Chiefs Officially Sign Kelechi Osemele, Make Move in Punter Competition
After the Kansas City Chiefs officially signed former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele, they released six players, including one of the punters in a competition for Dustin Colquitt's former job.
The Chiefs announced the moves in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.
Osemele is an eight-year NFL veteran who spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens before spending three years with the Oakland Raiders and a truncated 2019 with the New York Jets. Osemele's Pro Bowls and All-Pro selection came in his first two years in Oakland.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network previously reported that it will be a one-year deal for Osemele, worth a maximum of $2 million. Rapoport also notes that Osemele is presumably healthy once again, and will fill the void left by Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out of the 2020 season late Friday night.
Among the cuts, the Chiefs released Jovahn Fair, Braxton Hoyett, Jalen Julius, John Lovett, Tyler Newsome and Byran Wright. Newsome, the former punter for the Los Angeles Chargers, is the most interesting name on the list, as Newsome was previously assumed to be in a competition with former Florida Gator and rookie punter Tommy Townsend. While the Chiefs could bring another punter in to work against Townsend for the right to take Dustin Colquitt's former job, it appears that Townsend at least has a leg up. (Literally.)
Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub discussed Townsend and Newsome in a May virtual press conference, and it appeared that Townsend had the advantage at the time.
“They both got really really strong legs, really powerful legs, they consistently hit over 5.0 [second] hang times, which is real impressive,” Toub said. “Tommy is a little more, I’d say, a little more clean in his technique as far as consistency, whereas Tyler is a little bit more erratic with his technique, but the results are the same. They both pound the ball. We just got to clean Tyler up a little bit more.”
The team had until August 16 to get to an 80-man roster, but with the release of these six players and the opting-out of Duvernay-Tardif and Damien Williams, they appear to be trimming down to their training camp roster earlier in the process.