The Kansas City Chiefs have signed a guard! ... But it's probably not of the starting variety.
According to the NFL's transactions list, the Chiefs have guard Otis Hudson, who was a 2010 fifth round pick by the Bengals, who cut him prior to the 2013 season. The deal is presumably for the minimum.
Hudson, 27, is listed at 6'5 and 330 pounds.
"Big dude," Josh Kirkendall of Cincy Jungle told me. "Decent measurables. Was always a project though and injuries kept disrupting his overall development. Worked as a guard and tackle. Made good strides in 2011 before injury snapped that momentum. Lots of work if he's to make an impression for a team; most likely a camp body unless he makes tremendous strides. Has the size though."
This write-up on him before the 2010 draft draws some comparisons between Hudson's upbringing and that of Michael Oher in The Blind Side.
In the 5th grade, he used his strength and speed to avoid a confrontation with 15 gang members who ambushed him while walking home after winning a big basketball game. "I was walking home with a giant gold trophy and all of a sudden 15 teenagers ganged up on me. The gangs were always trying to recruit me because of my size. I had to fight or run every day to protect myself," said Hudson.
Realizing the importance of education for NCAA eligibility, and wanting to eliminate the stresses of almost daily gang violence, Hudson approached his parents about moving to the suburbs. "I asked my mom if there was any way we could move because I wanted a better education. She said yes and that she was going to look into their options," Hudson recalled. That summer, Hudson and his family moved from the streets of Chicago to the suburb of Barrington, where Hudson could be closer to the Leopardo family, who had become tremendous supporters of Hudson and his potential.
Andy Reid likes those college tackles who turn into guards. Hudson played right tackle at Eastern Illinois. He's been on and off the Bengals practice squad throughout his career. At this point, he's another body on the offensive line but who knows ... there are surprises every year.
The Chiefs right guard spot is up for grabs with Rishaw Johnson getting the first crack at the job, according to Chiefs coach Andy Reid. This comes after the Chiefs lost Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah in free agency. Johnson will be competing with the other guards on the roster, including Jeff Linkenbach and Rok Watkins.
"Let them all get in, mix it up and see how they go," Reid said in April.
This brings the Chiefs up to 75 players under contract.