Already with 14 wide receivers on its 90-man offseason roster, the Kansas City Chiefs are adding yet another pass-catcher into the mix.
On Monday, May 17, the reigning AFC champions signed former Indianapolis Colts receiver Daurice Fountain to a one-year deal, per his agent Andy Simms. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
According to the NFL’s official transaction report for May 17, the contract of sixth-year wideout Tajae Sharpe has been terminated while undrafted rookie defensive back Jaylon McClain-Sapp was waived by the team to clear spots for Fountain and undrafted cornerback Manny Patterson, who also earned a contract following his minicamp tryout.
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Fountain confirmed the news on social media, firing off a pair of excited tweets, including one directed at his new quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“Thankful for the opportunity! Can’t wait to get to work! @Chiefs #Chiefskingdom,” Fountain wrote.
Fountain Has Overcome Multiple Surgeries, Personal Loss
The 25-year-old Northern Iowa product, one of five tryout players to participate in the Chiefs’ rookie minicamp over the weekend, first entered the league as a fifth-round pick (159th overall) of the Colts back in 2018. Interestingly enough, the pick used on Fountain was originally owned by the Chiefs before general manager Brett Veach traded it to the Cleveland Browns in August 2017 in exchange for swing tackle Cameron Erving.
Now entering his fourth year as a pro, Fountain will be given a chance to continue his development and potentially stick in Kansas City as a practice squad player in 2021. To date, the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has recorded only two receptions for 23 yards on three targets, all in 2020. After spending his rookie year on Indy’s practice squad, Fountain’s career hit a major speedbump after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in August 2019 that required three surgeries to correct due to additional complications.
Through rehab and his comeback effort last year, Fountain also had to balance the birth of his daughter and the death of a very close family member, his grandmother.
“Just raising my daughter and losing my grandma — it was very tough, and obviously getting cut. Being the only rookie to get cut in this famous rookie class, it really hurt me a lot,” Fountain told Colts.com in September 2020. “So just [been] trying to bounce back from all of that. Just trying to become a new dad, it was just a lot on my mental. But thank God I got through it and there are brighter days ahead now.”
Chiefs Have 90% Attendance for Phase 2 of Offseason Program
Phase two of the NFL’s offseason program officially kicked off on Monday, May 17, presenting the first opportunity for veteran players to voluntarily report to the team’s facility for workouts and meetings. Given the NFL Player Association’s ongoing attempts to boycott this portion of the offseason program, the Chiefs should be encouraged with the results on day one.
According to Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star, 81 of a possible 90 players showed up to Arrowhead Stadium on Monday, a 90% turnout. Across the NFL, other teams have seen similar turnouts thus far, including at least 75 Denver Broncos players and 80 New York Jets players showing up to their respective facilities.
Kansas City was not among nearly half of the league’s franchises to issue statements in April on behalf of the NFLPA, suggesting that at least some of its players would be skipping this year’s voluntary workouts. The reasoning for that, per Pro Football Talk, was that “the union won’t be pushing teams that have a significant number of players with workout bonuses to join in the effort.”
Among that group of exceptions are the Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars, all of which have either 15 or more players or north of $2 million in total workout bonuses.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!