Kansas City Chiefs likely will pass on Nick Foles’ option

Put the key in the ignition. It’s time for some offseason quarterback news.

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According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Chiefs are “likely to pass on Nick Foles’ option for 2017.” This would make the former Eagles standout and Rams bust a free agent. Garafolo added that he was due $6.4 million and not $10.4 million, which was a number previously associated with the option.

While this could theoretically spring Foles into the open market and allow him to flirt with the Jets, Bills, Bears, 49ers and Texans, it is uncertain whether or not he represents a marked upgrade. Following his miraculous Pro Bowl season in 2013, Foles has appeared in 22 games, completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 4,625 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He would be a difficult sell (right now) for any franchise promising their fans an upgrade. Of course, injuries and other outside circumstances tend to change situations quickly.

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“He’s working like the dickens to get himself ready for ’17. We’ll see what happens in March, but right now I see him as a Chief,” Dorsey said, per the Kansas City Star’s Terez Paylor.

It’s a fairly non-committal answer from Dorsey, which is understandable since he doesn’t have to make a decision in the short-term.

Charles played only eight games in the past two seasons due to knee injuries and had just 12 carries in 2016. The 30-year-old back has said he wants to remain in Kansas City, but that decision will likely come down to money.

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Nike Texans #87 C.J. Fiedorowicz White Men's Stitched NFL Elite JerseyThe Chiefs can save more than $6 million in salary-cap space by cutting the veteran. That’s a significant amount for a franchise in the bottom three in terms of cap space heading into 2017. There is a chance, if Charles is healthy, the Chiefs could keep their all-time leading rusher in-house on a restructured deal.

“I hope so,” Berry said, via the Kansas City Star. “I think my agent had a conversation yesterday … It’s early.”

The Chiefs franchise tagged Berry last season, paying him $10.8 million, but never locked down a long-term deal. K.C. could franchise the 28-year-old again, which would cost around $13 million.

The exorbitant salary-cap hit by tagging Berry isn’t the only factor for the Chiefs to consider when making that decision. Dontari Poe is also set to be a free agent, leaving the team with a potential dilemma if they can’t get one signed before free agency.

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The Chiefs also currently only have $4.7 million in cap space for 2017, per OverTheCap.com, which could lead to some tough decisions for the K.C. brass to make — the money issues are one reason many believe Jamaal Charles won’t be back next season, certainly not at his current salary.

Potentially losing Berry would be a devastating blow for a Chiefs defense that can be a stingy, dangerous group when healthy. Berry, a playmaker versus the run and the pass, keys the entire unit. The back-to-back first-team All-Pro safety displayed his difference-making ability with a ridiculously good game in a win over the Super Bowl-bound Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.

Berry leaving would create a Vredefort Crater-sized hole in the Chiefs’ secondary.

Cowboys, Chiefs named 2017 Pro Bowl coaching staffs

The Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs went one-and-done in the postseason, but their coaching staffs still have one more game left on the schedule.

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Jason Garrett and Andy Reid will be heading the two coaching staffs participating in the 2017 Pro Bowl from Camping World Stadium in Orlando at 8 p.m. ET on Jan. 29.

This year’s edition of the Pro Bowl will be the first to be played in Orlando and will also revert to the traditional AFC vs. NFC format following three years using a revised, “unconferenced” structure. Reid’s staff and Garrett’s staff will coach the AFC and NFC, respectively.

Each conference will also be represented by two Legends Captains — one offensive and one defensive. The AFC will be led by former AFC Central/North foes Jerome Bettis and Ray Lewis, while tight-end great Tony Gonzalez and recently-retired Charles Woodson will captain the NFC.

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Pittsburgh’s unsung offensive line deserves a lion’s share of the credit, opening holes for Bell and shutting down Kansas City’s edge rushing trio of Justin Houston, Dee Ford and Tamba Hali. Rarely pressured throughout the game, Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t hit until a third-down coverage sack forced a field goal with 10 minutes remaining.

Nearly 39 years old, Steelers linebacker James Harrison was the dominant defensive force for the second consecutive game. Harrison recorded three tackles for loss, two QB hits and one sack, but his most crucial effort was forcing a holding penalty on left tackle Eric Fisher to nullify the game-tying two-point conversion with less than three minutes remaining. Harrison is now up to 11 career postseason sacks, tying for the fifth-most since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

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The object of season-long derision over missed extra points, the NFL’s legion of kickers can walk proudly in the aftermath of Sunday’s sterling feats. After Mason Crosby and Dan Bailey combined to drill three kicks over 50 yards in the final 98 seconds of the NFC’s Divisional Round matchup, Steelers kicker Chris Boswell set a new single-game postseason record with six field goals. It’s the second time this season Boswell has drilled a half-dozen field goals in one game.

Andy Reid scripted a perfect six-play, 55-yard touchdown drive on the Chiefs’ opening possession, only to watch his offense go in the tank for the next 40 minutes of game action. Kansas City was outgained by Bell alone over the next two and half quarters, managing fewer than 100 yards on the ensuing six series. The Steelers bottled up rookie sensation Tyreek Hill and frustrated Travis Kelce. The All-Pro tight end dropped a long pass in the red zone late in the third quarter and was whistled for a careless unnecessary roughness penalty on the next play. Unable to make plays downfield, Alex Smith’s offense simply couldn’t stand toe-to-toe with Pittsburgh’s firepower.

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Nike Chiefs #32 Spencer Ware White Men's Stitched NFL Elite JerseyAlthough Peters and All-Pro safety Eric Berry made plays for a ballhawking secondary, the Chiefs defense needs to get stronger in the middle of the field next season. They finished the season 26th in run defense and 24th in total defense, counting on takeaways and red-zone efficiency to mask deficiencies. After two straight exits in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Reid still needs more playmakers to keep up with the AFC’s superpowers. Getting Jeremy Maclin and Justin Houston fully healthy will certainly help.

The decision to make the time change was made in consultation with state and local officials as well as both teams, the league added.

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On Sunday, the NFL released another statement reaffirming the game’s start time.

Tonight’s Steelers-Chiefs Divisional Playoff game on NBC will move forward as announced at 8:20 p.m. ET. We feel comfortable, after consulting with local and state authorities and both teams, that we can proceed tonight without resulting in any negative impact on public safety resources. We will continue to monitor the weather and urge anyone traveling to the game to use appropriate caution and heed any warnings from local authorities.

In addition, the game will serve as a testing ground, of sorts. The NFL will use the game to determine if Sunday night playoff games make sense for television ratings and for logistics, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. ESPN first reported the development.