill. They have one of its premier tight ends in Travis Kelce and a running back in Damien Williams, who gashed the 49ers for 104 yards rushing with TDs on the ground and through the air.

On defense, they have elite pass rusher Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu - the prize acquisitions last offseason who came up big in the Super Bowl - signed to contracts that will keep them in Kansas City at least two more years.

“It will be important to keep a couple of those other guys and obviously continue to get better, whether that's through the draft or free agency,” Mathieu said. “The most important thing is our core is intact. We've got a hell of a football team, so we are looking forward to next season already.”

There have been seven franchises that have won back-to-back Super Bowls, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, who did the trick twice in the 1970s. That now becomes the goal for a team that sees a window of dominance opening in the AFC, where the Chiefs and Ravens already have begun to replace the New England Patriots as the gold standard.

“I think as long as we keep the people that we have in this organization on this team, with the coach that we have, I think we have a chance to be good year-in and year-out,” Mahomes said. “It's not going to be easy. We're sitting here right now, and I know that going back, we're going to have next year to play a lot of great football teams. There's a lot of great teams in this league, so you understand that. But at the same time, just try to get better every year.”

Not just to reach the pinnacle of the game. At long last, the Chiefs finally have accomplished that.

The task facing them now is staying there.

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Player Notes
Tramon Williams Jan 20 9:03pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramon Williams (Ravens) worked out for the Green Bay Packers Wednesday, Jan. 20, and is expected to sign to either the practice squad or the 53-man roster.

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Larry Ogunjobi Jan 20 8:03pm ET

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Ronald Jones II Jan 20 6:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (quadriceps) and wide receivers Mike Evans (knee) and Chris Godwin (quadriceps) were all limited participants during Wednesday's practice. Jones was able to practice in a limited fashion last week before ultimately suiting up against the Saints, while Evans' and Godwin's reps are being managed as precautions. Jones has a good matchup against Green Bay's front, though he and Leonard Fournette are trending towards a timeshare after head coach Bruce Arians described them as a "1-2 punch." Meanwhile, Evans will likely tango with star corner Jaire Alexander on the outside, as tough a matchup as any. Godwin is due for a rebound performance after dropping a surefire touchdown last week and could see more targets if Evans struggles and Antonio Brown (knee) is banged up.

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Lamar Jackson Jan 20 6:43pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is wanted on a long-term contract, according to head coach John Harbaugh Wednesday, Jan. 20. 'Absolutely, we want Lamar to sign a long-term deal and be with us,' Harbaugh said. 'I'm totally certain that's going to happen. When it happens, that's the details.'

Fantasy Spin: Harbaugh also said they aren't going to adjust the offense to be more pass-heavy. So long as Jackson is healthy, he'll be a top fantasy QB for the foreseeable future due to his added production on the ground.

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Ronald Jones II Jan 20 6:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones (quadriceps) said Wednesday, Jan. 20, he already feels better than last week and he's all good for the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers.

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Antonio Brown Jan 20 6:20pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (knee) was listed as a non-participant for Wednesday's practice. Brown sustained the knee injury during the divisional-round win over the Saints, with Tampa Bay officially listing him as day-to-day. The veteran wideout will look to ramp up his activity during Thursday and Friday's sessions to give him a chance at suiting up against Green Bay in the NFC title game. Fellow wideouts Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson- who both made big plays in the victory over New Orleans- would be in line to receive more targets if Brown isn't healthy enough to play.

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Nickell Robey Jan 20 5:53pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DB Nickell Robey-Coleman was removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Jan. 20.

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Jordan Wilkins Jan 20 5:43pm ET

Indianapolis Colts RB Jordan Wilkins was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Jan. 20.

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Mason Crosby Jan 20 5:33pm ET

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Chris Godwin Jan 20 5:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hip, quadriceps) was limited at practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Godwin caught four of seven targets but for just 34 yards against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round. The Buccaneers' passing game wasn't needed much as Tampa Bay operated from favorable field position for much of the game. Godwin, Mike Evans and Antonio Brown should all see more work against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship. Godwin is likely to see the most targets.

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Ronald Jones II Jan 20 5:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones (finger, calf) was a limited participant at practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Jones ran 13 times for 62 yards against the New Orleans Saints last week after being considered questionable for most of the practice week. He should be more involved this week, but the game script isn't likely to be as favorable for the Bucs as it was in the NFC Divisional Round. Jones will be a touchdown-dependent fantasy FLEX option this week.

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Jason Pierre-Paul Jan 20 5:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 20. S Jordan Whitehead (knee) and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (quadriceps, ankle) were limited. DL Jeremiah Ledbetter (calf) and G Ali Marpet (pectoral) practiced in full.

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Antonio Brown Jan 20 5:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown (knee) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Brown is expected to be fine in time for Sunday's NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. He'll represent a contrarian pivot from either Mike Evans or Chris Godwin.

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Mike Evans Jan 20 5:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (knee) was a limited participant at practice Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Evans didn't practice much last week and was targeted just three times in the NFC Divisional Round game against the New Orleans Saints. His day was saved by a three-yard touchdown catch, but it was his only reception. He should be more involved in the NFC Championship with another week of recovery under his belt.

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Stefon Diggs Jan 20 4:53pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Diggs has posted at least 100 yards in five of his last six games and is a must-start fantasy option if he is active for the game.

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Quinton Jefferson Jan 20 4:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills DT Vernon Butler (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 20. QB Jake Fromm (non-injury) and DT Quinton Jefferson (ankle) were limited during practice. PK Tyler Bass (hand), LB Tremaine Edmunds (hamstring) and DE Darryl X. Johnson (knee) fully participated in practice.

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Stefon Diggs Jan 20 4:40pm ET

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Patrick Mahomes Jan 20 4:33pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Mahomes is going through the concussion protocol but may be able to do more during practice over the next few days. He is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL when healthy and should be a starting option if he is active.

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Gabriel Davis Jan 20 4:30pm ET

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