Days after losing free agent wideout Sammy Watkins to the Baltimore Ravens, the Kansas City Chiefs have retained another pass-catching option for the 2021 season.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Monday, the Chiefs are expected to re-sign wide receiver Tajae Sharpe to a new contract for the 2021 season. Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star has reported that the deal is for one year, however financial terms have yet to be disclosed.
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Sharpe Spent Time with Chiefs Last Season
The 26-year-old receiver first joined Kansas City’s practice squad last December after the release of Marcus Kemp and return of Byron Pringle following a multi-week stint on injured reserve. Sharpe was never elevated to the active roster for game action, however.
Now entering his fifth season, the former Tennessee Titans fifth-round draft pick has compiled 92 receptions, 1,167 yards and eight career touchdowns — the majority of which came during his 2016 rookie campaign that saw him haul in 41 passes for 522 yards. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone Sharpe’s way since then. The 6-foot-2, 194-pounder lost his entire sophomore season to training camp foot injury and while he missed only one game in the two years following, his production dipped to an average of 25.5 catches, 322.5 yards and two scores in Tennessee’s run-heavy offense.
Last season, Sharpe signed a one-year deal to try to catch on with the Minnesota Vikings but was targeted only three times on 28 snaps across four games. In addition to Adam Thielen, the emergence of rookie standout Justin Jefferson did not help Sharpe’s cause. Still, the underwhelming showing led to his release in mid-December.
With Watkins out of the picture in Kansas City, there will be additional snaps to go around next season, namely for breakout candidates Mecole Hardman and Pringle. Still, younger players like Sharpe, Antonio Callaway, Maurice Ffrench and Jody Fortson may be given a legitimate opportunity to overtake Kemp or Demarcus Robinson on the team’s wide receiver depth chart. Sharpe’s 4.55-second 40-yard-dash time and more nuanced route-running ability gives him as good of a chance as any to carve out a larger role in 2021.
Sharpe Also Known for Trolling Ravens
While the on-field results haven’t been much to write home about over the last 18 months, one of Sharpe’s most memorable moments in recent years came at the expense of one of the Chiefs’ top foes, the Baltimore Ravens. Following a Week 11 blowout win of the Houston Texans in November 2019, former Ravens running back Mark Ingram gave an infamous postgame press conference introduction to his MVP-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson.
After rolling to a 14-2 record and the AFC’s No. 1 seed that year, Baltimore was upset 28-12 on its home turf by Sharpe and the Titans in the divisional round. Immediately following the game, Sharpe had some fun at Ingram’s expense while introducing running back Derrick Henry, who ran over the Ravens defense for 195 yards on 30 carries that night.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!