On the eve of the beginning of rookie minicamp, the Kansas City Chiefs announced a flurry of moves, officially adding 17 rookies and waiving a member of the Chiefs' Super Bowl championship starting lineup.
The Chiefs signed seven of their 10 draft picks from the 2022 NFL Draft, including first-round cornerback Trent McDuffie and first-round EDGE George Karlaftis. The team also signed defensive backs Bryan Cook, Nazeeh Johnson and Jaylen Watson, in addition to tackle Darian Kinnard and running back Isiah Pacheco. This excludes second-round wide receiver Skyy Moore, third-round linebacker Leo Chenal, and fourth-round cornerback Joshua Williams.
In the modern NFL, rookie contracts are slotted based on draft position, so it's highly unlikely that Moore, Chenal or Williams will be difficult for the Chiefs to officially sign soon, as opposed to past eras when draftees would often hold out before signing their rookie deals.
The Chiefs also added 10 undrafted free agents, highlighted by Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross. After first reports of Ross's pending signing were reported, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach discussed what Ross could bring to Kansas City after the top-tier talent fell out of the 2022 draft entirely, due to medical concerns.
"As far as expectations, like a lot of these guys, whether you’re a first-round pick or second-round pick, you’ve got to come in here and learn the playbook," Veach said. "You’ve got to have confidence in the coaching staff to execute your assignments. You have to have the confidence in Pat (Mahomes) for him to trust you to execute your assignment, and if he can do that, I’d say talent-wise, as long as he stays healthy, he’ll have a shot."
The team's nine other undrafted free agents announced Friday evening are guard Mike Caliendo, linebacker Jack Cochrane, quarterback Dustin Crum, running back Jerrion Ealy, running back Tayon Fleet-Davis, defensive back Nasir Greer, tight end Kehinde Oginni, tackle Gene Pryor and linebacker Mike Rose.
The Chiefs' lone roster-cutting move came with the waiving of the team's Super Bowl LIV starting center, Austin Reiter. Reiter bounced around with multiple teams throughout the 2021 NFL season after the Chiefs elected to draft Creed Humphrey and sign Austin Blythe ahead of last season, but as Blythe departed in free agency, the Chiefs brought Reiter back, albeit temporarily.
Reiter started 38 games for the Chiefs, including in the team's Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. As Kansas City manipulates its expanded roster through rookie camp, they may see a path for Reiter to return again before training camp, but his status certainly appears tenuous.