Wide receiver Chris Finke visited the Chiefs on Tuesday, January 18, according to the NFL’s transaction report.
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Nicknamed “The Slippery Fox” Finke entered the league undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2020. He spent time on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad during the 2020-21 season, but he was eventually released. From there he signed with the Chiefs last offseason, which is where he stayed until August.
On August 2, Finke, 25, was waived by Kansas City with an injury designation. In those situations, a player can choose to re-sign with his former team and revert to injured reserve if he clears waivers. Although he did clear waivers, Finke opted to pursue opportunities elsewhere. The Chiefs had 14 wide receivers on their roster during the summer, so the depth chart may have been a bit too saturated for Finke’s liking.
Finke, who stands at 5-foot-9 and weighs about 186 pounds, finished his career at Notre Dame with 106 receptions for 1,251 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also effective in the return game, reeling in 73 punts for 602 yards, an average of 8.2 yards per punt, per Sports Reference.
Finke Could Sign Futures Deal
Finke could be another player that signs a futures deal with the Chiefs.
After the regular season ends, NFL teams are allowed to sign free agents to futures deals, which locks those players up for the 2022-23 NFL season without hitting the team’s prior league year cap space. The Chiefs took full advantage of this opportunity prior to their playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kansas City signed seven players to futures deals on Tuesday, January 11: wide receiver Omar Bayless, tight end Jordan Franks, wide receiver Gary Jennings, running back Brenden Knox, defensive tackle Lorenzo Neal, wide receiver Mathew Sexton, and defensive tackle Darius Stills, per the NFL’s transaction report.
Finke would be the second pass-catcher Kansas City would sign to a futures deal that’s under six feet tall and has more of a role as a slot receiver. The Chiefs may be eyeing to better utilize that type of player/role in the offense next season, which would make plenty of sense given how their offensive philosophy shifted a bit this season.
Chiefs Need 2 Wins to Make SBLVI
In order to make a third-straight Super Bowl appearance, the Chiefs need to win two more playoffs games. That means they need to beat the Bills in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Kansas City played Buffalo already this season, which resulted in a 38-20 loss for the Chiefs on October 10. In that game, Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes threw for 272 yards, two touchdowns, and also had two interceptions.
“Listen, [the Bills] got after us. So, we know it’s a great challenge and they’re a great team,” head coach Andy Reid explained during his press conference on Monday, January 17. “So, we’re going to go through the process of getting ourselves ready to play. We’ll take it day by day, and as coaches, we’ll try to get the players good stuff to work with, and I know the players and their attitude, they love that part of it, and they’ll work hard to better themselves so we can have a good game.”
What can be taken away from the October 10 Chiefs-Bills matchup is that Kansas City was a very different football team back then. The Chiefs’ defense hadn’t turned things around yet, and the offense wasn’t comfortable with its new identity. But that’s not the case anymore, which was evident against Pittsburgh in the Wild-Card Round.
Against the Steelers, Mahomes set career-highs in completions (30) and yards (404) for a single postseason game, according to Pro Football Reference. He also threw five touchdowns, which ties his career-high in the playoffs through eight career games. Kansas City’s offense overall totaled 478 yards and turned the ball over just one time.
Buffalo beat the New England Patriots 47-17 on Wild-Card Weekend. Allen completed 21-of-25 pass attempts for 308 yards and five touchdowns. Buffalo’s offense averaged 8.9 yards per play, and the defense gave up just 216 yards through the air and forced Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones into throwing two interceptions.
If the Chiefs beat the Bills, then they will advance to the AFC Championship Game and will face the winner of the Bengals/Titans game.
Kansas City will host Buffalo on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time.