NFL mailbag: Daniel Jones, Patriots tampering charge and Chiefs defense


When will Daniel Jones start for the Giants, what will come from the Patriots’ charges of tampering and are the Chiefs capable defensively?

The New York Giants are going to be terrible. Terrible teams don’t typically stick with an aging quarterback when they have a rookie first-round pick waiting in the wings.

Looking at the schedule, there’s an obvious spot to insert Daniel Jones. In Week 6, the Giants travel to Foxboro for a date with the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. Ten days later, they host the Arizona Cardinals. If there’s ever a time to put Jones in, that’s it.

Doing the quick math, Jones would be starting 10 games if he takes over for the Cardinals game and then finishes the season. That’s my over/under point.

This is a fascinating situation. The Patriots filed a tampering charge to the league office, claiming the Houston Texans improperly spoke with director of player personnel Nick Casario. Allegedly, Houston executive vice president Jack Easterby, who left New England for his new job on April 2, spoke with Casario during the Patriots’ ring ceremony last week. The next day, the Texans fired general manager Brian Gaine, with Casario immediately emerging as the favorite.

So, what does it all mean? It means that Houston could be docked draft picks and a fine if it’s found to be in violation of league laws. However, if the interest between the Texans and Casario is mutual, the two teams will likely work out a deal. The cost? Look for something around a fourth-round pick.

If this was a head coach, we’d be talking about first or second-round choices. However, in this scenario, it’s probable the Texans either look elsewhere or pay a middling price for their mistake.

As for Sony Michel, I don’t see it as a big deal. A knee scope usually puts a player out of commission for a month or so. Look for New England to ease him into training camp, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be full-go come Week 1.

Patrick Mahomes, a million times over.

Mahomes is only going to get more expensive with each touchdown pass. If I’m Kansas City Chifs general manager Brett Veach, that extension is coming next offseason.

Beyond Mahomes, there are some guys who deserve consideration. Kendall Fuller has been a good cornerback his entire career, and he’s in the prime of his career. Corners don’t come cheap, and right now, he’s the only one Kansas City has worth talking about with any proven track record.

Then there’s Tyreek Hill. His contract is up after this season. What does Veach do if Hill plays 12 games this season and racks up 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns? Let him walk for a third-round compensatory pick? Place the franchise tag on him? Sign him long-term?

Kansas City didn’t release Hill when the fervor was at its highest. If Hill is not criminally charged in connection to the now-closed investigation involving his 3-year-old son, my belief is the Chiefs sign him to a deal well below the five years and $100 million he was expected to get only a few months ago.

Again, that’s just my belief. Maybe Veach and owner Clark Hunt want to be safe and utilize the tag, even though it hamstrings the team’s cap situation in 2020. But I don’t see the Chiefs walking away from Hill for a compensatory pick, not after walking with him through this offseason.

For those unaware, the Giants created the now-popular NASCAR package during Steve Spagnuolo’s days as defensive coordinator there. Back then, it was Justin Tuck, Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora causing problems for opposing offenses. Not bad.

Frankly, I don’t think Tanoh Kpassagnon makes much of an impact. The new 4-3 scheme should help, but he’s been around for a few seasons and despite a horrid defense, been given only a few chances. As for Breeland Speaks, the team is high on him internally. There’s a belief he can play both inside and out, so expect him to get snaps.

All that said, the Chiefs are going to have options this season. My NASCAR package with that front? Chris Jones and Khalen Saunders inside. Alex Okafor and Frank Clark outside. Occasionally, take Saunders out, put Okafor inside and let Emmanuel Ogbah roll from the edge.

Kansas City led the league in sacks a year ago. Despite the heavy turnover, the Chiefs should be vying for that title again.

Great question.

The sophomores have the aforementioned Breeland Speaks, Dorian O’Daniel, Armani Watts, and Derrick Nnadi. The freshmen are headlined by Mecole Hardman, Juan Thornhill and Khalen Saunders.

Give me the rooks.

I like the class of ’18. Speaks showed improvement in every game, O’Daniel can cover and Nnadi is a terrific run-stuffer with pass-rushing upside.

Still, the rookies have serious and immediate upside. Inside the building, the Chiefs are sky-high on Thornhill. They believe he can be a star from Day 1. Hardman is also going to get his looks, largely in three-wide sets. Between returns, receptions and the occasional rush, don’t be surprised if he approaches 1,000 total yards. Finally, Saunders is a bit raw, but the athleticism is absurd. He should be getting ample snaps within the rotation up front.