The Kansas City Chiefs were required to cut down their roster to 53 players on Saturday but that doesn’t mean the roster was set in stone. Players dropped by other teams are fair game and the Chiefs evidently had their eye on a few. General Manager John Dorseyhad a busy weekend as he tried to add talent and depth to the the roster.
Over the past couple of days, since the cuts to trim the roster of 53 were initially made, the Chiefs have cut 6 more players. They include a few of surprises like wide receiver Devon Wylie, defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, linebacker Zac Diles, and safety Bradley McDougald, who had a good camp. Also released were tight end Kevin Brock and cornerback Jalil Brown. Tony Moeaki was released last week but cleared waivers and has been placed on the injured reserve list.
It is always baffling when a team sees a player for spring camp, OTA’s, training camp, and four preseason games, and thinks enough of that player to keep him on the 53-man roster initially, but then immediately drop him for someone else who was not in your camp. When teams do this, they are generally replacing these players with other teams’ cast offs. They are saying that other teams’ rejects are better then these players they had in camp all along.
In some cases, it is a positional thing. The Chiefs had a lack of quality depth at a number of positions such as wide receiver, cornerback, and inside linebacker. It is conceivable that players who were not good enough to make other rosters may be good enough for the Chiefs because of positional depth.
The Chiefs picked up Chad Hall, a 5’8″ receiver who caught all of 14 passes over two season, 2010-2011 with Philadelphia. Hall was recently cut by San Francisco after spending part of the 2012 on their practice squad. Andy Reid obviously feels more comfortable with Hall than Wylie, but it is not like Hall has been very successful in the NFL yet.
Kansas City also picked up Jaye Howard, who played in just two games as a rookie last year for Seattle. Is he a major upgrade from Jerrell Powe? Is Seth McGrath, who also played just 2 games for Seattle last year, so much better than Kevin Brock? If Wylie, Powe, and Brock can be replaced so readily by players who have accomplished so little, why were they on the team in the first place? Or at least, how did they make the 53-man roster?
The Chiefs added two linebackers who did play more as rookies last year. Dezman Moses played in all 16 games for the Packers last year and recorded 24 total tackles. James-Michael Johnson recorded 32 tackles in just 10 games for Cleveland in 2012 before going down with an injury. He is the one player who seems to be a legitimate upgrade. Johnson did start 8 games for the Browns last season and could be a big help to the linebacking corp, which is a little thin after the top 3 guys.
Kansas City also showed some lack of quality depth at cornerback. The Chiefs added two over the weekend. Ron Parker played in only 10 games for 2 teams in 2 seasons after going undrafted in 2011, and Marcus Cooper who was a 7th round draft pick this year by the 49ers. There is very little data to indicate either are better than Jalil Brown, who was dropped by the Chiefs.
Brown certainly wasn’t a great cornerback, but he did have some experience. It is surprising the Chiefs decided to round out their depth with such unproven commodities. Bradley McDougald was probably dropped because the Chiefs have plenty of depth at safety and he was the last guy on the depth chart. It will be interesting to seeing if either Parker or Cooper end up contributing anything positive to this year’s team.
It is easy to pull for the players you have seen and may have slight attachments to, but fans have to trust that Dorsey and Reid have legitimate reasons to believe the players they picked up are upgrades over the players let go. None of the players released had really accomplished that much in their careers as of yet, so the Chiefs have evidently seen something on tape or by scouts that they really like about the players they acquired. Let’s give them a chance.