The Kansas City Chiefs continue to retain some of the talent they had on their roster for the 2021-22 season.
The Chiefs have signed defensive end Shilique Calhoun to a reserve/future deal, according to the NFL’s personnel notice.
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Calhoun joined the Chiefs in October of 2021 when he signed to their practice squad. At that point, Kansas City’s defense was struggling, especially in the pass-rush department. So, the expectation was that Calhoun, 29, could potentially work his way onto the 53-man roster and provide an occasional spark for the defensive line. However, Calhoun remained on the practice squad for the entirety of the season.
Calhoun entered the league as a third-round pick of then-Oakland Raiders in the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent three years with Oakland and then two years with the New England Patriots. He then played last summer for the San Francisco 49ers before being cut at the end of August, per Pro Football Reference.
Chiefs Sign Four Players to Deals Leading up to 2022 Super Bowl
Calhoun is one of four players Kansas City signed to a futures deal leading up to Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Chiefs signed three players to reserve/future deals on Monday, February 7: defensive back Brandin Dandridge, tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, and defensive end Jonathan Woodard, according to the NFL’s personnel notice.
Woodard, 28, is the most intriguing name among the bunch. He last played in the Canadian Football league for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2021 and recorded 21 tackles, 10 sacks, and two forced fumbles, per the league’s website.
This won’t be Woodard’s first NFL appearance, however. He played in six games for the Miami Dolphins in 2018, registering eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack, according to Pro Football Reference.
Woodard also wasn’t the only Chiefs signee that was a standout in the CFL.
Dandridge, 25, also played in the CFL for the Ottowa RedBlacks. In eight games played in 2021, he recorded 11 tackles and four interceptions, according to the league’s website.
Griffin-Stewart was on Kansas City’s practice squad during the 2021-22 season. He was elevated to the gameday roster for two games and played in one. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16, Griffin-Stewart played three offensive snaps and didn’t register any targets in the passing game, according to Pro Football Reference.
Chiefs Have 19 Reserve/Future Signings
The three players added on Monday now put Kansas City’s tally for futures deals in 2022 to 19.
On January 20, the team signed cornerback Damon Arnette and wide receiver Chris Finke to deals. However, Arnette was waived nine days later due to his arrest stemming from gun and drug charges.
On February 1 the Chiefs had a strong transaction day, as they signed Dicaprio Bootle (DB), Cortez Broughton (DT), Matt Bushman (TE), Gehrig Dieter (WR), Austin Edwards (DE), Daurice Fountain (WR), Josh Gordon (WR), Darius Harris (LB), Roderick Johnson (T), Devon Key (DB), Cornell Powell (WR), Mark Vital (TE), and Darryl Williams (C) to futures deals.
Veach on Positions of Need for KC
With the offseason officially underway for Kansas City, attention is turning towards which positions on the roster need to be addressed, that way the Chiefs can continue their streak of being one of the top teams in the NFL.
At the surface, it appears that a schematic change is the major point of emphasis on offense, not personnel. That’s why the defense will be a primary focus for Kansas City’s front office during the offseason, with an emphasis on the defensive line and secondary, according to general manager Brett Veach.
“Knowing that we have a good offensive line in place, defensive line probably makes the most sense, and through the defensive backfield and what have you,” Veach said during his press conference on February 1. “I think the defensive side is one that we’ll probably focus on right off the bat.”
Among the 22 players on Kansas City’s roster that are going to be free agents at the start of the new league year are five players in the secondary: Tyrann Mathieu, Daniel Sorenson, Charvarius Ward, Mike Hughes, and Armani Watts.
Mathieu and Ward were starters for the Chiefs this season, and Sorensen and Hughes were prominent rotational pieces in the defensive backfield. Losing any or all of them would leave big gaps on defense for Kansas City, which is why Veach acknowledged that the secondary will be something they have to address during the offseason.
The options to fill the secondary’s needs include re-signing the aforementioned players, finding replacements for them in free agency, or a combination of the two — which is the most likely scenario.