With all the Kansas City Chiefs news this week following the AFC championship loss — from GM Brett Veach addressing the media to NFL bombshells like Tom Brady’s retirement and Brian Flores’ lawsuit — the first list of transactions flew a bit under the radar.
On February 2, 2022, the Chiefs announced 13 reserve/future signings on the NFL’s transactions report. Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride tweeted out the info.
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Josh Gordon, Cornell Powell Headline Futures List
This is an intriguing group to keep with the organization heading towards the offseason’s official start date on March 16.
The biggest name is obviously Josh Gordon, a former All-Pro wide receiver who looked like he lost a step in 2021. NFL insider Field Yates noted that this deal will give the fallen playmaker “an offseason to further acclimate himself within [the Chiefs’] system.”
Gordon accumulated a career-low 32 receiving yards with Kansas City and was invisible most snaps. His best performance of the campaign was a two-catch outing against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 that included a touchdown.
Perhaps the more exciting wide receivers kept on the roster long-term were Cornell Powell and Daurice Fountain.
Powell was a 2021 fifth-round pick out of Clemson that failed to make the roster in training camp. He did not play a snap his rookie year but his 6-foot frame amounted 882 receiving yards and seven touchdowns during 12 games in 2020 — his senior campaign.
Fountain was actually the man that beat Powell out last summer. He was originally a fifth-round pick as well, except with the Indianapolis Colts. As a special teams contributor, Fountain appeared in two regular-season games in 2021 and all three postseason outings. He did not record a reception in any of the five, however.
“I just want to be great, I know I can be great. I owe it to myself and my family to be great!!” Fountain tweeted on the day of his futures deal.
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Wide Range of Reserves, Depth
The rest of the signings ranged in terms of position and length of time with the Chiefs.
There was one more wide receiver on the list, former undrafted organizational favorite Gehrig Dieter. The Alabama product has been with KC since 2017 and is really a special teamer at heart. So long as Andy Reid is the coach, don’t be surprised if you see Dieter on the practice squad.
Staying on the offensive side, two tight ends found their way to future contracts — Mark Vital and Matt Bushman. The former was a 2021 Seattle Seahawks UDFA that played basketball at Baylor. He joined the Chiefs back in September. The latter, an ex-Raiders UDFA poached by Veach.
Two offensive linemen also secured spots on the roster moving forward. They were center Darryl Williams and offensive tackle Roderick Johnson.
Williams was a Chiefs UDFA in 2020. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound blocker played college ball at Mississippi State, and he’ll turn 25 in June.
Johnson only joined Kansas City during the playoff run last month. He’s a 6-foot-6 behemoth that had success as a run blocker in Houston but struggled with injury and pass protection. The former fifth-round pick could be a name to watch if OL coach Andy Heck can hone his potential.
On the defensive side, five players were rewarded a futures deal. The most notable were linebacker Darius Harris and defensive back Dicaprio Bootle.
Harris has been a special teams contributor the past two seasons with 15 tackles in 11 games, while Bootle was a rookie that accumulated eight tackles in three appearances. Both were undrafted prospects out of college.
The final three were practice squad warriors in 2021. Defensive tackle Cortez Broughton, defensive end Austin Edwards and defensive back Devon Key combined for three activations in 2021 but very few snaps. Broughton was a seventh-rounder in 2019, the other two were both recent UDFAs.