The Chiefs have released defensive end Taco Charlton, defensive back Will Parks, and guard Bryan Witzmann, per a club announcement. They’ve also waived linebacker Riley Cole and quarterback Anthony Gordon, bringing them down to an 80-man roster in advance of tomorrow’s deadline.
Despite entering the league as a seventh-round pick, Parks has seen considerable playing time as a pro. He spent most of his career with the Broncos before moving on to the Eagles in 2020. Injuries led to Parks’ release in December, bringing him back to the Broncos. Parks missed six games last year, but previous to that, he was only scratched for two. He’s been with the Chiefs since May — now, he’ll have to hook on elsewhere.
Charlton, a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, flamed out quickly in Dallas. After just two-plus years with the Cowboys, he moved on to the Dolphins and did his best work in 2019 — five sacks in ten games. He had a decent 2020 with the Chiefs too, up until he broke his leg in November. He finished out with two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble for KC. However, the 26-year-old (27 in November) wasn’t able to make the cut.
The Chiefs carved out a few roster spots today by letting go of three players. Per the NFL’s transactions report, the team released offensive lineman Bryan Witzmann and tight end Sean Culkin. The team also waived quarterback Jordan Ta’amu.
Witzmann, 30, has managed to stick around the NFL for seven years despite going undrafted out of South Dakota State in 2014. The lineman made a name for himself with the Chiefs, appearing in 26 games (with 20 starts) between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He appeared in 10 games (seven starts) for the Bears in 2018 before he was limited to only a pair of games with the Panthers in 2019.
The veteran spent much of the 2020 season as a free agent before catching on with the Chiefs practice squad in October. He ultimately saw time in only one game for Kansas City, although he did enough to get a new contract from the team back in February. The Chiefs have been active revamping their offensive line this offseason, and Witzmann is just the latest casualty.
Culkin has started 12 of his 19 games since entering the NFL in 2017, but he’s only hauled in a pair of catches. He spent the majority of the 2020 season with the Ravens, and he inked a reserve/futures contract with the Chiefs back in February.
Ta’amu has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted out of Ole Miss in 2019, spending time with the Texans, Lions, and Chiefs (two stints). He joined Kansas City’s practice squad in January and later inked a reserve/futures contract with the organization. The quarterback also spent time in the XFL, earning a Player of the Week award.
Baker struggled as a first-round rookie with the Giants, allowing a 116.2 passer rating. Then, heading into his second year, Baker was arrested on multiple felony charges. Cops alleged that Baker orchestrated a robbery at gunpoint with Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar as his accomplice. Then, after a number of twists and turns — including payoff allegations against one-time Dunbar attorney Michael Grieco — the charges were dropped.
After a month on the taxi squad, Baker got called up to the varsity squad for a couple of games. Now, he’ll work to make the 53-man cut in KC.
In addition to Baker, the Chiefs announced the following futures deals:
BryanWitzmann had two of his most productive NFL seasons with Kansas City, and the veteran was apparently back in town on Tuesday. Howard Balzer tweets that the lineman visited with the Chiefs today. The team also worked out cornerbacks Kemon Hall and Trevon Mathis.
The former undrafted free agent out of South Dakota State has managed to put together a six-year career, including stints with the Chiefs, Texans, Saints, Cowboys, Vikings, Bears, Browns, Dolphins, and Panthers. He started 13 of his 16 games with the Chiefs in 2017, and he proceeded to appear in 10 games (seven starts) with Chicago in 2018.
Witzmann spent the preseason with the Browns before getting cut in late August. He signed with the Dolphins in mid-September, but was cut less than a week later. He caught on with the Panthers in the end of September, and he went on to appear in two games with Carolina. Witzmann was cut by the Panthers back in November.
Hall, 22, spent much of the preseason with the Chargers. Mathis, 24, had a brief stint with the Vikings organization. The Chiefs currently have three cornerbacks listed on their injury report in MorrisClaiborne, RashadFenton, and KendallFuller.