Cuts are trickling in around the NFL and two former Kansas City Chiefs staff favorites headline the early list of veteran releases.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced the first on August 28, informing: “As cuts begin for the [Washington] Commanders, they are releasing veteran WR Marcus Kemp, source said. He spent some time with the Chiefs and [New York] Giants last year.”
Kemp has made an NFL career out of being a staple in Dave Toub’s special teams unit since 2017. Not only did he win a Super Bowl ring with Kansas City in 2022-23, but he’s also logged 56 appearances for the perennial AFC contender over the past six seasons including playoffs — and only one lone appearance elsewhere (Miami Dolphins).
A couple hours later, Chicago Tribune reporter Brad Biggs relayed that fellow ex-Chiefs special teamer Daurice Fountain was in the same boat as Kemp. “[Chicago] Bears have informed WR Daurice Fountain he will be waived,” Biggs posted on X.
Fountain began his career in Indianapolis with the Colts before heading to Kansas City in 2021. He’s bounced around the Chiefs’ practice squad over the past two years — with five appearances on the active roster (three postseason) — landing with ex-KC front office executive Ryan Poles in Chicago this spring.
Will Marcus Kemp or Daurice Fountain Reunite With Dave Toub & Chiefs Special Teams Unit in 2023?
A-to-Z Sports Chiefs correspondent Charles Goldman shared the immediate thought going through most KC fans’ heads right now after seeing Kemp and Fountain were released.
For those that cannot view the GIF, it’s a man rubbing his hands together while doing an evil laugh, with the caption: “Dave Toub right now.”
All jokes aside, it’s a fair assumption that the Chiefs could be in the mix for both Kemp and Fountain at some point this season. The former spent his 2022 training camp with the Giants before re-signing with the KC practice squad in October.
NYG released Kemp ahead of the 53-man cutdown, just as Washington has here in 2023. The only slight differences are the KC ties on both the Commanders and Bears.
It’s possible Kemp and Fountain have a handshake agreement to re-sign with Washington and Chicago based on their relationship with ex-Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and the aforementioned Poles. This could mean they end up joining the practice squad of their new franchises, or they could even return to the active roster after an IR designation, theoretically.
After all, the best offer they’d likely get with Kansas City is a familiar role on the practice squad — and three special teams elevations throughout the year.
For now, we’ll continue to monitor the status of each former contributor. Kemp is a vested veteran and does not pass through waivers, while Fountain could still be claimed by another NFL franchise because he has less than four years of accrued service time in the league.
Chiefs Named as Potential Landing Spot for Jets TE Zack Kuntz
Pro Football Focus writer Brad Spielberger highlighted several “surprising” trade or cut candidates that could occur in the next day and a half. One of them was New York Jets seventh-round draft pick and tight end Zack Kuntz, a raw prospect that has shown potential as a tall, athletic pass-catching weapon.
Kuntz could hit waivers as a rookie cut, and Spielberger named the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for the developmental tight end.
He explained: “It’s not necessarily a surprise when a seventh-round pick rookie doesn’t make the initial 53-man roster, especially on a team like the New York Jets who are all in on chasing a Super Bowl ring in 2023 and will concern themselves less with developmental projects. However, Kuntz may have gone as late as he did in part because of how loaded the tight end position was in the 2023 NFL Draft.”
“At Jets camp, Kuntz stood out as being far skinnier than the rest of the position group, particularly in his lower half,” Spielberger continued. “Nathaniel Hackett’s offense will ask its tight ends to block quite a bit, and that doesn’t appear to be Kuntz’s forte by any means. However, Kuntz’s size-speed combination did flash at times when he got open over the middle and turned upfield in a hurry after hauling in a reception. The Old Dominion product’s testing numbers were truly off the charts, and he’s an intriguing name to monitor if he can land somewhere else with the opportunity to fill out his 6-foot-8 frame and continue to develop.”
If this came to pass, Kuntz would profile as an obvious Jody Fortson replacement after the season-ending injury to the previous KC red zone threat at tight end.