Tommy Townsend

West Notes: Chiefs, Irvin, Amukamara

The Chiefs moved on from their longest-tenured player this offseason, jettisoning 15-year punter Dustin Colquitt. Although the team with Patrick Mahomes negotiations looming and Chris Jones attached to a franchise tag created cap space by cutting Colquitt, the defending Super Bowl champions also identified his potential successor in its UDFA class. Chiefs ST coordinator Dave Toub said (via the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope, on Twitter) he rated rookie UDFA punter Tommy Townsend as this draft class’ best punter. Twice a semifinalist for the Ray Guy award, Townsend punted at Florida after transferring from Tennessee. The Chiefs signed both Townsend and 2019 UDFA Tyler Newsome this offseason. Toub’s glowing assessment of Townsend almost certainly gives him a leg up in this competition.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Bruce Irvin had his eye on a Seahawks reunion for a while. The former Seattle first-round pick texted Bobby Wagner during the playoffs he wanted to come back (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter). Irvin also confirmed he will be playing linebacker in Seattle’s base defense while shifting to an edge-rushing role on passing downs, Condotta adds (via Twitter). This was the expected arrangement. The Seahawks used their base defense considerably last season but have not re-signed Mychal Kendricks. Irvin functioned in this versatile capacity during most of his first Seahawks stint.
  • Prince Amukamara will take a considerable pay cut to join the Raiders. The veteran cornerback signed a one-year, $1.05MM deal, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Amukamara will qualify for the new minimum salary benefit, counting only $888K against the Raiders’ cap. The Bears re-signed Amukamara in 2018, and he was set to make $9MM in base salary on that contract this season.
  • Frank Clark played a role in bringing Taco Charlton to Kansas City, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Charlton’s ex-teammate and roommate while at Michigan, Clark lobbied Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo in an effort to bring the former first-round pick to Kansas City. The Chiefs did not claim Charlton’s rookie contract but did add him at a cheaper rate. Charlton called his departure from Dallas and Miami “mutual,” according to Pelissero (via Twitter). Both teams waived the 2017 first-rounder, the Dolphins doing so despite Charlton leading the team in sacks last season with five. Charlton figures to fill a rotational role vacated by the exits of Emmanuel Ogbah and Terrell Suggs.
  • Despite Bashaud Breeland being arrested on several charges earlier this offseason, he has been part of the Chiefs’ virtual offseason since it began, Spagnuolo said (via NFL.com’s James Palmer, on Twitter). Re-signed on a one-year deal, Breeland will likely face a suspension for his arrest — which included the charge of resisting arrest.

Chiefs Release P Dustin Colquitt

The longest-tenured Chiefs player is moving on. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that Kansas City is releasing punter Dustin Colquitt. The move saves the Chiefs around $2MM against the cap.

“I have enjoyed my time in Chiefs Kingdom, all things come to an end, sometimes sooner than you hoped, prayed & pleaded for them to,” Colquitt wrote on Instagram. “I’ll miss walking into the building & smelling the coffee, talking to everyone…it took me forever to weave through some of the most loving people you’d ever hope to work with. I was a young kid when I first walked into Arrowhead…hell, the indoor facility used to be 70 yards. Holding this post for 15 years has been an honor that I never took for granted. Thank you KC.”

The 37-year-old had spent the entirety of his 16-year career in Kansas City, earning a pair of Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl championship. Back in 2017, he passed Jerrel Wilson for the most punts and punting yards in franchise history, and he signed a three-year contract extension in 2018.

While Colquitt’s 44.3 yards per punt in 2019 was his lowest average since his sophomore season, his net average of 40.3 yards was on-par with his career marks. The veteran also placed 21 punts inside the 20.

The Chiefs must be content moving forward with their pair of punter additions: Tyler Newsome and Tommy Townsend. Newsome was a 2019 undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame, while Townsend is a 2020 undrafted free agent out of Florida. As Pelissero notes (on Twitter), the Chiefs gave Townsend a lofty $82.5K guaranteed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Sign 18 UDFAs

The Chiefs became the latest team to announce their undrafted free agent class:

  • Andre Baccellia, WR (Washington)
  • Maurice French, WR (Pittsburgh)
  • Aleva Hifo, WR (BYU)
  • Kalija Lipscomb, WR (Vanderbilt)
  • Justice Shelton‐Mosley, WR (Vanderbilt)
  • Cody White, WR (Michigan State)
  • Yasir Durant, T (Missouri)
  • Jovahn Fair, G (Temple)
  • Darryl Williams, C (Miss St.)
  • Tershawn Wharton, DT (Missouri S&T)
  • Omari Cobb, LB (Marshall)
  • Bryan Wright, LB (Cincinnati)
  • Rodney Clemons, S (SMU)
  • Jalen Julius, S (Ole Miss)
  • Hakeem Bailey, CB (West Virginia)
  • Javaris Davis, CB (Auburn)
  • Lavert Hill, CB (Michigan)
  • Tommy Townsend, P (Florida)

The Chiefs had to spend relatively big to get a couple of these guys. Lipscomb got $110K guaranteed and a $10K signing bonus, while Williams got $107K guaranteed and a $7K signing bonus (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network). This was regarded as an epic receiver class with plenty of draftable players going un-selected due to the surplus, so it’s not surprising guys like Lipscomb are landing big bonuses.

As a junior at Vandy he had 916 yards and nine touchdowns, although he took a step back last season. Williams was a three-year starter at MSU who can play guard and center.

All told, the Chiefs inked a whopping six undrafted receivers. White declared early after racking up 922 yards and six touchdowns as a senior at Michigan State. Davis was widely expected to get drafted, with NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projecting him as a fifth-rounder and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller having him go at the top of the sixth, so he’s a nice get as well.