Donnie Avery

Chiefs Cut Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins

1:01pm: The Chiefs have officially released Avery, and have also waived former first-round wideout A.J. Jenkins, tweets BJ Kissel of Jenkins, who had just nine receptions last season, had been on the books for a non-guaranteed $1.337MM cap hit. He’ll have to clear waivers before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

12:12pm: The Chiefs are nearly ready to begin making cap-clearing moves in advance of this year’s free agent period, according to Ian Rapoport of, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is cutting wide receiver Donnie Avery. As a six-year NFL veteran, Avery won’t pass through waivers, and will immediately be free to sign with another club once the move becomes official.

Avery, who had started 14 games for the Chiefs in 2013, acting as the team’s No. 2 wideout behind Dwayne Bowe, was sidelined for most of the 2014 campaign due to a groin injury. He played in six games, grabbing just 15 passes for 176 yards, and was held without a touchdown for the first time in his career.

Of course, Avery was hardly alone in Kansas City when it came to being held touchdown-less. The Chiefs’ entire wide receiving corps improbably went the whole 2014 season without catching a single TD pass. Given the lack of production from the group last season, and the fact that there’s a chance Bowe could join Avery on the open market, wide receiver figures to be a primary area of focus for the team this offseason.

Because Avery had been scheduled to earn a $2.7MM base salary and $700K in combined roster and workout bonuses, the Chiefs will create $3.4MM in cap savings by cutting him. With less than $2MM in projected cap space, and a number of their own players to re-sign – most notably Justin Houston – Kansas City will have to make a few more moves before they’ll have enough room to comfortably negotiate new deals with those free-agents-to-be

AFC Mailbags: Chiefs, Jags, Bengals, Ravens

It’s Saturday morning, and that means’s NFL writers are opening their mailbags and answering questions from readers. Let’s check out some interesting notes from the AFC…

AFC West Notes: Hillman, Allen, Jackson

Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman ended last season fourth on the depth chart, but he’s rebounded with an impressive, encouraging offseason, reports’s Chris Wesseling. Hillman’s position coach Eric Studesville praised the third-year back, saying, “From when we started this spring in April forward, he has been unbelievable. He’s a completely different guy in the best possible way and I’m just excited about what he’s doing, how he’s approaching it, how he’s making plays on the field.”

Here’s a few more AFC West links:

      • The Broncos need to improve in the punt return game, writes the Denver Post’s Troy Renck, who takes a look at the players vying for the role, including Isaiah Burse and Jordan Norwood. The team can also use veteran Wes Welker if the “safe” option is the best option.
      • Donnie Avery had just 40 catches and two touchdowns in his first season with the Chiefs last year, but he remains the team’s best option to be the No. 2 receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe, says ESPN’s Adam Teicher.
      • The Chiefs’ offensive line is the focus of team reporter BJ Kissel, who writes about the impressive camp third-year blocker Jeff Allen is having. Allen is proving versatile and effective, and his teammates are noticing. Says Pro-Bowl pass rusher Tamba Hali: “I’m very impressed with [Allen]. He’s able to play guard and he’s able to play tackle and I’m going against him and he’s stoned me a couple times. I’m very impressed with him.”
      • There’s no more ambiguity about the type of offensive line the Raiders want to field, writes’s Jerry McDonald, who says rookie guard Gabe Jacksonrepresents a changing of the guard for the Raiders in ways that go beyond inserting the rookie third-round draft pick into the starting lineup.” Jackson has work to do in pass protection, but the Raiders envision the third-rounder as a powerful road grader with long-term starter potential.
      • The Chargers’ depth chart for their first preseason game looks like this. Notre Dame rookie Chris Watt will start at right guard, while free-agent acquisition Donald Brown is listed as the primary kick returner.

Extra Points: Gratz, Boswell, Massie

Let’s round up some assorted links from around the league:

  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union looks at five players who finished the 2013 season with the Jaguars but who might be on the bubble of Jacksonville’s improved roster this season.
  • In a separate piece, O’Halloran describes the strong performance that Jaguars cornerback Dwayne Gratz had at the end of OTAs, and he notes that the Jags need Gratz to win a the starting corner spot opposite Alan Ball.
  • Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer provides a detailed piece on the new additions to the Panthers‘ secondary and writes that the Panthers hope the patchwork unit they assembled this season will have as much success as the makeshift group of 2013.
  • In a video piece on, Texans undrafted rookie kicker Chris Boswell describes the kicking competition this offseason with incumbent Randy Bullock.
  • Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News describes the players that performed well and those that struggled in the Lions‘ offseason program and how those performances might carry over to training camp in July.
  • Josh Weinfuss of writes that Bobby Massie is currently the clubhouse leader for the Cardinals‘ starting right tackle spot, but the fact that the team tried to sign Tyson Clabo demonstrates how the team feels about Massie and Bradley Sowell. Weinfuss adds that depending on how Massie and Sowell look early in training camp, the Cardinals may yet choose to look outside the organization. Eric Winston remains an option.
  • Adam Teicher of believes the Chiefs need to make a move at cornerback now after the release of Brandon Flowers, and he adds that Donnie Avery appears locked in at the team’s No. 2 receiver.
  • Charley Walters of writes that Vikings are not likely to release quarterback Christian Ponder but hope to trade him. Although Ponder would only fetch, at best, a late-round draft pick, the team would save $1.8MM by dealing him.

Chiefs Notes: Dressler, Smith, Johnson

Cousins David and DeMarcus Van Dyke have waited their entire lives to be on the same team. The time has finally come, as the two cornerbacks are now teammates on the Chiefs. There’s one problem, though: the players are competing for a roster spot.

The duo are two of ten cornerback candidates currently in Chiefs camp, and it’s no guarantee that either player makes the team. Even with all of the competition, the family members are still rooting for each other.

Via Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star:

May the best man win,” said DeMarcus. “I’ll be proud of him if he does make it, because I want him to win an opportunity in the NFL. He’s worked hard since little league to get here, so anything I can do to help him win a job, I’m down for it.”

“You have to compete for a job,” said David, “no matter what team you go to.”

DeMarcus was selected by the Raiders in the third round of the 2011 draft. He’s appeared in 25 career games. David was undrafted out of Tennessee State.

There’s a lot more going on in Kansas City.’s Chiefs writer Adam Teicher answered questions from readers this past weekend. Let’s see what he had to say…

  • Teicher believes it will be difficult for CFL veteran wide receiver Weston Dressler to make the roster. The writer says the drafting of De’Anthony Thomas “doomed” Dressler’s chances.
  • Teicher thinks the Chiefs will keep six wideouts:  Thomas, Donnie AveryDwayne Bowe, Junior HemingwayFrankie Hammond Jr. and A.J. Jenkins.
  • The writer doesn’t think Alex Smith will receive a contract approaching Jay Cutler‘s $126MM deal. He suggests a contract worth $14-$15MM annually, less than the $18MM that Cutler averages.
  • It wouldn’t surprise Teicher if the Chiefs hold on to four quarterbacks, especially if they don’t sign Alex Smith to an extension. Besides Smith, the team also has Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray.
  • The addition of linebacker Joe Mays is “an ominous sign” for Nico Johnson, the writer says.

Chiefs Notes: Albert, Houston, Lewis, Avery

Let’s round up a few of the latest items out of Kansas City….

  • Yesterday, Branden Albert‘s free-agent outlook was evaluated by’s Adam Teicher, who believes, “It’s time for both sides to move on.” A veteran left tackle whose pass blocking prowess dwarfs his run blocking skill, Albert played for a $9.8MM franchise tender in 2013, but will hit the open market this year. Despite his flaws, Albert is expected to cash in, a la Jermon Bushrod, as detailed by Bleacher Report’s Ty Schalter earlier this month.
  • Meanwhile, the team has initiated contract talks with Justin Houston, whose deal expires after next season, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS (via Twitter).
  • Free safety Kendrick Lewis was a nice find in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, but his play has declined since that season, says Teicher. The Chiefs will look to upgrade that position with a rangier, more athletic player in an effort to cut down on big plays against and provide more consistency on the back end.
  • After sending a second-round pick to San Francisco in the Alex Smith trade, the Chiefs hold just one draft pick in the first 86 and would like to add more, according to Teicher, who also thinks Donnie Avery‘s roster spot could be in jeopardy.