Since losing three major contributors on the offensive line in free agency, the Kansas City Chiefs have been active in trying to rebuild the depth. In addition to the draft, GM John Dorsey has also been searching for diamonds in the rough in free agency and that doesn’t stop during OTAs.
The latest addition to the line is tackle Ryan McKee, a free agent that first entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Mississippi with the New York Jets back in 2009. He then moved on to the St. Louis Rams, but didn’t appear in a game for either team.
He hasn’t gotten a chance the last four seasons, but after spending time with the Chiefs during last week’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, McKee now has a roster spot.
The Chiefs starters on the offensive line are all but set, but that’s where the certainty ends. Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid will be looking for ways to build depth and if a guy like McKee can prove his worth at multiple positions, maybe he snags one of the finals spots on the 53-man roster or practice squad.
To make room for McKee on the roster, the Chiefs released tackle Chandler Burden. He had spent time on the Chiefs practice squad last season and was signed to a reserve/future contract in January.
The Kansas City Chiefs continued to tinker with their roster leading up to this weekend’s rookie minicamp, by signing undrafted free agent LB DeRon Furr and releasing OT RJ Dill.
Dill had just joined the Chiefs in January on a reserve/future contract. He had previously spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots after going undrafted out of Rutgers last year.
One of the more intriguing players joining the Chiefs, Furr has had quite the journey. The rookie started his career as a quarterback at Auburn, before being moved to defense and then transferring to Memphis and Division II Fort Valley State. Though he’s being signed as a linebacker, he played safety during his three collegiate stops.
He may be new to defense, but Furr put up respectable numbers at his pro day and hits like a ton of bricks. If he can prove to be a reliable run-and-hit special teamer and capable on defense, he could turn out to be the perfect practice squad candidate.
The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed the signing of veteran defensive tackle Kyle Love Tuesday and also announced they’ve added a pair of defensive lineman. Inking deals are veteran defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo and undrafted free agent defensive lineman Kona Schwenke out of Notre Dame.
Cudjo won’t have to move very far to join the Chiefs considering he was just released last week by the Rams. St. Louis signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and he played parts of three seasons for the Rams. During his career he has played in 38 games (4 starts) and racked up 45 tackles to go along with 1.5 sacks.
Also bulking up the defensive line will be Schwenke from the Fighting Irish. The Hawaii native worked out for the Chiefs before the draft and during his senior season with Notre Dame, Schwenke had 23 tackles and half a sack while starting seven games.
Both players will attempt to stand along a crowded defensive line with Schwenke getting the first chance this weekend at the Chiefs rookie minicamp.
As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to hold their rookie minicamp this weekend, they continue to shuffle to roster. In addition to signing both veterans and rookies, they also had to part ways with DL Cory Grissom and LB Ridge Wilson.
The Chiefs signed Grissom back in March after he was released by the New England Patriots. He spent last season on the Patriots IR as an undrafted free agent out of South Florida thanks to an ankle injury. During his time at South Florida, Grissom played in 46 games (40 starts) and had 105 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Wilson is a little bit more of a surprise, because he had multiple go around with Andy Reid during the head coach’s first season in Kansas City. He signed last year as an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama and made it all the way until final cuts.
Though it took until December, Wilson made his way back to Kansas City when he was added to the practice squad. The Chiefs inked him to a reserve/future contract back in January, so he seemed like a solid bet to at least make it to training camp.
The Kansas City Chiefs re-singed a familiar name Monday, bringing back Kyle Love to compete for a job along the defensive line.
Love signed with the Chiefs last season in November and quickly found himself on the active roster his first week on the team. However, the next week he was inactive and released shortly after, spending less than two weeks in Kansas City.
Before making his way to to the Chiefs, Love started out with the New England Patriots where he had 65 tackles, 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.
He was released following a Type-2 diabetes diagnosis and was briefly with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he would return after the Chiefs released him.
Love held his own in his only game with the Jaguars, picking up four tackles. Now he’ll have to do some heavy lifting to crack what is now quite a deep defensive line.
When free agency opened up, the Kansas City Chiefs almost immediately lost a ton of depth along the offensive line when Branden Albert, Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah inked deals with other teams. Now after drafting two linemen, the Chiefs have continued rebuilding their depth by signing veteran tackle J’Marcus Webb.
Webb first entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick of the Bears in 2010 and spent three seasons in Chicago before moving on to the Minnesota Vikings last year. In his career Webb has played in 54 games (45 starts), though he only started once for the Vikings in 2013.
The tackle had drawn interest from the Vikings and Carolina Panthers before signing with the Chiefs. If he had other offers on the table, he may like his chances at cracking the starting lineup in Kansas City with starters Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson still learning on the job.
I’ve never though much of Webb and while he should have the inside track on a backup job along the offensive line, I wouldn’t expect to see him push a starter for time.
The Kansas City Chiefs will kick off their rookie minicamp Saturday and they’ll have three players joining them with fresh contracts.
Monday afternoon the team announced they’ve come to terms with undrafted free agents FB James Baker, C Ben Gottschalk and K Cairo Santos. The three will join the Chiefs draft class, previously signed undrafted free agents as well as a crop of players in Kansas City on a tryout basis this weekend as the Chiefs start trying to put their 2014 roster together.
Baker comes to the Chiefs as a fullback, but was Idaho’s leading rusher last season with 617 yards and six touchdowns, including a 150 yard outburst against Arkansas State. Though he only caught eight passes, three of those went for touchdowns. If he sticks around until training camp, he’ll be competing with returning starter Anthony Sherman and linebacker turned fullback Jordan Campbell.
Gottschalk brings impressive versatility to minicamp. As a junior at SMU, he started all 12 games at left tackle, before moving inside as a senior and once again starting in every game. As the Chiefs attempt to replace the three linemen lost in free agency, they’ll be looking for multiple players that can help all along the line.
Santos will be with the team simply as a someone to kick during minicamp. Ryan Succop is locked in as the Chiefs starter and the team isn’t going to keep two kickers for long. The Tulane star could give GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid a player to remember if something happens to Succop. He’s fresh off a fantastic career at Tulane, where he won the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place Kicker award as a junior and was a semifinalist this past season.
During the Johnny Manziel draft slide last week, fans all around the leagues started to wonder if their team might pull the trigger on the polarizing quarterback. It was no different in Kansas City, where it’s been ages since the Chiefs had a true “quarterback of the future”.
The Chiefs never had a chance to make a decision on Johnny Football because the Cleveland Browns jumped ahead of them to take the former Texas A&M star. The Browns had been waiting all night for the right spot to go and get Manziel and Cleveland’s quarterbacks coach, Dowell Loggains, told ESPN radio in Arkansas why it was important to jump in when they did.
“We had almost made trades with Tennessee and Dallas and backed out,” Loggains said. ” … We were sitting there, and Coach Pettine keeps texting me, and we’re going back and forth and we’re going, ‘Hey does Dallas take him here? No they won’t. Does St. Louis take him at 13?’ We knew we had to get in front of the Chiefs (at No. 23) because we knew they would draft him.”
Not thought the Chiefs would draft him… KNEW.
If Andy Reid and John Dorsey had decided to go with Manziel, he obviously was a special case, because they didn’t have any interest in the other top tier quarterbacks. Specifically, they passed on the chance to take Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. They felt comfortable enough to wait until the fifth round when Aaron Murray out of Georgia became good value.
Does being so close to Manziel make you feel any differently about the Chiefs draft?
The Kansas City Chiefs added six rookies over the weekend in the first six rounds of the NFL Draft. They followed that up Monday by signing six undrafted free agents.
Ben Johnson, LB, Tennessee-Martin
Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU
Darryl Surgent, WR, Louisiana-Lafayette
David Van Dyke, CB, Tennessee State
Charcandrick West, RB, Abilene Christian
Albert Wilson, WR, Georgia State
All of the undrafted free agents will be fighting for playing time at positions desperately in need of help right now. The two players that immediately jump out are Surgent and Wilson. The Chiefs didn’t add any receivers in the draft and are in the process of replacing their punt and kick returners, roles both players can fill.
Surgent owns the UL-Lafayette record for return yards, while Wilson put up a whopping 2,283 all-purpose yards as a senior at Georgia State and brings blazing 4.38 speed to Kansas City.
As Andy Reid gets his rookies together for a minicamp on May 24th, the draft picks and undrafted free agents will be joined by a handful of players attending on a tryout basis. Once Reid and GM John Dorsey get a good look at what their batch of rookies can offer, we’ll likely see some more shuffling of the roster.
With the 200th pick of the NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from McGill University in Montreal. Though he won’t be pushing Eric Fisher or Donald Stephenson for playing time in 2014, this is a late round pick that has a very high ceiling.
Duvernay-Tardif (or you could just call him Larry, his nickname) is a medical student that started off as a defensive lineman before moving to the offensive side of the ball. At 6’5″, 320 pounds, Larry will bring prototypical NFL size to the Chiefs depth chart.
One of the best stories in the draft, Larry’s days are quite packed these days. He broke down his schedule for CBS last month.
“I have a pediatric rotation from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “Then a workout, then dinner, then homework and then studying film.”
During his spare time over the next five years, Larry will work on completing his schooling to receive his M.D. certificate, something we rarely get to talk about when it comes to professional athletes. Though before he worries about being a doctor, the Canadian will work on earning a spot on the Chiefs roster during training camp.
Unless the Chiefs made a last minute trade, Duvernay-Tardif will be the final selection this year for GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid. The focus for the team will now switch to undrafted free agents and trying to lock down the players they would have been looking to draft if they had selections in the seventh round.