The Kansas City Chiefs waived linebacker Gary Johnson, tackle Justin Senior and running back James Williams, according to the NFL’s official transaction report. The Chiefs will replace one of those vacant spots by signing tight end Neal Sterling, as first reported by Dov Kleiman.
Sterling, 27, first entered the league as a seventh-round pick made by Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft. Released by the Jaguars in September 2017, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Sterling caught on with the New York Jets only to be released a month later. The Chiefs signed Sterling onto their practice squad in early October of that year only for the Jets to sign him back two weeks after that.
Sterling “topped the Jets depth chart at tight end” coming out of last year’s training camp. He started four games for New York, compiling six receptions for 47 yards, but according to NewYorkJets.com, suffered two head injuries in a seven-game span, which led the Jets to placing him on injured reserve. The Jets waived Sterling on Wednesday
The Chiefs tight end carousel continues with the signing of Sterling, just 13 days after the Chiefs signed Nick Keizer. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked about tight end depth during his final press conference of mandatory minicamp on Thursday.
“Yeah, I think we’re going to be OK,” Reid said. “I think that group—again, you saw progress there. Putting the pads on, who’s going to be able to play on the line of scrimmage? You know what Demetrius (Harris) did there, so who’s going to be able to do [that]? Hard to tell that right now, but we’ll find out.”
Based upon AP mentions and comments, both Johnson and Williams were fan favorites — but it appears general manager Brett Veach and the Chiefs personnel staff deemed that they wouldn’t be good enough to compete for spots on the Chiefs’ final 53-man roster.
As it stands, the Chiefs have three spots left to fill on the 90.