For many front offices around the league, the most stressful portion of the annual NFL Draft starts when the clock stops after Round 7. It is commonplace for teams to fill out their offseason roster with upwards of a dozen undrafted rookies, however, the stakes are often raised for these free agents who are available to higher bids from all 32 clubs and varying levels of opportunity to make a roster.
The Kansas City Chiefs officially signed 18 UDFAs following April’s draft, including a half dozen wide receiver prospects. By many accounts, including Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor, the defending Super Bowl champions did very well for themselves during the process this year.
However, not all UDFAs are acquired equally.
Chiefs Give Big Money to the Big Man
In signing former Missouri OT Yasir Durant, whom the Chiefs met with during the pre-draft process and is considered the crown jewel of the team’s undrafted rookie class this year, Kansas City gave the 6-foot-6-inch, 331-pound offensive lineman a deal that includes $150K in guaranteed money. While that sum was initially considered expensive for the highly sought-after blocker, we know now know where Durant’s deal ranked among UDFA around the league.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Chiefs’ commitment to the 21-year-old included the fourth-most guaranteed money given to any rookie free agent signing this offseason.
Spotrac lists the total value of Durant’s contract at $2.29 million over three years, with a base salary starting at $610K for the 2020 season. He is set to become a restricted free agent in 2023.
Chiefs May Shift Durant Inside to Guard
In a press conference following April’s NFL Draft, Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach praised the big man’s positional flexibility, despite spending three seasons at left tackle for the Tigers.
“We feel [there’s a lot of versatility in] (Yasir) Durant from Missouri,” Veach said. “Certainly, a local guy that we got to watch a lot. He played a bunch of tackle, but we do think that sliding him to guard might be his best position. Any time you can get a couple 6-6 guys inside there protecting Pat (Mahomes) will be beneficial.”
Speaking to reporters last week, Durant echoed Veach’s point, noting that he’ll play wherever the coaching staff needs him.
“I have a lot of versatility,” Durant said. “I’m comfortable in a lot of spots. Right now we’re just working through things and trying to figure out where I fit at.”
Durant, who pointed to the Chiefs’ winning culture as one of the primary reasons for signing in K.C., also said that he’s most excited to play alongside All-Pro RT Mitchell Schwartz.
“I love his game,” Durant told Chiefs.com. “He’s a very fundamentally sound football player.”