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Report: KC Chiefs Releasing WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Kansas City is reportedly parting ways with its veteran wideout after two seasons with the team.

The Kansas City Chiefs' wide receiver room failed to take a step forward in 2023-24, yet the team won Super Bowl LVIII anyway. Despite that, general manager Brett Veach is ensuring that some flexibility is maintained to potentially improve the unit this offseason. The first domino in that process is falling, as the team is parting ways with a veteran wideout.

Per a Wednesday morning report from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Kansas City is releasing Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

According to OverTheCap, this move clears up $12 million in salary cap space while incurring just $2M in dead money. Valdes-Scantling signed a three-year, $30M contract with the Chiefs in the 2022 offseason and was slated to carry a sizable $14M cap hit for the upcoming 2024-25 campaign. Relative to his performance this past season, the organization didn't view the trade-off as worth it.

Even with that being the case, Kansas City is ending things amicably. Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team took to X on Wednesday to post about the Chiefs' respect for Valdes-Scantling and what he contributed during back-to-back Super Bowl runs. 

"The #Chiefs are giving Marquez Valdes-Scantling a head start on free agency by releasing him now," Meirov wrote. "There is an appreciation in that building for what he did during his two years and how he bounced back despite some struggles. Doing him right by making the move early instead of waiting."

Last season was a rough one for the former fifth-round pick. During the regular season, he hauled in just 21 passes on 42 targets for 315 yards and a lone touchdown. Compared to the previous year, he saw decreases in success rate (48.1 to 40.5), yards per reception (16.4 to 15.0), receptions and yards per game and more. He did manage to bounce back a bit in the playoffs, however, converting on eight of his 13 targets for 128 yards and a score. 

A week before Wednesday's report from Fowler, I covered a potential Valdes-Scantling cut here at Arrowhead Report. This move was widely expected:

When Kansas City first signed Valdes-Scantling to a three-year deal back in the 2022 offseason, they built themselves an out for a scenario just like this one. It's far from impossible for the former Green Bay Packer to return to the Chiefs for another season, although it would probably take a restructured contract agreement or a re-signing after being cut. Valdes Scantling's leadership, speed and run blocking are valuable assets, just not at the capacity he was asked to provide them this past season.

Now, Valdes-Scantling will be looking for a new home and Kansas City gains some room to maneuver under the cap line with free agency approaching. In all, his Chiefs career ends with 63 receptions, 1,002 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season. His big-time plays during consecutive playoff runs will live on as the franchise looks back on its repeat titles.