Chiefs To Release Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Marquez Valdes-Scantling collected two Super Bowl rings as a veteran presence in what became a wildly inconsistent Chiefs receiving corps. The ex-Packer, of course, contributed to the inconsistency. And his cap charge in 2024 will lead to a separation.

The Chiefs are expected to release Valdes-Scantling, according to’s Jeremy Fowler. The move will save $12MM for the two-time reigning champions. MVS was due to make $11.56MM in nonguaranteed base salary next season.

While Valdes-Scantling frequently drew scrutiny due to his drop penchant — not exactly the lone Chiefs cog to struggle on this front — he made some important contributions as a member of the team. MVS caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl LVIII and snagged a deep toss from Patrick Mahomes that held off the Ravens in the AFC championship game. In the 2022 AFC title game, the Chiefs lost their three other top receivers due to injury. Valdes-Scantling’s 116-yard performance played a pivotal role in the Chiefs fending off the Bengals.

But the NFL’s latest dynasty is in need of cap space due. Both Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed are due for free agency. The Chiefs are prepared to tag Sneed, at $19.8MM, but as of Wednesday morning, they did not hold enough cap room to even do that. With the team still in talks with Jones, the $12MM in additional funds will help. Though, the future Hall of Famer is a real threat to hit the market come March 11.

Shortly after trading Tyreek Hill in March 2022, the Chiefs reached an agreement with Valdes-Scantling to come over from the Packers. MVS signed a three-year, $30MM deal that morphed into a pay-as-you-go structure following the 2022 season. The Chiefs liked enough about what they saw to keep the former fifth-round pick in 2023, doing so as they let JuJu Smith-Schuster walk in free agency. MVS finished with 687 receiving yards in 2023 but tailed off — the AFC title game resurgence notwithstanding — down the stretch. Last season, the up-and-down pass catcher totaled only 315 yards despite playing 16 games. A crucial drop may have cost the Chiefs a November win against the Eagles.

While MVS joined Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore in submitting iffy seasons that turned wide receiver into the team’s biggest weakness, the veteran was still needed down the stretch. The Chiefs effectively determined they were a more reliable offense without Moore and Toney. Neither of the young receivers played after Week 15. Kansas City went 6-0 without the drop-prone pass catchers henceforth, but both Toney and Moore remain tied to rookie deals. Toney’s January outburst on social media — related to the team keeping him on its injury report for the AFC championship game — preceded the former first-round pick becoming a healthy scratch for Super Bowl LVIII. The 2022 trade acquisition is far from certain to be a Chief in 2024.

In addition to Moore, the Chiefs still roster 2023 second-round pick Rashee Rice. Backup wideout Justin Watson, who became a more important piece due to the higher-profile WRs’ drop issues, is also under contract for the ’24 season. It is a mortal lock, however, the Chiefs make a major upgrade attempt at the position this offseason.

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