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Byron Pringle Is Playing Himself Into Another Contract With the Chiefs

The local favorite might be sticking around for a while if he keeps playing solid complementary football.

In 2019 and 2020, Byron Pringle was viewed as a depth piece at wide receiver and a player the Kansas City Chiefs used sparingly. In 2021, he's a consistent contributor in the passing game and is enjoying what is by far the best season of his three-year career.

Pringle, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent from local Kansas State University, has made the most of the opportunity given to him. He's played at least 30 snaps in each of the Chiefs' last five games, including three outings with 40 or more snaps played. He's now out-snapping players like Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson, both receivers who had high expectations heading into the year.

When Sammy Watkins departed this past offseason and the Chiefs struck out on free agent wideouts, the question was raised as to who would step up in his absence. A lot of hype surrounded Hardman, as the team wanted to give him the chance to establish himself as a No. 2 receiver. That hasn't occurred and while Pringle hasn't been extraordinary this season, he's been solid. Conner Christopherson of Arrowhead Report joined me on today's Roughing the Kicker podcast and we were asked to talk about whether Pringle has earned a longer stay in Kansas City.

Based on what he's been able to do this year, the answer is probably yes. If the money is right (read: in the ballpark of $3 million per season or less), the Chiefs would be wise to extend Pringle's contract. He's a free agent following this season but considering his age (28) and limited production in the past, a market for him likely isn't going to be significant. There's value in being in a familiar place as a player and for a team, there's value in knowing what you're getting from that player. 2021 Pringle provides solid complementary production.

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This season, Pringle is setting career-highs in targets (32), receptions (23), receiving yards (338) and yards per reception (14.7). He also has three touchdowns and has nearly doubled his previous best amount of catches for first downs (17 this season after nine last season). No matter how you slice it, he's ascended both in role and subsequent production. He is also the Chiefs' primary kickoff returner. Adding special teams value is a definite plus.

It remains to be seen what Pringle's numbers will look like for the remainder of the season. I noted in a recent article that his receiving numbers have been rather inconsistent as of late, so projecting a certain baseline moving forward is difficult. With that said, he's emerged as the Chiefs' second-best wide receiver to this point in 2021. That isn't saying a whole lot but for a player who isn't costing the team an arm and a leg now and almost surely won't do so in the future, it makes sense for that future to be with the Chiefs.

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