Report: Chiefs Sign Former Big Sky DPOY, Appear to Make Call on Punter Battle

Following the conclusion of mandatory minicamp, Kansas City is adding to its defensive line rotation.
Dec 31, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Kansas City Chiefs helmet after the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Kansas City Chiefs helmet after the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas City Chiefs have wrapped up 2024 mandatory minicamp, but general manager Brett Veach is far from done on the transaction front. On Thursday, the reigning Super Bowl champions are reportedly adding to their defensive line room.

Per Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star, Kansas City has signed former Montana defensive tackle Alex Gubner to a contract. Gubner, a redshirt senior in 2023-24, was named to the first team All-America by the AP and was the Big Sky Defensive MVP for his efforts.

According to the Grizzlies' official team football page for Gubner, he was named to four different All-America teams for his final campaign. Appearing in over a dozen games for Montana, he amassed 45 tackles (9.5 for loss) with three sacks. Additionally, he had two pass breakups.

Earlier this week, Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest revealed that Gubner was one of four defensive linemen invited to minicamp. Gubner is the lone tryout to sign with the team.

Derrick reports on Thursday that punter Ryan Rehkow was released to free up Gubner's roster spot, signaling that Matt Araiza will be the team's starter in 2024.

What does Alex Gubner's signing mean for the Chiefs' defensive line?

Last week, Chiefs defensive end George Karlaftis commented on the extreme similarities between this year's Chiefs D-line and the 2023 crew.

"It's been great, going on Year 3 now, it's been awesome just to be able to have more experience under my belt," Karlaftis said. "We have a very similar group of guys defensively and in the defensive line room especially, so it's been great."

Joshua Brisco of Arrowhead Report on SI.cotook a closer look at KC's D-line contenders before the Chiefs added Gubner to the mix.

"Karlaftis isn't exaggerating about the group's similarities," Brisco wrote. "The Chiefs' expected starters and likely backups across the entire defensive line were all on the 2023 Chiefs roster. Along with Karlaftis, defensive ends Charles Omenihu, Mike Danna, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Malik Herring, BJ Thompson and Truman Jones all spent '23 in KC. At defensive tackle, Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Tershawn Wharton, Mike Pennel, Matt Dickerson and Neil Farrell are all returning as well."

The addition of Gubner gives Kansas City yet another body to compete once training camp arrives. Given the expanded 90-man roster for NFL clubs during the offseason, this is a wise pickup for a team that was already flush with defensive line talent.

Read More: Andy Reid Provides Mixed Update on Joe Thuney's Injury Recovery


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Jordan Foote

JORDAN FOOTE

Jordan Foote is the deputy editor of Arrowhead Report on SI.com, covering the Kansas City Chiefs. He also hosts the One Royal Way podcast on Kansas City Sports Network. Jordan is a Baker University alumnus, earning his degree in Mass Media. Follow him on X @footenoted.