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The Dixon Five: Five hot takes about the Chiefs’ initial 53-man roster

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A quintet of steaming hot takes following the NFL’s final cutdown.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs announced their initial 53-man roster on Saturday afternoon. Welcome to the first edition of The Dixon Five.


1. The season isn’t over yet.

Every year, coming up to the final cutdown day, we talk a lot about “the final 53,” but there really is no such thing. Some players cut Saturday might be picked up by other teams, which will have to cut players to make room. Then those players might get picked up by other teams, requiring them to make room... and so on. An NFL roster is much like a work of art. It is never finished. It is only abandoned.

2. Ron Parker’s return could mean a lot of things.

It could mean the Chiefs believe Dan Sorensen will take more time to come back from his knee injury than first believed. It could mean that they are more concerned about Eric Berry’s health than they have admitted. Or it could mean the exact opposite — that the Chiefs are confident in Sorensen’s return date and Berry’s health and simply want to start the season with an insurance policy in force: Berry and Parker playing side by side.

We know that Berry and Parker were effective when playing together. If they get back in their old groove, upon Sorensen’s return, the Chiefs would have a lot of options regarding what to do next.

3. Chase Litton’s release is a gamble — but it will probably pay off.

I get it: Matt McGloin isn’t a quarterback that will excite anybody’s imagination, but if there’s one thing Andy Reid has been consistent about doing since his arrival in Kansas City, it’s covering his backside at the quarterback position. He’s usually done it, however, with one solid backup and one developmental quarterback on the roster. That’s what makes Litton’s release so surprising. The thing that’s different about this year is that Patrick Mahomes has a ceiling so high that if he starts lighting up defenses right out of the box, he could very well have a large target on his back. Should he be injured, Reid will have two solid options to keep the team moving forward. And it’s likely that Litton will clear waivers and make the practice squad anyway.

4. Ukeme Eligwe’s release says less about him than it says about Ben Niemann.

Niemann strikes me as one of those guys who was born to play football, and he has incredible passion for the game. He’s going to be like Priest Homes — albeit in a different position. In a few years, people will be saying, “How in the world did this guy not get drafted?”

Nice find, Veach.

5. And speaking of Brett Veach... let’s get off the man’s back.

Yes... the Marcus Peters trade didn’t make much sense to us. (And it probably never will. Here’s an idea: let’s stop arguing about something none of us really know anything about!) Yes... some of the guys the Chiefs brought in to the secondary in the offseason didn’t look good in the preseason. But I really don’t want to hear about the Chiefs making “desperate” moves in the secondary going into the cutdown weekend. Who cares? Personally, in a situation like that, I’d rather have a GM who is desperate rather than complacent. If you’re a GM — no matter how good you are — some of your moves aren’t going to work out. Better to recognize them — and try to fix them — than to worry about whether people think you’re desperate.