The reigning Super Bowl champions will kick off the NFL season in Thursday night's primetime slot on September 8, as the Los Angeles Rams host this season's Super Bowl favourites, the Buffalo Bills.

There will be plenty of the Rams in this season's marquee timeslots as the full 2022-23 schedule was released on Thursday, including a Monday night fixture against the Green Bay Packers in week 15, and a Christmas Day game against Russell Wilson's Denver Broncos six days later.

The Broncos will not have to wait long for their first eyebrow-raising matchup, travelling to take on Wilson's former team, the Seattle Seahawks, in the first Monday night fixture of the season.

Week one's third primetime game sees Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading to 'Jerry World' to take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Patrick Mahomes – the man with the richest contract in the sport – will get his first primetime appearance of the season in week two's Thursday night showdown, as his Kansas City Chiefs host arguably Mahomes' only competition for best young quarterback, taking on Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers gets the Sunday night fixture in week two against the Packers' long-time rivals as the Chicago Bears come to town, and his week three matchup against Brady's Bucs will be must-see TV.

The Rams have the toughest strength-of-schedule based on their opponents' 2021-22 records (164-125, .567 winning percentage), while the Cowboys and the Washington Commanders are tied for the easiest schedule (133-155-1, .462 winning percentage).

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions will be the only team in NFL this season to not have a primetime game.

The complete week one schedule features:

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (Thursday night)

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday afternoon)

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (Sunday late-afternoon)

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers 

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday night)

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (Monday night)

The Kansas City Chiefs selected wide receiver Skyy Moore with the 54th pick in the NFL Draft.

Moore, 21, has shot up draft boards since the beginning of the pre-draft process after running a slick 4.41 40-yard dash, and had seven games in 2021 with at least eight catches and 100 yards.

The Western Michigan receiver's best game came against Northern Illinois, with 12 catches for 206 yards and four touchdowns. From 12 games, he finished the season with 1292 yards and 10 touchdowns from 95 receptions.

Kansas City are in desperate need of wide receiver help after trading superstar Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, and the hope will be that Moore can fill the role of a field-stretcher for Patrick Mahomes.

Moore was the 13th wide receiver selected in the first 54 picks, setting an NFL Draft record.

Plenty of bad teams have needs at wide receiver, but that is hardly unique to this 2022 NFL Draft.

The Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons, for instance, just need good players at any position.

Elsewhere, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears are attempting to build around young quarterbacks, perhaps optimistically hoping to follow the example of the Cincinnati Bengals – who took Joe Burrow and the 2021 WR1 Ja'Marr Chase all the way to the Super Bowl.

The upcoming draft is a little different, though, in that at least two teams with far more realistic title ambitions will be targeting the brightest and best receivers another deep class has to offer.

Both the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs have two first-round picks; particularly in the case of the Packers, they badly need them.

Aaron Rodgers is back for another year, but Davante Adams is not. Adams – who was stunningly traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, where he was given a lucrative contract – accounted for 30.6 per cent of the Packers' catches and 34.3 per cent of their receiving yards last season. He leaves a huge hole.

Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are returning and will have big roles to play, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling – the Packers' deep-ball option, with the greatest average depth of target in the NFL in consecutive seasons – is also gone.

The Packers are only too aware of what can happen when quarterback Rodgers is not backed in the first round of the draft, so it would be no great surprise to see two leading wideouts head to Green Bay.

The Chiefs are in a similar position, having also traded their dominant receiver and allowed another team – the Miami Dolphins – to pay Tyreek Hill. Only Adams (47) has caught more touchdown passes than Hill (43) since Patrick Mahomes' debut on New Year's Eve 2017.

Although Mahomes does have a leading tight end to fall back on in Travis Kelce, the Chiefs' work so far in this offseason – including bringing in Valdes-Scantling – does not quite look to have restored their offense to its former glories. Especially in the highly competitive AFC West that Adams now occupies.

Finding a player of the ilk of Adams or Hill is a tall order, but the Chiefs, like the Packers, have to try. So, who are the pass catchers under consideration in the first round?

Jameson Williams

On pure talent, Williams – who had 79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 TDs in 2021 – should be gone long before the Packers or the Chiefs are on the clock. But an ACL tear in January might see him fall just a little further.

There is not a statistic that reflects poorly on Williams, although he is of interest primarily due to the remarkable speed that makes him an elite separator, much like Hill. At Alabama, the transfer from Ohio State had a burn rate of 74.6 per cent, winning his matchup with a defender on almost three-quarters of his targets and recording 19.3 burn yards per target – both well clear of his fellow first-round candidates, as he was in getting open on 86.0 per cent of targets.

Hill (70.8 per cent) ranked fourth in the NFL last year for burn rate and was open on 82.7 per cent of targets.

Crucially, heading into the NFL, Williams showed himself to be capable of operating either out wide or in the slot. The 21-year-old's burn rate playing inside was 77.5 per cent, actually up on his 73.0 per cent playing as an outside receiver.

Garrett Wilson

Williams left Ohio State having found himself behind two receivers who may go in the first round this year – including Wilson, who is rivalling Williams for WR1 in a number of mock drafts.

Wilson had 70 catches for 1,058 yards and 12 TDs last year and also does not lack for speed, running a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. His calling cards, however, are the lower-body flexibility, foot quickness, and route-running savvy that propelled him to 15.1 yards per reception and allowed him to register a burn on 71.6 per cent of his targets.

Of the two Ohio State receivers on this list – we'll come on to the other – Wilson was less of a deep-ball threat, with his average depth of target 11.3 yards.

That is far from an issue for a team looking for a primary option, however, instead showing the variety that was asked of Adams (9.4 yards) and Hill (10.3 yards) in 2021.

Chris Olave

Completing the trio who were Buckeye team-mates for two seasons is Olave, who also shared touches with Wilson last year, even if they were tasked with different roles.

Olave was targeted on just 26.9 per cent of his routes, compared to 30.6 per cent for Wilson, but that was because he often provided the deep threat.

His average depth of target was 14.3 yards in 2021 and had been a huge 18.9 yards in his previous full season in 2019, third-most among Power 5 receivers. Perhaps he makes more sense for the Packers, who have just lost Valdes-Scantling, than for the Chiefs, who have just signed him.

Either way, this is a role Olave relishes, catching 13 TD passes last season to boost him to 35 across a four-year college career, the most in Ohio State history. A smooth and, like Wilson, detailed route-runner who tracks the ball extremely well, Wilson would surely thrive immediately if paired with Rodgers. 

Treylon Burks

If Olave does not fit the bill for either the Packers or the Chiefs, Burks might, for his game is completely different to the man from Ohio State.

Burks' average depth of target last year was just 9.4 yards as he was regularly deployed out of the backfield by Arkansas, who consistently got the ball in his hands through screen passes and designed hand-offs. 

Part of their reason for doing so was the threat Burks poses in the open field. He averaged 9.27 yards after the catch in 2021 – more than Williams' 9.16.

Burks far outperformed his 7.96 expected yards per target and recorded 14.08 burn yards per target, making excellent use of his combination of physicality and play speed that was not reflected by his 4.55 40-yard dash. 

Able to win downfield by relying on his frame and his route-running ability, Burks may possess the most varied skill set of any receiver in the draft, having registered 38 carries across three seasons with the Razorbacks and drawing comparisons to San Francisco 49ers 'wide back' Deebo Samuel.

If he can be that sort of player in the NFL, Burks works for the Packers, the Chiefs or just about anybody.

Jahan Dotson

While some on this list are worth considering for their physical attributes alone, it is Dotson's ball skills that make him stand out.

His catch rating – measured between 0 and 1 based on how well a receiver successfully catches throws that are considered catchable – was an outstanding 0.978 in 2021. He dropped only a single pass.

Reflecting on an incredible one-handed catch against Ohio State in 2020, the Penn State star said: "I approach that [ball] as a million dollars. It's a million dollars in the air. If you want it, you go get it." Dotson will make plenty of money in the NFL if he continues to rein in similar passes.

Dotson was not outstanding at beating defenders (63.8 per cent) or getting open (76.6 per cent) last season but still caught 12 TD passes on a Penn State team that struggled amid sub-par quarterback play in 2021.

Drake London

Now, the Packers and the Chiefs will not be looking at London as a like-for-like replacement for Adams or Hill.

Finding a comparison for London is not an easy task, as few players are blessed with his blend of size and fluidity as a route-runner. 

London is 6ft 4in but just 213lbs and initially played basketball as well as football at USC.

A broken ankle meant he did not run a 40-yard dash at either the NFL Combine or his pro day, but his speed is not considered to be anything special – not that it matters.

Despite getting open on just 67.2 per cent of his targets in 2021, he beat his defender in 71.3 per cent of matchups, speaking to the ease with which he can change direction. 

"I really don't have to blow by guys to catch the ball," he said. "I can, but I don't have to."

There were five drops, but London faced a huge number of contested catches and usually came out on top thanks to long arms and considerable wingspan.

He will need a quarterback who will trust him to come away with the ball even if he is not open, as was the case last season when he was targeted on a mammoth 42.4 per cent of his routes.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was shocked when his top wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, was traded away to the Miami Dolphins.

In his six seasons in Kansas City, Hill caught 479 passes for 6,630 yards and 56 touchdowns, emerging as arguably the most dangerous receiver in the entire NFL with his unique speed and explosiveness.

Hill signed a three-year, $54million extension with the Chiefs in 2019, but after recent extensions and signings – including a 10-year, $450m contract for Mahomes, and a four-year, $80m deal for defensive lineman Chris Jones – it appeared unrealistic that Kansas City would be able to afford his demands while adhering to the salary cap.

In March, the Las Vegas Raiders made Davante Adams the highest-paid receiver in league history with a five-year, $140m deal and six days later, Hill reset the market after being traded to the Dolphins for five draft picks, including a first and second round pick this year.

Hill's four-year deal has him earning an average of $30m per year, which is a number usually reserved for quarterbacks.

Speaking to the media on Monday as the Chiefs began their offseason program, Mahomes said that while he knew it was a possibility, he was still shocked to see Hill leave.

"My initial reaction was a little bit of shock,'' he said.

"Even though you knew this was a possibility, [losing] a guy you had played with and built a friendship with over the last six years, it was definitely something [where] you didn't want him to leave more for being able to hang out in the locker room and do that stuff more than the actual on-the-field stuff.

"But you're happy for him. Obviously, he got a great contract, he's back where he has a house in the offseason around a lot of his family. I wish the best for him."

As for the problems Hill's departure creates for the Chiefs, Mahomes conceded they will have to do things a little differently.

"We've just got to keep rolling," he said. "That's just how it is in this league. 

"It's a business as much as it is about friendships. We know in order to have success in this league we have to keep evolving and keep getting better. 

"So I got with those new receivers as quickly as possible and tried to build that [chemistry] so we could have success when we get going this year.

"We'll have to find production in different ways than we did last year, because Tyreek was such a big part of our offense.

"I think you've seen in games when we haven't had Tyreek, or we haven't had certain people, other guys have stepped up and made plays happen, and I expect that to happen this year, as well.''

The NFL Draft is rarely dominated by teams in contention to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the upcoming season.

Though trades regularly shuffle the pack, more often than not the draft headlines are made by teams who finished at the wrong end of the regular-season standings in the previous campaign, such is the nature of league's annual selection meeting.

While those franchises with rosters capable of contending to go all the way to the Super Bowl may not be as reliant on the draft as those rebuilding their teams, the selections they make can be critical in providing the potential final piece of what they hope will be a championship-winning puzzle.

Inevitably, not every team expected to contend in April will do so once the season gets under way in September.

Yet we can make educated guesses as to which teams will be in the mix to go deep into the postseason in each conference.

Here Stats Perform has identified four such teams from each conference, with the Cleveland Browns omitted from the list due to the threat of a possible suspension for new starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.

With help from some advanced metrics, we look at what each of these eight teams need to add in the draft to maximise their hopes of standing underneath the confetti in Arizona next February.

NFC

Los Angeles Rams

Identifying draft needs for the Rams is a difficult task not because they don't have any, but because they so often fill their holes by trading away their picks to land superstars.

This year, the Rams don't pick until 104 overall in the third round, not that the Super Bowl champions will mind skipping the first two rounds.

When it finally comes to their turn, the interior of the offensive line stands out as an area of weakness, while the Rams might also be eyeing an edge rusher to help fill the void left by Von Miller, whose stunt-adjusted pass rush win percentage of 43.4 was fifth among edge rushers with at least 100 one-on-one matchups last year.

San Francisco 49ers

The Niners are in a similar position to the Rams in that they don't have a lot of needs, though the urgency is greater for a team that let a fourth-quarter lead slip against Los Angeles in the NFC Championship Game.

Right guard has been a long-standing issue for San Francisco, and the Niners will also need to find a developmental center to replace Alex Mack when he eventually retires. Nebraska's Cam Jurgens is a name to watch there.

San Francisco do not pick until 61st overall in the second round, having traded this year's first-rounder in the package that landed Trey Lance. A defense that ranked first in pass rush win rate could be stacked further by another edge rusher to pair with Nick Bosa, and there is a clear need next to Jimmie Ward at safety.

Of course, what would really make it a successful draft for the Niners would be finally trading Jimmy Garoppolo to secure more picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's a theme here, and the theme is that trying to find needs for NFC contenders is tough, especially in the case of the Bucs, who brought back Tom Brady after he quickly got bored with retirement and re-signed a host of free agents many expected to depart.

With Todd Bowles assuming the head coaching reins from Bruce Arians, it's fair to anticipate a focus on the defense from the Bucs, who own the 27th pick in the first round as well as two other top-100 selections.

More beef on the interior of the defensive line is required with Ndamukong Suh as yet not re-signed and, though Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal have signed as safety help to atone for Jordan Whitehead's departure, a rookie who can make a difference down in the box and in coverage would be a welcome addition to the defense.

Green Bay Packers

Now this is more like it. The Packers have one glaring, obvious need and there's no way they can fail to address it, right?

Brian Gutekunst may have a history of eschewing first-round wide receivers but, after trading Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, it would be an extremely bemusing move to risk Aaron Rodgers' wrath and do so again.

Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson... they all must be in the mix here and, with two selections in the first round, the Packers could even double up at the position.

There are other holes. The secondary could use some more quality depth, and an offensive line that ranked 28th in run-block win rate could also be improved, but the Packers' hopes of getting over the hump in 2022 likely rest on their ability to give Rodgers weapons that mitigate the impact of Adams' stunning departure.

AFC

Kansas City Chiefs

After Patrick Mahomes faced the most pressures in a Super Bowl since 2006 in consecutive years (28 in SB LIV, 34 in SB LV), the Chiefs overhauled their offensive line heading into 2021 and were confident they were on course for the title game once again – only for Mahomes' own stunning playoff collapse to end both the team's season and the career of Tyreek Hill in Kansas City.

Hill's departure in a trade to the Miami Dolphins leaves a gaping hole.

New signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling at least offers a downfield option, but that was his sole responsibility with the Packers in 2021, recording a league-high average depth of target of 17.6 yards but making just 26 catches. Valdes-Scantling and fellow recruit JuJu Smith-Schuster, who's coming off shoulder surgery, have just one 1,000-yard season between them; Hill has four.

Thankfully, the Hill deal means the Chiefs have plenty of draft picks – two in each of the first three rounds – and plenty of options at wide receiver, but safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Charvarius Ward must also be replaced just to get Kansas City back to where they started.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are a year behind the Chiefs, beaten in the Super Bowl after leaving their quarterback horribly exposed. Joe Burrow faced 23 pressures against the Rams, tied for third-most since 2006.

Like the Chiefs, they quickly set about bolstering their O line in free agency, though there remains a pressing need at left guard. Ted Karras played there for the New England Patriots last year, but is set to move back into center after Trey Hopkins was cut.

That versatility at least gives the Bengals options at either position depending on how the draft plays out, with their first pick not until the end of the first round (31). In fact, given competition at cornerback, edge and/or tight end could also be sought, the Bengals may be flexible throughout.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are the Super Bowl favourites, and with good reason. They were a coin flip away from beating the Chiefs and would have backed themselves against the Bengals, which might have quelled some of the optimism in Cincinnati channelled above. Buffalo have also added Super Bowl champion Miller to a defense that gave up a league-low 4.57 yards per play.

That's not to say there don't remain areas for improvement, with cornerback an obvious place to start. Tre'Davious White is returning from an ACL tear, and the Bills need a new man opposite him, given the loss of Levi Wallace.

The Bills might also be advised to ease the burden on all-action quarterback Josh Allen with the addition of a reliable running back. Allen ranked third among QBs for rushing yards in 2021 (763) but accounted for 34.5 per cent of his team's total – far and away the greatest share at his position.

Second on the list was former MVP Lamar Jackson (767 yards, 30.9 per cent), who's already showing signs of wear and tear having been tasked with running the Baltimore Ravens' offense.

Los Angeles Chargers

Outside the Packers, the Chargers perhaps have the most obvious positional need of any contender at right tackle – despite their own strong signings so far.

Left tackle Rashawn Slater was their first-round pick in 2021 and earned Pro Bowl recognition in his rookie season. Among offensive tackles with 200 or more pass protection snaps, Slater's stunt-adjusted win percentage of 90.5 ranked third. However, that stood in complete contrast to right tackle Storm Norton, whose 63.0 per cent ranked third-last.

Norton was brought in to play 15 games after a back injury put Bryan Bulaga on injured reserve. Bulaga has now been cut, and the Chargers surely cannot run it back with Norton.

The very best OTs in the draft are unlikely to still be available when the Chargers get to work in the middle of the first round, but it's no surprise to see them widely linked with Northern Iowa's Trevor Penning.

Andy Reid insists there is no rift between him and Tyreek Hill after the Kansas City Chiefs traded their star wide receiver to the Miami Dolphins.

In the latest blockbuster move of an incredible offseason in the NFL, Hill was traded to Miami for five draft picks last week.

The Dolphins then handed Hill, a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, a four-year, $120million contract extension with $72.2m guaranteed, making him the highest-paid player at his position.

Hill was a pivotal part of a Chiefs team that has reached the AFC Championship Game for four straight years and won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2019 season.

Chiefs coach Reid stressed that his departure was directly related to contract negotiations and the Chiefs' situation with the salary cap.

"I love Tyreek Hill," said Reid, per ESPN. "There's no rift between Tyreek Hill and myself. 

"I thought he deserved an opportunity if that's where he wanted to go. 

"He's a family man that has a few kids and he's got to be able to support them now and down the road, and this gives him an opportunity to do that. 

"At the same time, it gives us great compensation."

Speaking publicly for the first time since the trade, Reid made it clear the Chiefs' initial intention was to find a way to keep Hill.

He added: "We came in aggressive [with a contract offer], and after we got to a point, we just said, 'Listen, in this day and age you have issues you have to deal with, with the cap'. 

"So we felt like it was better to allow him to go ahead and be traded. You can go different routes with a player. You can play hardball or you can go about it the way I did, or we did.

"You've got to be able to manage that the right way.

"If you're paying all of your money to a quarterback and you can't surround him with players, that can be a problem. 

"So you have to find a way with a Tyreek Hill maybe that you have to get rid of so you can replenish. That's offense and defense. I'm not just talking about the offensive side."

The departure of Hill is a huge blow for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, though Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster are two free agent pass-catchers who have been brought in so far.

"You want to surround him with great players," added Reid when he was asked about Mahomes.

"We did try to sign Tyreek at a certain cost. Once it gets past that, now you can see what we're doing here with the players we brought in and we feel they're very good football players.

"[General manager Brett Veach] is building this thing to where we feel comfortable that we can go win on Sundays."

The Chiefs have won the AFC West division for six straight seasons but face fierce competition this year.

Seattle Seahawks great Russell Wilson has been signed by the Denver Broncos to play QB, while the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders have also strengthened with big moves.

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing running back Ronald Jones II in their latest move following Tyreek Hill's trade, according to reports.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said the Chiefs would look to give Jones a one-year contract worth up to $5million.

The Chiefs are overhauling their offense after failing to negotiate a new contract with Hill, who headed to the Miami Dolphins in return for five draft picks.

One of those picks is in the first round this year, giving the Chiefs the opportunity to potentially replace Hill with a top receiver prospect, but they have also been busy in free agency.

JuJu Smith-Schuster was followed to Kansas City by fellow wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, while Jones provides an alternative pass-catching option at running back.

Jones twice racked up 1,000 scrimmage yards in a four-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including in their title-winning 2020 season (1,143).

That year, Jones led the Bucs in carries (192), rushing yards (978) and rushing touchdowns (seven) but also had 28 catches for 165 receiving yards and a TD.

Jones took a back seat to Leonard Fournette both on the ground and through the air in the playoffs, although he still had 12 carries for 61 yards in the Super Bowl.

In Kansas City, leading rusher Darrel Williams is a free agent, meaning Jones is set to share touches with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a first-round pick in 2020 who is yet to truly establish himself in the NFL.

Edwards-Helaire had just 517 rushing yards in 10 games last year, when the Chiefs' run game ranked a middling 16th with 115.0 yards per game.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to link up with Patrick Mahomes on the Kansas City Chiefs, even if he had to think long and hard about leaving Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers. 

Valdes-Scantling became a free agent after the 2021 NFL season and followed fellow Packers receiver Davante Adams out of Green Bay. 

Like Adams, Valdes-Scantling ended up in the AFC West, tasked with helping to fill the void left by Tyreek Hill after he departed the Chiefs for the Miami Dolphins. 

Rather than be daunted by the prospect of filling in for a six-time Pro Bowler, though, Valdes-Scantling revealed he only considered the Chiefs when Hill was traded. 

The 27-year-old had spent his entire time with the Packers playing second fiddle to Adams, averaging 4.2 targets per game across his NFL career while his team-mate enjoyed 10.8 targets per game over that period. 

Valdes-Scantling was used in recent years almost solely as a deep-ball threat, leading all NFL receivers with 50 or more targets in consecutive seasons in terms of depth of target – 17.6 yards downfield on average in 2021, slightly down on 18.3 yards in 2020. 

Hill's departure means Mahomes will have to look elsewhere for a downfield option, but Valdes-Scantling might see an opportunity to have a more prominent role in Kansas City. 

"Kansas City really wasn't on my radar [at first]," he told reporters on Friday. "My agent called me and said, 'Tyreek may be traded out of there. Would you be interested in hearing what they have to say?' And I said, 'Yeah, 100 per cent.' 

"I'd been talking to a bunch of teams for a week, just kind of weeding everything out, trying to make the best decision, doing a lot of praying about it. 

"The opportunity came and I said, 'Of course I'd be interested, I'd love to play with Pat.'" 

Each of the 13 touchdown passes Valdes-Scantling has caught to date have been thrown by four-time MVP Rodgers, but Mahomes is one of the few rival quarterbacks capable of operating at the same level. 

"Obviously, me and Aaron have a great relationship," the receiver said. "It was really tough to even walk away. 

"I still had that opportunity on the table to go in and play with him for the rest of his career – whether that would be one year, two, three or however long he decides to go in and play. 

"I walked away from that opportunity and walked into one with a very similar quarterback. Obviously, talent-wise, they've both been MVPs, both won Super Bowls, so obviously both are [excellent] football players. 

"I just think that having this opportunity to build something long-term with Pat is going to be life-changing." 

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing free agent Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year, $36million contract as they seek to rebuild their offense following the departure of Tyreek Hill.

Six-time Pro Bowler Hill failed to agree terms on a new deal with the Chiefs and so was traded to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks on Wednesday.

That left the Chiefs without their number one wide receiver – and it remains to be seen how exactly they replace the game-breaking attributes of Patrick Mahomes' top target.

Their first move – according to ESPN and NFL Network – has been to sign a receiver familiar with elite quarterback play, bringing in Valdes-Scantling after four years with Aaron Rodgers on the Green Bay Packers.

However, Valdes-Scantling played second fiddle to Davante Adams – now with the Chiefs' AFC West rivals the Las Vegas Raiders – in Green Bay.

He last year ranked as low as third among Packers receivers for targets (55) and receiving yards (430) and fourth for catches (26) and receiving touchdowns (three), albeit he played only 11 games due to a hamstring injury.

Valdes-Scantling was used primarily by Rodgers as a deep-ball threat, leading all NFL receivers with 50 or more targets in consecutive seasons in terms of depth of target – 17.6 yards downfield on average in 2021, slightly down on 18.3 yards in 2020.

That approach was less effective last year, as Valdes-Scantling got open on just 54.7 per cent of his targets – the third-worst rate in the league.

By contrast, in 2021, Hill's average depth of target was only 10.3 yards, yet he got open 82.7 per cent of the time and tallied 824 receiving yards at the point of catch, ranking sixth among receivers.

Valdes-Scantling alone is highly unlikely to plug the hole he leaves, with the Chiefs set to turn to the draft with two first-round picks. They have also signed JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Tyreek Hill hailed the start of a new beginning with the Miami Dolphins as he thanked the Kansas City Chiefs for believing in him following Wednesday's blockbuster trade.

The four-time All-Pro wide receiver and member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team was traded to Miami for five draft picks, Hill receiving a four-year, $120million contract, with $72.2m guaranteed, from the Dolphins.

Hill, who is one of the fastest players in the history of the league, has been the centrepiece of the NFL's most explosive offense since Patrick Mahomes took over as the Chiefs' starting quarterback in 2018.

He has four 1,000-yard seasons in a six-year career, which has included 56 receiving touchdowns.

Hill will hope to have a transformative impact for the Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who threw for just nine touchdowns with five interceptions across Miami's 8-1 run to end last season.

In a post on social media, Hill expressed his excitement at joining the Dolphins, before turning his attention to a Chiefs franchise that selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.

"Today starts a new beginning. I'm very excited to be joining the Miami Dolphins and get to work," Hill, who lives in Miami during the offseason, wrote.

"However, it's hard thinking about the memories, people, and fans that made my time in Kansas City so great. To my family and especially my kids, thank you for being my biggest supporters. Daddy loves you! 

"I'm grateful to those who joined me in giving back to the Kansas City community through the Tyreek Hill Family Foundation. From college scholarships, youth football camps, funding the first youth mental health navigator at Marillac, donating supplies to the homeless, and visiting with kids in the hospital, we couldn't have made the impact without all of you. 

"Thank you to the Chiefs organisation for believing in me. I'll never forget getting the call in 2016 that my dream to play in the NFL was coming true. I worked hard every day to show my appreciation for you taking a chance on me. To coach [Andy] Reid, coach [Eric] Bieniemy, and coach [Greg] Lewis, thank you for what you have taught me not only about football but about life. 

"Thank you Pat, [Travis] Kelce, Demarcus [Robinson], and [Gehirg] Dieter along with all my team-mates. I'm proud to have taken the field with each of you.

"You are what made each day worth it. We are brothers for life! To the fans, thank you for your support. Playing for you has been one of the greatest things I have done in my life. Your energy, passion and loyalty for the team is indescribable. It was an honour to play in front of you. 

"Kansas City will always hold a special place in my heart. Cheetah out!"

Tyreek Hill is leaving the Kansas City Chiefs in the latest blockbuster trade of this NFL offseason, landing at the Miami Dolphins.

Reports from ESPN and NFL Network revealed on Wednesday a breakdown in contract negotiations between six-time Pro Bowler Hill and the Chiefs.

The wide receiver market was rocked by Davante Adams' huge move from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders elsewhere in the AFC West.

Kansas City expected Hill to leave and earn a huge deal elsewhere after they could not come to terms, with the Dolphins and the New York Jets said to be the two finalists for his signing.

After a short period in which Hill appeared to consider his options, as players from both teams made Twitter pleas to the wide receiver, he decided on Miami.

The Dolphins have sent the Chiefs five draft-picks, including a first-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft and a second-rounder.

While Hill gets a new four-year, $120million contract, with $72.2m guaranteed, according to reports, the Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa are boosted by one of the signings of the offseason.

Tagovailoa is yet to convince since he was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, although his starting spot does at least now appear secure following months of speculation around a trade for Deshaun Watson, who has joined the Cleveland Browns.

The Dolphins ended last season on an 8-1 run, but Tagovailoa, who started seven of the nine games, threw for just nine touchdowns and five interceptions in that time.

However, across the 2021 season, the Dolphins QB was throwing to an open target just 73.8 per cent of the time, down on the league average of 78.4 per cent and well below Patrick Mahomes' league-leading 85.5 per cent.

Of course, Mahomes could look to Hill, whose open percentage of 82.7 allowed him to tally 824 yards at the point of catch (seventh in the NFL).

That contributed to his fourth 1,000-yard season in a six year career, which has included 56 receiving TDs.

As their top pass-catching option headed out the door, the Chiefs reportedly had Marquez Valdes-Scantling visit. They have signed JuJu Smith-Schuster, too, but Hill's departure from an increasingly competitive division represents a big blow.

JuJu Smith-Schuster has confirmed the prospect of playing with Patrick Mahomes was a key factor in his decision to join the Kansas City Chiefs.

The one-time Pro Bowler had spent his entire NFL career to date with the Pittsburgh Steelers but announced his departure on Friday.

On social media, Mahomes soon welcomed the arrival in Kansas City of a wide receiver with 323 catches for 3,855 receiving yards and 26 receiving touchdowns across 63 games in five seasons.

After Smith-Schuster secured a one-year, $10.75million deal, Mahomes sent him a Twitter message, which read: "Turn me up brotha!!!"

His new Chiefs team-mate replied: "Can't wait to get after it my boy!"

But that was not their first conversation around the move, as Smith-Schuster revealed when facing the media as a Chief for the first time.

"I had talked to a couple of guys, obviously, to make this happen. I talked to Pat a couple of times. I'd talked to Pat multiple times before even all this. I've known Pat for a while now, so, yeah, of course.

"You go into free agency, and you find out who's going to be throwing you the ball next year. It came down to Pat, and I'm excited. I'm happy with my decision."

Taken in the second round in the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster was an instant hit with seven receiving TDs in each of his first two seasons, including a pair of 97-yard scores – becoming the first player in NFL history to have multiple offensive TDs of that distance or more.

There were 1,426 receiving yards in 2018, before a step back in 2019 was followed by a career-high nine receiving TDs in 2020.

Limited to five games by a shoulder injury while the Steelers toiled on offense with the retiring Ben Roethlisberger still at quarterback, Smith-Schuster's only score last season was his first career rushing TD.

The 25-year-old is confident the Chiefs are a good fit for him, though.

 "I just thought that this opportunity fit more for me in the sense of coming here, playing for Andy [Reid] and obviously the OC [Eric Bieniemy], Joe [Bleymaier] and everyone else," he said.

"I've seen an opportunity that I can take on and where I can improve my skills and see what I can do.

"I'm a physical guy coming in here to showcase those talents. That's what I bring with myself, in the package.

"I'm here to work. We have a great team, there are some great guys, and this is why I came to be a part of this. I came here to win."

Patrick Mahomes welcomed the arrival of a new Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver to target after JuJu Smith-Schuster secured a one-year, $10.75million deal.

Smith-Schuster announced his departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday.

The one-time Pro Bowler had spent his entire NFL career to date with the Steelers, with 323 catches for 3,855 receiving yards and 26 receiving touchdowns across 63 games in five seasons.

Taken in the second round in the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster was an instant hit with seven receiving TDs in each of his first two seasons, including a pair of 97-yard scores – becoming the first player in NFL history to have multiple offensive TDs of that distance or more.

There were 1,426 receiving yards in 2018, before a step back in 2019 was followed by a career-high nine receiving TDs in 2020.

Limited to five games by a shoulder injury while the Steelers toiled on offense with the retiring Ben Roethlisberger still at quarterback, Smith-Schuster's only score last season was his first career rushing TD.

Paired with Mahomes, though, the 25-year-old can feel confident he will get his career back on track in Kansas City.

Wideout Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce will remain Mahomes' primary weapons, targeted on 28 per cent and 25 per cent of their routes respectively last season, but there is room for another option after Sammy Watkins left following the 2020 campaign. Byron Pringle departed this offseason in free agency and Mecole Hardman has yet to live up to his second-round draft status.

Superstar Mahomes certainly appears eager to link up with Smith-Schuster, quickly welcoming his signing on social media after the new man posted: "#ChiefsKingdom Let's Go!"

"Turn me up brotha!!!" Mahomes replied, to which Smith-Schuster said: "Can't wait to get after it my boy!"

Smith-Schuster had earlier posted a message thanking the Steelers fans, saying: "To all of Steelers Nation. Thank you for taking me in and making me a part of the family from the moment that I was drafted. You all took me in so quickly, and I really needed it.

"I was a wide-eyed 20-year-old who was sent to the east coast away from my family for the first time in my life, and you made me feel right at home, despite all of the loneliness I should have felt.

"These have been the best five years in my life. I owe so much to the fans who embraced me and who made playing on Sundays in Pittsburgh so special.

"It was an honour to wear the black and gold for you all! I love you! JuJu."

JuJu Smith-Schuster is leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers to join the Kansas City Chiefs, the wide receiver appeared to confirm.

The 25-year-old was expected to leave the Steelers and used his official Twitter account to post a goodbye message to the fans, before adding in a later post: "#ChiefsKingdom Let's Go!"

Smith-Schuster will receive a one-year, $10.75M deal in Kansas, according to reports.

He spent five years in Pittsburgh after being drafted from the University of Southern California, playing 63 games and making just one touchdown, which came against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2 of last season.

Smith-Schuster posted a screenshot on Twitter that read: "To all of Steelers Nation. Thank you for taking me in and making me a part of the family from the moment that I was drafted. You all took me in so quickly, and I really needed it.

"I was a wide-eyed 20-year-old who was sent to the east coast away from my family for the first time in my life, and you made me feel right at home, despite all of the loneliness I should have felt.

"These have been the best five years in my life. I owe so much to the fans who embraced me and who made playing on Sundays in Pittsburgh so special.

"It was an honor to wear the black and gold for you all! I love you! JuJu."

The NFL offseason is as exciting as it has ever been in 2022 – and several of the biggest moves have centred on the AFC West.

This was already one of the deepest divisions in football, headlined by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs but also featuring the 2021 fifth seed Las Vegas Raiders and gunslinging Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in its supporting cast.

But the lineup for next season promises to be even more enticing.

The Raiders have worked to make sure they have not been left behind by the big-spending Chargers, while the Denver Broncos have also made a significant move to climb into contention.

In fact, over the past two weeks, the Chiefs have perhaps been among the big losers – watching on while the rest of their division have been getting busy...

March 8: Russell Wilson (Seahawks to Broncos)

The NFC West was previously the standard-bearer for hugely competitive divisions, but the power shifted as its fourth-placed Seattle Seahawks traded superstar quarterback Wilson to the AFC West's fourth-placed Broncos. With Aaron Rodgers staying with the Green Bay Packers, when a move to Denver had been mooted, a big play for Wilson was vital if the Broncos were to make up a significant gap. The Super Bowl XLVIII champion has ranked fourth for both pass yards per attempt (7.83) and touchdown percentage (6.2) across his NFL career – a significant upgrade on the Broncos' 2021 QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock.

March 10: Khalil Mack (Bears to Chargers)

With Herbert running the offense, the Chargers have moved to improve the other side of the ball – first by trading for edge rusher Mack. A second-round pick in this year's draft was the primary compensation for a six-time Pro Bowler, immediately boosting a unit that ranked 23rd in total defense (360.1 yards per game) and 30th in run defense (138.9) last year. Mack struggled with injuries in his final year with the Chicago Bears but comes in opposite Joey Bosa, who ranks third in the NFL for QB pressures (389) and sixth for sacks (58) since his 2016 debut; Mack is fourth (388) and seventh (57.5) over that same period.

March 14: J.C. Jackson (free agent to Chargers)

As well as draft collateral, the Chargers had salary cap to work with and sent a large chunk of it to cornerback Jackson, allowed to leave by the New England Patriots. Jackson had certainly earned his pay day, leading the NFL in interceptions (25) since debuting in New England in 2018. This playmaking ability was also illustrated by the 26-year-old giving up big plays on only 18.9 per cent of his targets last season, the eighth-best rate among corners with at least 50 targets.

March 15: Randy Gregory (free agent to Broncos)

The Chargers' edge-rushing duo will take some beating, but the Broncos upgraded in that position, too, by giving up to $70million to Gregory, who had been set to re-sign with the Dallas Cowboys. Gregory, who missed almost three full seasons due to violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy, had finally established himself as a starter in 2021 with career highs in sacks (six) and QB hits (17) playing opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. The 29-year-old linebacker will now be paired with Bradley Chubb, despite a return to Denver for Von Miller being floated earlier in the month.

March 16: Chandler Jones (free agent to Raiders)

Having seen their division rivals make big moves, the Raiders responded with a $51m offer to Jones, while trading Yannick Ngakoue to the Indianapolis Colts for corner Rock Ya-Sin. Ngakoue had 10 sacks and forced two fumbles in his sole season in Las Vegas, but Jones (10.5 and six) topped both figures for the Arizona Cardinals in 2021. In fact, since Jones came into the league with the Patriots in 2012, he leads both categories, with 107.5 sacks and 33 fumbles forced. Although now 32, he shows few signs of slowing.

March 17: Davante Adams (Packers to Raiders)

The most stunning move of the lot followed on Thursday, when Adams' refusal to play for the Packers on the franchise tag led to his trade to the Raiders for a first and a second-round pick in 2022 (22 and 53 overall). The deal suddenly gives Raiders QB Derek Carr arguably the best offensive weapon in the NFL – and one he can go to time and time again, given Adams was targeted on a league-leading 35.4 per cent of his routes in 2021, which yielded career highs in catches (123) and receiving yards (1,553). Fellow wideout Hunter Renfrow may now see less of the ball than in his first 1,000-yard season (1,038), but he should also benefit from the attention Adams inevitably draws. The Raiders already ranked sixth in passing offense (268.6 yards per game).

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