Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Saints Showed Interest In Marquez Valdes-Scantling; Latest On WR’s Bills Signing

Marquez Valdes-Scantling trudged through an inconsistent 2023 season, albeit one that included pivotal contributions in the playoffs. But the two-time Super Bowl champion attracted a decent market in the weeks following the draft.

Post-draft signings not affecting teams’ 2025 compensatory formula played into the MVS chase, which featured a few teams. Although the Bills won out for the two-year Chiefs starter, the Chargers also arranged a visit. The Saints were part of this pursuit as well, according to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.

New Orleans cut the cord on Michael Thomas this offseason, shedding the uniquely constructed contract as a post-June 1 cut. The team did add Cedrick Wilson Jr. in free agency, but the second-generation NFL wideout is coming off a down Dolphins tenure. While the Saints have first-rounder Chris Olave entrenched as their top target and found a gem in UDFA Rashid Shaheed, more complementary help would make sense going into Dennis Allen‘s third year as head coach.

The Saints used a fifth-round pick on Pittsburgh’s Bub Means and also added Equanimeous St. Brown as a flier-type free agent. Sixth-round pick A.T. Perry showed promise as a rookie, averaging 20.5 yards per catch (12 receptions, 246 yards, four touchdowns). The team also has receiving tight end Juwan Johnson and enduring jack of all trades Taysom Hill to help Derek Carr in his second New Orleans season. With the market thinning following the signings of MVS, Odell Beckham Jr., DJ Chark and Zay Jones, the Saints may be prepared to go with their current receiving cast.

Valdes-Scantling’s Bills deal is worth up to $4.25MM. With the base value assuredly checking in lower, it is worth wondering if the Saints made an offer. MVS visited the Bills this week, and ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler adds the six-year veteran had dinner at Josh Allen‘s house during his Buffalo trek. This meeting helped convince the former Packers fifth-round pick to join a crowded but uncertain Bills receiving corps.

The Bills let Gabe Davis defect to the Jaguars in March and, despite incurring a non-quarterback record $31MM in dead money, the team traded Stefon Diggs to the Texans in April. The team used a second-round pick on Florida State’s Keon Coleman. The 6-foot-4 rookie will be expected to play a key role on a team flooded with midlevel veterans. In addition to Valdes-Scantling, the Bills have signed Curtis Samuel, Chase Claypool, Mack Hollins and KJ Hamler. This cast’s makeup points to MVS carving out a role in a group that will also need 2022 draftee Khalil Shakir to continue an upward trajectory.

MVS joined the likes of Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore in struggling for an unreliable (beyond Rashee Rice) Chiefs receiving corps last season. Formerly attached to a three-year, $30MM deal, the 6-4 target struggled down the stretch in 2022 as well. The inconsistent deep threat still totaled 687 receiving yards in his Kansas City debut and produced a six-catch, 116-yard performance in the ’22 AFC title game — with the other prominent Chiefs wideouts unavailable due to injury — to help the hosts fend off the Bengals despite Patrick Mahomes limited with a high ankle sprain.

Committing a brutal drop in a narrow loss to the Eagles, Valdes-Scantling finished the regular season with just 315 yards. But he came up big against the Bills (two catches, 62 yards) and caught a conference-clinching lob from Mahomes against the Ravens before scoring a touchdown against the 49ers. The Bills will hope their newest addition can at least commandeer an auxiliary role within their post-Diggs WR crew.

Bills Sign WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s Bills visit has proven to be a fruitful one. The veteran wideout has a Buffalo agreement in place, as first reported by Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The team has since announced the move.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds this one-year pact includes a $1.125MM signing bonus. The deal carries a maximum value of $4.5MM, and it eliminates another receiver from the post-draft free agent market. Valdes-Scantling will aim to provide Buffalo with a vertical threat in the team’s vastly different 2024 wideout setup.

The Bills lost Gabe Davis in free agency when he inked a three-year, $39MM deal with the Jaguars. Davis proved himself to be an effective field-stretcher during his four years in Buffalo, averaging 16.7 yards per reception. It came as little surprise when he departed, though, as the team turned its attention elsewhere in the pass-catching corps.

At the time of Davis’ departure, Stefon Diggs was still in place as the Bills’ top receiver. He was dealt to the Texans in April, however, creating a notable vacancy in terms of targets in the Buffalo passing attack. Curtis Samuel was added in free agency, and (after trading down twice) the team used its top draft pick on Keon Coleman. Quarterback Josh Allen was on board with selecting the Florida State product, and it will be interesting to see how their chemistry develops in 2024 and beyond.

Valdes-Scantling spent the past two seasons in Kansas City, helping the team win back-to-back Super Bowls. The 29-year-old only saw his catch percentage (51.2%) improve slightly compared to his tenure in Green Bay, and issues related to drops will no doubt be a talking point if they continue this season as he joins the Bills. Valdes-Scantling also met with the Chargers before his Buffalo summit, but he has elected to join Allen and Co. as they look to improve on last year’s run to the divisional round.

Buffalo’s switch to Joe Brady as offensive coordinator midway through the 2023 campaign saw the team lean more heavily on the running game. That will likely continue this season, with tight ends Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox each having a notable role. The receiver room will look much different, however, and Valdes-Scantling will look to carve out a starting spot ahead of free agency next offseason.

Bills Hosting WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

It sounds like Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s market is heating up. After meeting with the Chargers last week, the veteran wide receiver is meeting with the Bills tonight, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

[RELATED: Chargers To Host Marquez Valdes-Scantling]

The former Packers draft pick has spent the past two seasons in Kansas City, earning Super Bowl rings in each campaign. Following a 2022 season where he compiled 687 receiving yards, Valdes-Scantling finished 2023 with a career-low 315 receiving yards. The wideout has also come up big in the playoffs, hauling in 24 receptions and three touchdowns, including one score in this past year’s Super Bowl.

The Chiefs moved on from the veteran earlier this offseason, saving the team $12MM against the cap. The veteran was set to enter the final season of a three-year, $30MM deal he signed with the Chiefs in 2022. Valdes-Scantling has been connected to the Chargers multiple times this offseason, but it’s been a relatively quiet free agency for the 29-year-old.

The WR-needy Bills would be a natural landing spot for any of the available free agent wideouts, so it’s not a surprise that they’re considering Valdes-Scantling. Both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis will be playing elsewhere in 2024, leaving the team with a questionable depth chart at the position. The team still has holdover Khalil Shakir, and they added a list of veterans (including Curtis Samuel, Chase Claypool, and Mack Hollins) before selecting Keon Coleman in the second round of the draft.

Chargers To Host Marquez Valdes-Scantling

The Chargers have already been active in the post-draft free agent market at the receiver position. Los Angeles added DJ Chark last week, providing the team with a vertical option in the passing game.

They may not be done on that front, however. The Chargers are set to host Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a visit Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The veteran has been on the market since his Chiefs release early in the offseason. The only team connected to him during his stay on the open market has been the Chargers.

Los Angeles created a pair of notable vacancies at the WR spot by releasing Mike Williams and trading Keenan Allen. The team turned down the opportunity to add Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze at the No. 5 pick in the draft, electing instead to select offensive tackle Joe AltThe Bolts nevertheless brought in three rookie wideouts by drafting Ladd McConkey in the second round before following up with Brenden Rice and Cornelius Johnson in the seventh.

Those moves did not preclude further action on the part of Los Angeles’ new regime. General manager Joe Hortiz and head coach Jim Harbaugh have made it clear the team will lean heavily on the ground game based on their roster-building decisions to date, but room exists for more wideout additions. Los Angeles is among the teams which has shown interest in Tyler Boyd, though a Valdes-Scantling agreement could take the team out of the running on that front.

The latter averaged just under 16 yards per catch while helping win the Super Bowl in each of his two Kansas City campaigns. After letting him go, though, the Chiefs inked Marquise Brown in free agency and drafted fellow speedster Xavier Worthy in the first round of the draft. Valdes-Scantling is thus set up to play for a new team in 2024, though the Chargers’ ongoing interest means he could still find himself in the AFC West next season.

The 29-year-old’s best season came in 2020 (33-690-6 statline), and he has remained a deep threat since then. Drops have been a talking point during his career, however, and his skillet overlaps considerably with that of Chark. Still, Valdes-Scantling could compete for a notable role with the likes of Quentin Johnston and Josh Palmer if his Chargers visit were to yield a contract.

Chargers Interested In WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling?

Having released Mike Williams and traded away Keenan Allen, the Chargers have multiple starting spots open at the receiver position. The upcoming draft will provide opportunities (as early as the fifth overall pick) to add a notable prospect, but a free agent addition before then could also be an option.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the Chargers have interest in Marquez Valdes-Scantling (h/t Alex Insdorf of Chargers Wire). The 29-year-old finds himself on the open market after he was released by the Chiefs in February. That move brought an end to his two-year tenure in Kansas City, but because of the financial benefits it yielded it was not a surprise.

Valdes-Scantling averaged just under 16 yards per catch during his time with the two-time defending champions. He thus remained a deep threat in the team’s receiving corps, and Fowler notes the Chargers are targeting a speed addition at the receiver spot. The former Packer posted a catch percentage of just 51.2% with Kansas City, though, and criticisms related to drops have continued throughout his career.

Still, Valdes-Scantling could offer an experienced complementary option in the short term as Los Angeles transitions to a less expensive WR room. 2023 first-rounder Quentin Johnston is in position to take on a larger workload this season, but he struggled with inconsistency as a rookie. Josh Palmer is also capable of taking on a starting workload, but he is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract.

As a result, many have labeled the Chargers as a team to watch with respect to a first-round receiver addition. Retaining the No. 5 selection would likely allow new general manager Joe Hortiz to choose from at least two of Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze. Hortiz has publicly stated, though, that he is willing to entertain trade offers for the team’s top pick.

Los Angeles has already been linked to Tyler Boyd, who like Valdes-Scantling finds himself on the market well into free agency. The former may not find a deal until after the draft, by which point his addition would not count toward the compensatory pick formula. That does not apply in the latter’s case since he was released, but he may also need to wait several more weeks to find a new home. Whether or not a deal is struck with the Chargers will remain an interesting storyline to follow.

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 ESPN.com’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.

Patrick Mahomes Played Central Role In Chiefs Signing JuJu Smith-Schuster, MVS

The Chiefs are 2-0 and enter Week 3 second in points per game. The team, which traded Tyreek Hill and lost other wide receivers in free agency, heads to Indianapolis ranked sixth in passing yards and third in offensive DVOA.

Patrick Mahomes is obviously driving this effort, but the former MVP and Super Bowl MVP is still adjusting to a new-look receiving corps. Kansas City’s fifth-year starter did plenty to assemble this group, beginning shortly after the Hill extension talks took a turn that led to the blockbuster swap with Miami.

Chiefs GM Brett Veach informed Mahomes in mid-March of the increasing likelihood Hill would be dealt, Nate Taylor of The Athletic notes, with the perennial Pro Bowl wideout’s request for a significant raise becoming an untenable proposition for the Chiefs (subscription required). The Raiders’ Davante Adams contract changed Hill’s approach, and the Chiefs added their two free agent receiver targets shortly after the Adams extension (JuJu Smith-Schuster) and the Hill trade (Marquez Valdes-Scantling).

Although it looked for a bit like the Chiefs brought in Smith-Schuster to complement Hill, due to the team’s No. 1 wideout still being on the team when the longtime Steeler signed, Taylor adds Mahomes had begun recruiting Smith-Schuster shortly after learning Hill could be gone. Smith-Schuster had been on Kansas City’s radar for two offseasons. The Chiefs pursued him in 2021, but the former Steelers second-round pick opted to stay in Pittsburgh for one more year. A January report indicated Smith-Schuster was interested in circling back to the Chiefs as well. Mahomes helped move this transaction — a one-year, $3.76MM deal — across the finish line, eyeing the Pittsburgh slot as a player who could excel in myriad capacities in Kansas City.

Valdes-Scantling did not have the Chiefs on his radar to start free agency, according to Taylor, but Mahomes called the ex-Packers deep threat shortly after the Hill deal commenced. MVS visited the Chiefs and signed with them a day later. The Packers had made a late push to retain their former fifth-round pick, but Taylor notes they offered a one-year deal. MVS had expected to land a one-year pact, however, and the Chiefs only guaranteed $8.56MM of the wideout’s three-year, $30MM deal at signing.

Combined, the Chiefs’ top four receivers’ salaries — also factoring in Mecole Hardman and Skyy Moore‘s second-round contracts — come in at a fraction of Hill’s league-record $30MM-per-year Dolphins dough. Hill has gotten off to a fast start in Miami and fit better on a Dolphins payroll lacking a franchise-QB salary. Travis Kelce still leads the Chiefs in receiving by a wide margin — something that probably should be expected to be the case at season’s end, barring injury — while Smith-Schuster, MVS and Hardman have combined for 21 receptions through two games. Moore is being brought along slower, having played just 15 offensive snaps in two weeks.

Contract Details: Armstead, MVS, Douglas, Peterson, Peppers, Butler, Barnett, Harris

Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to around the NFL:

  • Terron Armstead, T (Dolphins): Five years, $75MM. In addition to a $12MM signing bonus, Armstead’s $43.37MM guarantee includes his 2022 and ’23 base salaries ($1.1MM, $9MM), Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Armstead’s $13.25MM 2024 base salary is guaranteed for injury at signing. The deal includes $2.5MM-per-year incentives for playing time and Pro Bowl accolades, Wilson adds (on Twitter).
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR (Chiefs): Three years, $30MM. Valdes-Scantling’s $18MM guaranteed includes a $6MM signing bonus and a fully guaranteed 2022 base salary ($2.56MM), Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The Chiefs have some flexibility in 2023. MVS has $6.4MM of his $8.6MM 2023 salary guaranteed for injury at signing; that shifts to a full guarantee if the wideout is on Kansas City’s roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. Valdes-Scantling’s $11.6MM 2024 base is nonguaranteed.
  • Rasul Douglas, CB (Packers): Three years, $21MM. The Packers gave Douglas a $5.3MM signing bonus and have him tied to base salaries of $1.1MM, $2.25MM and $6.25MM, Wilson tweets. Douglas will collect a $2MM roster bonus if he is on Green Bay’s roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year.
  • Derek Barnett, DE (Eagles): Two years, $13.2MM. Barnett will see $7MM fully guaranteed, which includes $5.5MM in Year 1 and $1.5MM in Year 2, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes (Twitter links). The Eagles guaranteed $1.5MM of Barnett’s 2023 salary and will guarantee $2MM more of that $7.5MM figure if he is on their roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. There are $9MM in incentives available, Wilson tweets.
  • Malcolm Butler, CB (Patriots): Two years, $9MM. The Patriots only guaranteed the recently unretired cornerback $750K, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. That comes via a $500K signing bonus and a $250K guarantee of Butler’s 2022 base salary. Butler’s cap numbers check in at $2.22MM and $2.75MM.
  • Patrick Peterson, CB (Vikings): One year, $4MM. In addition to the $3.5MM guaranteed Peterson will collect, Wilson notes the Vikings included $1MM in playing-time and playoff incentives (Twitter link). The team tacked a void year onto the deal.
  • Anthony Harris, S (Eagles): One year, $2.5MM. The Eagles are guaranteeing $1MM of Harris’ $2MM base salary, Wilson tweets.
  • Jabrill Peppers, S (Patriots): One year, $2MM. The Patriots are giving Peppers a $300K signing bonus and guaranteeing his $1.1MM base salary, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The deal includes $3MM in playing-time incentives.

Packers Made Late Push For Marquez Valdes-Scantling

The Packers, who entered the offseason with one of the worst salary cap situations in the league, were expecting to lose free agent WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling to another team. But after the Davante Adams trade opened up cap room and created a glaring need for receiving talent, Green Bay made a late push to re-sign MVS, as Tom Silverstein of of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. This jibes with an earlier report that the Packers were hoping to convince the four-year pro to stay.

Ultimately, the Chiefs — who had a receiver need of their own after trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins — landed Valdes-Scantling on a three-year, $30MM contract ($18MM guaranteed). It’s unclear if that was a more lucrative deal than what Green Bay was offering, or if Valdes-Scantling simply decided that Kansas City represented a better opportunity.

One way or another, it seems that the 27-year-old deep threat fared better on the open market than he was expecting. Per Silverstein, MVS was aiming for a one-year pact worth between $7MM-$10MM when free agency opened, though he believed that such a contract would include void years for cap purposes. But in addition to the Chiefs and Packers, the Saints were also in the running, as Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network tweets, and having a number of interested clubs helped to drive up the asking price.

Valdes-Scantling is obviously not a perfect replacement for Hill, one of the game’s most talented receivers. Still, MVS’ big-play abilities — he boasts a career 17.5 YPR average — should nicely complement the skill-sets of fellow wideout Mecole Hardman, TE Travis Kelce, and new slot receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, and after dropping seven passes in 2020, he muffed just one in 2021.

The Packers and Saints, meanwhile, will continue to search for upgrades. Green Bay may be interested in free agents like Will Fuller and Odell Beckham, while New Orleans has been connected to Jarvis Landry. Both clubs could also turn to the draft, which is deep in WR talent.

Chiefs Sign WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Barely a day after they traded Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins, the Chiefs will sign one of the top wide receivers remaining on the market. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is committing to Kansas City on a three-year deal, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The Chiefs have since announced the move.

The former Packers deep threat agreed to terms on a three-year pact worth $30MM. The Packers still had hopes of re-signing MVS, but the four-year veteran will head to Missouri. Valdes-Scantling will receive $18MM guaranteed on a deal that can be worth up to $36MM. The Chiefs will save quite a bit of money with this receiver commitment, compared to what they would have paid Hill.

Kansas City offered Hill a contract that would have made him one of the league’s highest-paid receivers, but the sides did not progress. The difference in the Chiefs and Dolphins’ offers was notable, Drew Rosenhaus said (via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, on Twitter). The Dolphins gave Hill a four-year, $120MM extension, one that is closer to three-year, $75MM deal.

Valdes-Scantling visited Kansas City on Wednesday, shortly after the news broke Hill was being granted permission to seek a trade. The former fifth-round pick will join a reconstructed Chiefs receiving corps, which houses JuJu Smith-Schuster as well. The Chiefs still have Mecole Hardman under contract but have dealt Hill and seen Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson find new teams in free agency.

The Packers hoped they could convince MVS to stay, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes, but multiple suitors emerged. As a result, Valdes-Scantling will shift to another MVP quarterback. Despite entering the league two years later, Valdes-Scantling is only a few months younger than Hill. The 27-year-old wideout also struggled with drops during his time in Wisconsin, but he showed considerable deep capabilities with Aaron Rodgers. It is fairly easy to see why the Chiefs targeted him, given Hill’s long-range importance in their Patrick Mahomes-keyed attack.

Valdes-Scantling led the NFL with 20.9 yards per catch in 2020, catching six touchdown passes that season. Last year, a hamstring injury and a COVID-19 contraction led to the South Florida alum missing seven games. He finished the season with just 26 receptions for 430 yards. Valdes-Scantling does not have a 1,000-yard season on his resume at the pro or college level, but the Chiefs are confident he will fill part of the void created by Hill’s sudden departure. The Packers, meanwhile, will continue to search for difference-makers for a receiving corps that looks like one of the NFL’s thinnest post-Davante Adams.