Chiefs Rumors

Draft Pick Signings: 5/24/18

Here are today’s second-tier draft signings:

  • The Buccaneers signed their second-round pick, cornerback Carlton Davis from Auburn. Davis was a three-year starter for the Tigers, earning a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior. An average athlete with good size, Davis will slide in behind Brent Grimes, Ryan Smith, and Vernon Hargreaves on the depth chart. The Bucs likely see Davis as the eventual successor to the now 34-year old Grimes.
  • Second-round linebacker Breeland Speaks signed his rookie deal with the Chiefs. Left without a first-round pick in the 2018 draft due to last year’s Patrick Mahomes trade, Speaks was the team’s first selection. Speaks played defensive tackle and defensive end in college, but the Chiefs plan to line him up at outside linebacker. Playing at Mississippi last year, Speaks generated seven sacks. He’ll initially be competing for playing time behind veterans Justin Houston and Dee Ford.
  • The Jaguars agreed to terms with third-round safety Ronnie Harrison on his rookie deal. Harrison was one of a slew of Alabama players selected in last year’s draft, and is looking to be the latest in a long line of Crimson Tide defenders to become stars in the NFL. Harrison was always a great player in college, but underwhelmed athletically with his testing at the combine. Harrison will play strong safety for the Jaguars, and is yet another piece added to their already dominant defense.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/23/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TE Demetrius Harris Suspended 1 Game

Having funneled their pass offense through Travis Kelce for several seasons and having not invested much in their No. 2 wide receiver job in many years, the Chiefs surprised most observers by authorizing a monster contract for Sammy Watkins. The fifth-year wideout’s three-year, $48MM deal — with $30MM guaranteed — is having a league-wide effect, Joel Corry of CBS Sports writes. Julio Jones, who is signed to a $14.25MM-per-year deal, is now seeking additional dollars. And Corry adds Odell Beckham Jr.‘s hopes to become the league’s first $20MM-AAV wide receiver is not a crazy demand anymore now that Watkins has signed a top-five contract without supplying production to justify it. Corry adds that Watkins’ $16MM-AAV contract will become Brandin Cooks‘ floor, assuming he fares well in Los Angeles this season.

As for the Chiefs, Watkins justifying the contract could be difficult, as Corry writes, since the newcomer may be the No. 4 option in his next offense. Kelce and Kareem Hunt are entrenched as the top components of Kansas City’s attack, and Tyreek Hill put together a strong 2017 featuring 1,183 air yards and seven touchdowns. Watkins caught 39 passes for 583 yards last season, and his career-best numbers were 1,047 and nine with the 2015 Bills. Hill becomes extension-eligible after this season and his contract expires after 2019. Those talks could be tricky if he outproduces Watkins this season. Only two teams — the Packers and Broncos — are paying two wideouts eight figures annually, and the Chiefs could be set to encounter an interesting dilemma once Hill talks begin.

  • The Chiefs will be without their backup tight end in Week 1. Demetrius Harris received a one-game suspension for a 2017 marijuana arrest that induced a multi-day jail stay, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Harris established new career-high marks last season with 18 receptions for 224 yards. The Chiefs added former Jets second-rounder Jace Amaro this offseason, but Harris has been with the team for the past four seasons. Amaro hasn’t played since 2016.

Chiefs Outfit Mahomes With High-End Options

  • By giving Patrick Mahomes a top-flight arsenal to work with as he begins his run as the Chiefs‘ starting quarterback, Andy Reid is taking a better approach to developing his most recent prized passing prospect compared to his work with Donovan McNabb, Geoff Mosher of The Score writes. McNabb was not given many notable pass-catchers early in his career, but Mahomes has plenty. With the $16MM-AAV Sammy Watkins deal representing a notable Chiefs about-face regarding their No. 2 wideout position, the franchise now has a quartet of weapons — Watkins, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill — that rivals any it’s ever assembled. While the Chiefs’ defense may have some work to do after the Marcus Peters trade, Mahomes has far more to work with offensively than Alex Smith did when he arrived in Kansas City five years ago.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/14/18

Here are Monday’s draft pick agreements.

  • Two Chiefs Day 3 draftees agreed to terms on Monday. Kansas City signed Texas safety Armani Watts (Round 4, pick 124) and Tennessee lineman Kahlil McKenzie (Round 6, pick 198), Adam Teicher of reports (Twitter links). The son of Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, Kahlil most recently played defensive tackle for the Volunteers. But the Chiefs are beginning his NFL career as a guard. Watts figures to push for a starting job for a Chiefs team that released Ron Parker.
  • The Bengals signed their final pick of the draft in Florida State wide receiver Auden Tate, whom Cincinnati selected in the seventh round (No. 253 overall).
  • Ohio’s other team signed a fifth-round pick Monday, with the Browns agreeing to terms with Memphis linebacker Genard Avery (Round 5, pick 150).
  • Jon Gruden‘s presumptive Marquette King replacement also signed today. Florida punter Johnny Townsend (Round 5, pick 173) signed his four-year Raiders deal.
  • The 49ers signed a fellow former Gator — No. 184 overall pick — in sixth-rounder Marcell Harris, Nick Wagoner of tweets. San Francisco now has six of its nine selections under contract.

Chiefs Re-Sign DT Stefan Charles

Stefan Charles wasn’t out of work for long. The Chiefs announced that they have re-signed the defensive tackle, just days after releasing him. 

Charles saw time as a reserve for the Bills and Lions, but hasn’t played much since 2016. Last year, Charles spent much of the year on the workout trail before signing with the Chiefs just prior to their January Wild Card loss to the Titans. He was re-upped in March, then cut on Tuesday along with Rakeem Nunez-Roches, but now he’s back in the fold.

Charles, who will turn 30 in June, registered five sacks for the Bills between 2013-2015. He has 49 career games and two starts on his resume.

The Chiefs project to start newcomer Xavier Williams at nose tackle with third-round pick Derrick Nnadi serving as a backup. Charles will compete with Justin Hamilton and others for a spot on the roster as a reserve DT.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Make Front Office Changes

  • The Chiefs announced that they’ve promoted Mike Borgonzi to director of football operations. As Adam Schefter of points out (Twitter link), Borgonzi will now take over the position manned by Chris Ballard before he became the Colts’ general manager, meaning the former should now be viewed as a future GM candidate. Kansas City also promoted Ryan Poles to assistant director of player personnel and named Ryne Nutt director of college scouting.

Chiefs Cut RB Akeem Hunt, DT Stefan Charles

The Chiefs have waived running back Akeem Hunt with a failed physical designation and released defensive tackle Stefan Charles, the club announced today.

Hunt, who spent the first two seasons of his career with the Texans, barely played on offense for Kansas City last season, but saw ample time (171 snaps) on special teams. On a mere eight rush attempts, Hunt managed only 2.9 yards per carry, and added four receptions in the passing game. Hunt’s role would have been extremely limited going forward, as the Chiefs added both Kerwynn Williams and Damien Williams to a running back depth chart that already includes starter Kareem Hunt, Charcandrick West, and Spencer Ware.

Charles, meanwhile, is the second Kansas City interior lineman to collect his walking papers today, as the Chiefs also cut ties with Rakeem Nunez-Roches earlier on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Charles has a decent track record as a reserve for the Bills and Lions, but he hasn’t seen the field since 2016. Charles spent the 2017 campaign on the workout circuit before signing with the Chiefs just before their January Wild Card game; he was subsequently re-signed in March.

In addition to parting ways with Hunt and Charles, the Chiefs also made the following moves:

Chiefs Release Rakeem Nunez-Roches

The Chiefs have released defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches, as Terez A, Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets. The Southern Miss product was due $1.9MM this year as a backup, which was apparently too much for KC’s liking. 

Nunez-Roches was a restricted free agent this offseason and was retained with the original-round tender. The 24-year-old (25 in July) took a while to explore his options and did not ink his tender until the last week of April. The deadline for RFAs to sign offer sheets was on April 20, but Nunez-Roches did not sign an offer sheet and – to our knowledge – did not draw serious interest elsewhere. As a former sixth-round pick, a team would have had to sacrifice an equivalent choice in the event of an unmatched offer sheet.

Ultimately, Nunez-Roches was pushed out of a defensive line that added RFA Xavier Williams from the Cardinals and will return Allen Bailey to complement its Chris Jones-centered unit. The Chiefs also bolstered the D-Line through the draft by taking Mississippi’s Breeland Speaks in the second round and FSU nose tackle Derrick Nnadi in the third round.

Nunez-Roches started eleven games for the Chiefs last season and five in the 2016 campaign. He played 390 snaps in 2017 and registered a half-sack and made 24 tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/7/18

Here are today’s draft pick signings:

  • The 49ers announced that they have signed defensive lineman Kentavius Street. The fourth-round pick (No. 128) out of North Carolina State appeared in 51 games (35 starts) during his collegiate career, compiling 9.5 sacks. He had one of his best seasons as a senior in 2017, finishing with 38 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and one forced fumble in 13 games. The rookie figures to compete with Cassius Marsh for reps behind Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas.
  • The Chiefs signed sixth-round pick Tremon Smith to his four-year rookie contract today. The cornerback had a productive career at Central Arkansas, compiling 146 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 15 interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles. Smith will have some competition for playing time, as he’s currently listed behind Kendall Fuller, David AmersonSteven NelsonKeith Reaser, and Will Redmond on the depth chart.