Enemy Intel: How'd the Chiefs do in the draft?

Enemy Intel: How'd the Chiefs do in the draft?

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

I kept hearing that the New Orleans Saints got the guys who should have been Patriots - Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram. But if you like the Patriots andwanted to flip drafts with any team, the Chiefs might be the ones. Scott Pioli went outside Belichickian form with his first-round pick, taking 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver Jonathan Baldwin with the 26th overall pick. Combine him with Dwayne Bowe and let Jammal Charles run around with the quickness in the backfield and Matt Cassel has some artillery for the KC offense. The character concerns with Baldwin? He thought the coaches and quarterbacks at Pitt sucked and said so. Seems like something a staff can work on. After getting an interior lineman, Rodney Hudson, in the second round, the Chiefs came back in the third and took one of the draft's best pure pass rushers, Justin Houston, in the third round. Houston smoked weed in college. That caused him to drop precipitously. Again, probably something that can be conquered with a little pressure from the coaching staff and personal responsibility. The Chiefs then took one of the players I thought was ideal for New England, five-technique defensive end Allen Bailey from Miami. He's 6-3, 288, works his face off, was an all-ACC defensive tackle as a junior and a second teamall-ACC defensive end as a senior. A hard-working fourth-round corner (Jalil Brown), a developmental quarterback (Ricky Stanzi), and a 6-2, 335-pound nose tackle prospect named Jerrell Powe rounded things out for Kansas City. SUMMARY: Kansas City got much more explosive offensively with the addition of Baldwin offensively. Houston and Bailey - if they pan out - could be among the best at their positions in this draft. Picking where they were, late in the rounds, the Chiefs did the right thing: took good players with perceived blemishes. If they hit on two out of three, they are a much better team for it.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

When it comes to Gronkowski's restructured deal, 15 is the magic number

When it comes to Gronkowski's restructured deal, 15 is the magic number

Rob Gronkowski's contract looked like one of the NFL's best bargains not too long ago. Now, after agreeing to a contract restructure, he could be paid as the top tight end in the league if he stays healthy.

Granted, it's a gargantuan "if."

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Gronkowski's restructured deal will bump his salary for this upcoming season from $5.25 million to $10.75 million should he hit certain statistical thresholds or be named an All-Pro.

Per Schefter, Gronkowski earns $10.75 million if he plays 90 percent of the offensive snaps (which he's done once before in his career), or makes 80 catches (which he's done twice), or gains 1,200 yards receiving (once), or is named an All-Pro (three times). 

Those seem like lofty goals for the 28-year-old who's entering his eighth year as a pro. But history shows that if he stays on the field for a full season or thereabouts -- 15 games to be specific -- he'll get to where he wants to be. 

If you take out his rookie year, before he had established himself as a go-to option in the Patriots offense, Gronkowski has played in three seasons during which he's reached at least 15 games. In each of those three seasons, he's been named an All-Pro. In 2011, he hit all three statistical markers. In 2014, he hit one. In 2015, he hit none. 

The lesson? When Gronkowski stays relatively healthy throughout a given season, even if he doesn't reach the astronomical statistical heights he reached in his second year, there's a very good chance he's considered the best tight end in the NFL. 

And if that's the case again in 2017, he'll be paid like the best tight end in the NFL.

To hit the second tier of his restructured deal -- which would pay him $8.75 million, per Schefter -- Gronkowski needs to play 80 percent of the offensive snaps (which he's done twice), or make 70 catches (three times), or gain 1,000 receiving yards (three times), or catch 12 touchdowns (twice). 

To hit the third tier of his new deal and get $6.75 million, Gronkowski needs to play 70 percent of the snaps (which he's done four times), or make 60 catches (three times), or gain 800 receiving yards (three times), or score 10 touchdowns (five times). 

According to Spotrac, Jimmy Graham of the Seahawks is currently scheduled to be the tight end position's top earner next season at $10 million. Odds are that if Gronkowski avoids disaster and stays on the field, he'll eclipse that.

But the odds of him staying on the field are what they are: He's played in 15 games in four of seven pro seasons. 

The restructured deal seems to be the ultimate incentive for Gronkowski to get healthy and stay that way following last year's season-ending back surgery. If he can, the Patriots will reap the benefits of having the game's most dynamic offensive weapon on the field, and the player will be paid a far cry from what he was scheduled to make when the week began.