The Kansas City Chiefs are fresh off of a strong showing at the 2020 NFL Draft, which saw the defending Super Bowl champions add six draft picks to their roster over the weekend, plus an additional 18 undrafted rookie free agents. Among the deep UDFA class was Florida P Tommy Townsend, the third punter to join the team, along with free agent signing Tyler Newsome and long-time veteran Dustin Colquitt.
However, it now appears that Colquitt, the franchise’s longest-tenured player, is no longer in the mix. The soon-to-be 38-year-old special teams leader took to his Instagram account early Tuesday morning to post a farewell message to Kansas City.
The two-time Pro Bowler concluded his caption with “Thank you KC,” sending a clear message that he has likely played his final snaps in a Chiefs uniform.
I have enjoyed my time in Chiefs Kingdom, all things come to an end, sometimes sooner than you hoped, prayed & pleaded for them to. 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
While it was initially unclear whether the Chiefs had released Colquitt or if the 16-year punter was hanging up his cleats for retirement, he later confirmed on Twitter that this move was team-driven.
NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero also confirmed the surprising release on Twitter, noting that Kansas City gave Townsend $82.5K in guaranteed money — a relatively high sum for an undrafted rookie.
Colquitt was a Model of Consistency
Last season, Colquitt averaged 44.3 yards per punt, tied for the second-lowest mark of his career, trailing only his 39.4-yard average during his rookie campaign. He punted away two times during Super Bowl LIV in February for an even 100 yards, helping aid the organization to its first title in 50 years.
The Tennessee alum has spent all 15 professional seasons with the Chiefs, who selected him in the third round (No. 99 overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft. Colquitt was the first specialist off the board that year, nearly three rounds before the next closest kicker or punter. In a franchise-record 238 career regular season games, Colquitt has registered 1,124 punts for 50,393 yards with an average of 44.8 yards. His 462 punts downed inside of the 20-yard-line are also good for third-best in NFL history. Aside from his sustained on-field success, Colquitt is also a role model off the field, earning the Chiefs’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination three different times over the years, most recently last season for his continued work as an ambassador for Team Smile.
The Chiefs project to receive approximately $1.95 million in salary cap relief as the result of Colquitt’s base salary dropping off the books for the final year of the three-year extension the sides agreed to in 2018.
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