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What’s happening in Chiefs Kingdom?
With free agency looming, it looks like the Chiefs could end up seeing a few of their players test the free agency market, including left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Frank Clark can be added to that mix as well.
Let’s look at the most recent and relevant Chiefs stories for the morning of March 7.
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The Chiefs opted not to use the franchise tag on pending free agent left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. There are several reasons why this could be the case. The team could simply want to walk away from Brown who wants to be paid like a premium left tackle, or maybe the team is confident that a deal will get done before Tuesday afternoon. My hunch? The Chiefs probably wanted to tag and trade Brown but couldn’t find a trade partner that would be willing to give up significant draft capital for Brown considering the large price tag that would come with trading for him. To me, it’s no secret that this news comes out after the combine — the Chiefs must have been satisfied with some potential prospects they could draft to replace Brown in 2023 and beyond.
The Chiefs are expected to release defensive end Frank Clark after failing to agree on a reworked contract. This isn’t too surprising — Clark was due $28 million in 2023 and the Chiefs saved $21 million by releasing him. Clark came at too much of a cost compared to his production, even if he was instrumental down the stretch during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Clark return to Kansas City on a small one-year deal if his free agency market runs cold.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who thinks teams may be interested in trading for Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, expects the Chiefs to lose receiver Mecole Hardman and safety Juan Thornhill in free agency. Spotrac values Hardman’s market at four years, $41 million while Fowler thinks Thornhill should “do very well” in free agency. With money already tied up in safety for Justin Reid, losing Thornhill does seem likely. The receiver market is also out of whack which means Hardman could definitely get a bigger deal than the Chiefs are willing to pay, but I wouldn’t rule out a return completely.
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In a bit of surprising news, 41-year-old former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who retired after 2020, could be contemplating a return to the NFL. Obviously, he wouldn’t be quarterbacking for the Chargers unless he (doubtfully) would be willing to take on a backup role.
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Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire