Howard will keep ascending
With Mike DeVito out of the way (that sounded worse that I intended it to), a major opportunity for newly-extended defensive end Jaye Howard to make an early case for a mega-contract offer when 2018 rolls around.
DeVito’s retirement makes Howard the prohibitive favorite to start opposite of Allen Bailey. Howard’s two-year extension doesn’t provide him with the same comfort level as a long-term deal. That should keep him hungry over the next two seasons to become an even better player and fetch himself a deal in the high eight-figure range.
Travis Kelce won’t improve
That might sound damning, but hear me out. It’s tough to take another step forward when you’ve already acquitted yourself as one of the 5-7 best tight ends in the National Football League. As unbelievable as it might sound, Travis Kelce still has room to grow, but I’m not sure he’ll do that in 2015.
By all accounts, he appears to be focused on continuing to evolve as a player. His offseason interviews spell that out in no uncertain terms. Things are never as simple as they seem in the NFL though – distraction often undercuts intention.
In late January, The E! Network announced that Kelce would star in his own reality TV dating series titled “Catching Kelce.” One day later, the Chiefs gave him a five-year, $46 million contract extension. Add those two life-altering events to an NFL Network nomination to the ‘Top 100 Players of 2016’ and it’s clear that Kelce’s star has burst onto the national scene.
I’d like to believe he can manage his newfound stardom and take his game to the next level, but I suspect that’ll be too much for him this year. He’ll be his regular, productive self, but I think he’ll need another year before he can truly become one of the elites.
Take all of this with a grain of salt. I once predicted that Cyrus Gray would make a real contribution to the Chiefs’ backfield. That’s how hit or miss predictions are this time of the year. Time will tell just how reliable mine are, though I’d argue that two of these three things will come to pass in 2015.
What are your pre-training camp predictions for this football team? Use the comment section below to share them. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.