Chiefs Cut Recently Traded for NFL Veteran, 3 Others

Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Getty The Kansas City Chiefs have waived cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr.

The Kansas City Chiefs made the Danny Shelton signing official on Monday morning (Aug. 15), clearing some roster space in the process.

KC’s official franchise Twitter account shared the news.

It stated: “We have waived the following players: WR Omar Bayless, CB Lonnie Johnson Jr., T Evin Ksiezarczyk, WR Gary Jennings.” With Shelton joining the roster, the Chiefs still have two more cuts to make before the 4 p.m. deadline on August 16.

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Johnson Headlines 4 Initial Cuts

Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney aptly noted that “the only minor surprise here is Johnson,” adding that “the Chiefs are choosing to lean into the youth at the [cornerback] position.”

Kansas City traded for Johnson this spring after overhauling their cornerback room. Although the return would have been cheap — a conditional 2024 seventh-round pick — this early release shows just how well the rookie CBs have performed.

Johnson joins fellow second-chance prospect Deandre Baker in free agency after some believed the two failed draft picks might battle for a roster spot initially. What a fruitful draft from the KC scouting department.

Bayless and Jennings served a similar role at training camp. Depth receivers that offered some special teams value. Both were really just camp bodies, however, considering neither has ever appeared in an NFL game.

Ksiezarczyk was signed in late July. The 25-year-old was a Buffalo graduate who bounced around the league after going undrafted. Again, none of these cuts are all that shocking.

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Shelton Arrives at Chiefs Camp

The new nose tackle is at practice on August 15, donning the number 92 according to Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest.

Known throughout his career as a run-clogger up front, the former first-round selection has rarely been without work despite moving around a bunch. After three seasons in Cleveland — with the organization that drafted him — Shelton won a Super Bowl during his two campaigns in New England. The past two years have been spent with the Lions and Giants.

It’s always hard to measure the value of a space-eater like Shelton until you are without one. Then the holes in the run game become glaring and noticeable.

Shelton is by no means a lock to make the Week 1 roster. He’ll be in direct competition with reserve defensive tackles like Khalen Saunders and Taylor Stallworth for one of the final spots on the 53.

Here’s the latest from training camp, per KC Star beat reporter Herbie Teope.

He relayed: “Chiefs DT Danny Shelton got his first three reps of practice during 9-on-7 run drills. Looked good on [the] first two reps, making penetration on both reps. On [the] third rep, he lined up in B-gap on [the] left side, OL sent the RT, RG and C to block him. He’s a load.”


CB Room Is Thinning Out

The cornerback depth chart has begun to round out and it’s extremely young. That sounds risky on paper but the prospects have stepped up to the challenge so far.

Trent McDuffie and Joshua Williams headline the group of rookies that includes Jaylen Watson and Nazeeh Johnson. Of course, 2021 starters L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton will be in the mix as well.

Special teams ace Chris Lammons and one-year professionals Dicaprio Bootle and Brandin Dandridge could also factor in at cornerback. The average age of those nine players is 24 years old.

The next cut casualty of this room could come as soon as tomorrow.


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