A former Kansas City Chiefs draft pick hit free agency just ahead of Week 1 of the regular season.
The Houston Texans released veteran wide receiver Chris Conley to make room for tight end O.J. Howard, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network on September 2.
Conley entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick of the Chiefs in 2015. He spent four years in Kansas City, and played a total of 53 games, accumulating 104 catches for 1,238 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. He also played in 5 playoff games while with the Chiefs and caught 8 passes for 61 yards and 1 touchdown.
After his stint in Kansas City, Conley spent two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and spent the 2021 season with the Texans.
Houston originally cut Conley on August 30 but then re-signed him on September 1. Yet, the addition of Howard made Conley an expendable piece to the Texans’ 53-player roster.
Insider Predicts Nick Bolton to Have Breakout Season
2021 second-round pick Nick Bolton hit the ground running during his first year in the NFL. The Chiefs linebacker recorded 112 tackles and 11 tackles for loss during his rookie season, per Pro Football Reference, which is among the best stat lines for a rookie linebacker in recent memory.
With such a strong rookie campaign, what should we expect from Bolton during his second season? One NFL insider believes Bolton will make another leap and be regarded as one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
NFL insider and Good Morning Football host, Peter Schrager, had Bolton ranked No. 2 on his top 10 breakout players list heading into the 2022 regular season.
“Nick Bolton came on real strong last year, but this year is the year I think he makes it, where it’s like, ‘Oh, Nick Bolton is one of the best linebackers in the entire sport,’ because that’s the leap,” Schrager said on Good Morning Football on September 2.
With veteran linebacker Anthony Hitchens being cut by Kansas City this offseason, Bolton has taken over the duties of wearing the green dot on defense as well as being a leader. With third-year linebacker Willie Gay Jr. alongside him and a revamped defensive line in front of him, it’s very possible Bolton takes another step forward and is recognized as one of the top linebackers in the league by the end of the 2022 season.
Bolton on Taking Leadership Role
Bolton spoke with Chiefs media on August 30 and was asked about how he handles teammates coming to him on the field with questions.
“That’s actually pretty cool. Last year it was Hitch (Anthony Hitchens), so I kind of got to figure out the stuff that makes them play faster so it’s kind of open communication,” Bolton explained.
“Just trying to figure out what makes a corner play faster. When they communicate, what are they seeing? What are they seeing from the stuff outside in versus a D‐end or a D‐tackle? Maybe there’s a verbiage I can use to make them understand something I’m saying quicker or something like that. Just open communication, just learning. Again, it’s still new to me. I’m still learning, still evolving, I’m trying the best way to be a mike‐backer (middle linebacker). I’m just going to continue to do that as well.”