With the regular season over, some NFL teams have begun signing current free agents for the 2022 season. The Kansas City Chiefs are among those teams.
The Chiefs have signed wide receiver and punt returner Mathew Sexton to a futures deal, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
The latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Sexton went undrafted in 2020 out of Eastern Michigan. During his four seasons at EMU, he recorded 100 catches for 1,335 yards and nine touchdowns.
After the beginning of the pandemic stunted his ability to showcase for NFL teams, Sexton displayed his talents at Michigan State University’s Pro Day last spring. It was there that he ran a 4.44 40-yard dash, per Draft Scout, displaying his speed despite being just 5-foot-10.
Last summer, Sexton recorded two catches on four targets for 10 yards and had five punt returns for a total of 86 yards during the preseason, per Steelers Now. However, a costly fumble during the Steelers’ preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers that led to a touchdown, along with solid depth at wide receiver led to Sexton being cut by Pittsburgh on August 28.
Futures deals are done for NFL teams that want to lock up current free agents at the end of the regular season for the following league year. So, signing Sexton will ensure that the Chiefs will be able to work with him during the offseason and summer, and his contract will count towards their 2022 cap space instead of their current cap space.
KC Opens as Heavy Favorites vs. PIT
With Kansas City’s first playoff matchup now set in stone, the sportsbooks like the Chiefs’ odds to make it past the first round of the postseason. The defending AFC champions are 13-point favorites in their home game against the Steelers, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, which is the largest point differential for the first round of the playoffs.
The heavy point differential is likely because the two teams faced each other on December 26, in a game in which the Chiefs beat the Steelers 36-10. In that game, Kansas City’s defense dominated; they forced three turnovers and only allowed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 159 yards and one touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ offense looked fluid in that outing. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 23-of-30 pass attempts for 258 yards and three touchdowns. With wide receiver Tyreek Hill only catching two passes for 19 yards in that game and tight end Travis Kelce being held out of the contest, Byron Pringle was the other pass catcher that stepped up to the plate. Against Pittsburgh, Pringle caught six passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
Andy Reid on Steelers Rematch
Although the Week 18 games needed to fully play out in order for the Chiefs to know who they would be facing in the first round of the playoffs, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had a good idea of who they would be playing. But that almost changed.
“We focused on Pittsburgh and that’s kind of the direction we headed yesterday, and then we watched the game,” Reid said during his press conference on Monday, January 10. “We were down to the last two minutes going, ‘we might be playing the Raiders,’ but we did most of our focus on Pittsburgh. The chances of it being a tie we felt was slim to none, but we got down there and it was something. It was quite a game.”
While avoiding a matchup with a divisional opponent is good, Kansas City isn’t sleeping on a team they handily beat the day after Christmas.
“I think they’re playing well together,” Reid said of Pittsburgh. “I think they’re doing a nice job with that. Ben’s playing well. The runner’s running well. The offensive line’s doing a nice job, and Pittsburgh’s always good on that defensive side. They fly around. They’ve got some all-star players on that side of the ball that do really well.
“Their wide receivers are very good too on the offensive side. They’re a good football team. They’re well coached and the organization with the Rooney family is strong. It’s been strong for so many years.”
The Chiefs face the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday Night Football on Sunday, January 16.