Chiefs Bring Back WR, Sign to 90-Man Offseason Roster

Gehrig Dieter

Getty Images WR Gehrig Dieter joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2017.

On February 4, just two days after a come-from-behind Super Bowl victory, the Kansas City Chiefs signed nine players to future contracts for the coming offseason. All nine players, including a couple NFL veterans such as RB Elijah McGuire and DT Devaroe Lawrence, were members of the team’s 10-man practice squad roster. The lone player not brought back from the group, WR Gehrig Dieter, was assumed to be departing Kansas City after his contract expired.

According to ESPN reporter Field Yates, the 26-year-old receiver will be back in the mix after signing a new contract with the Chiefs on Tuesday.

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Dieter originally joined the team in 2017 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alabama. The 6’3,” 207-pound wideout, who is close friends with QB Patrick Mahomes, spent his entire rookie year on the practice squad. In 2018, Dieter saw his first action as a pro, playing four games and catching his only career NFL reception to date. He saw action on special teams in two more games this past season, but has largely bounced around between the practice squad for the last two years.

The Chiefs front office will need to make a number of tough decisions to make at the wide receiver position this offseason. Among them are finding a solution for WR Sammy Watkins impending $21 million cap hit for next season and the expiring contract of fourth-year WR Demarcus Robinson, who is already reportedly drawing interest from the Philadelphia Eagles.


The Sammy Watkins Dilemma

With two dozen impending free agents set to hit the market in March and less than $20 million in salary cap space, the Chiefs roster will likely look drastically different than the team fielded in Super Bowl LIV. One of the most interesting cases this offseason will be 26-year-old WR Sammy Watkins, who is currently signed through the 2020 season.

In 2019, the former No. 4 overall pick improved his production across the board in his second season in Kansas City. The dilemma the Chiefs will have in keeping Watkins is his bloated contract which includes a $13.75 million base salary and $7 million signing bonus.

In the days leading up to the championship, Watkins acknowledged that a pay cut could be an option to remain with the team next season. However, Watkins changed his tone during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio following the Super Bowl.

“At the end of the day, I think the Kansas City Chiefs are in control as far as contract talks, you know?” said Watkins. “A guy of my stature, I’m still young, I still think I have a lot of good football in me. But as you know, it takes a toll on the body, the mental, the physical and I’m gonna really weigh my options out and see if I need to sit out the whole OTAs or something like that, just to get my mental back and be with my kids and family. It’s been a long season for the last two years. We’ve been in the playoffs, going all the way to the third round last year, then won the Super Bowl. So I honestly think mentally, physically, soulfully, spiritually, I need some downtime. So I will talk to coach [Andy] Reid about it.”

If the Chiefs are going to move on from the talented wideout, a pre-June 1 trade or release appears to be the most likely option as the team could reap $14 million in cap savings while inquiring only $7 million in dead cap.


READ NEXT: Chiefs Sign 9 Players Including Former Cowboys, Jets Running Backs


For more NFL updates, follow Chris Licata on Twitter: @Chris__Licata

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