Chiefs Sign Rugby Star Amidst NFL Rule Change

Dave Toub has a new special teams weapon with rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit
Dave Toub has a new special teams weapon with rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs made an unusual yet fascinating addition to the offense on Thursday, signing international Rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit. It's expected the speedster could help on special teams and potentially offensively, giving Kansas City a dynamic proven competitor to bolster the roster.

After the league voted on a new kickoff rule to encourage action rather than touchbacks, players like Rees-Zammit can provide an immense value given the similarity to rugby rules.

Kansas City was among several teams to visit with Rees-Zammit this week, including the Denver Broncos, and it appears Brett Veach and Andy Reid were one step ahead of the competition yet again.

Chiefs News: KC Signs Rugby Star Louis Rees-Zammit

Part of the NFL's International Player Pathway program, Rees-Zammit hopes to join the likes of Jordan Mailata, who has become one of the league's best left tackles after joining the Eagles.

During the pro day, the star ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and had a 9ft 7in broad jump and 29-inch vertical jump. He was clocked at 24.2 MPH during a rugby match, a full two MPH better than the fastest mark recorded during the 2023 NFL season.

This is the ideal no-cost, high-upside move. Since Rees-Zammit is part of the NFL's international program, he won't count against the 90-man roster limit. If he excels, the Chiefs have a true difference maker and versatile weapon. If things don't work out, nothing is lost.

The New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos all visited with Rees-Zammit and he's now a member of the Chiefs. Speed like his doesn't grow on trees and given the rule changes, Rees-Zammit could provide an immediate impact as the organization aims for a third consecutive Super Bowl win.

Not only do Veach and the Chiefs' brass deserve credit, but this is also a testament to the international appeal of the franchise at large. I've argued the Chiefs are now America's team, though it appears Kansas City is growing far beyond the local area codes as we see an international footprint taking shape under the direction of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

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