Enter Ricky Seals-Jones, a 25-year-old, three-year veteran who signed with the Chiefs after spending last season with the Cleveland Browns. That is where he met former Chiefs backup tight end Demetrius Harris, possibly his most significant influence in choosing Kansas City and the Chiefs over other destinations.
Harris played for the Chiefs from 2013-18 before joining the Browns in 2019.
“When Demetrius would tell me stories of Kansas City — of how the organization is, the locker room — it was kind of like a no-brainer,” said Seals-Jones on a conference call with the Kansas City media on Monday. “It was good to have somebody that I already had those conversations with to give you that over-the-top answer you’re looking for.”
Seals-Jones took the conversations he had with Harris in Cleveland and — in a sense — cross-checked that information with the pitch from Chiefs. The message that general manager Brett Veach and the coaching staff delivered checked out.
“I felt like Kansas City was honest,” added Seals-Jones. “Talking with Demetrius all of the things that he had said previously they had said now in the present. It was like what they said and what he said were not two different things. You got a player who left and still shows respect for that organization and loves that organization. So that gives you a little bit of confidence when you’re going in and talking to another team. And they love Demetrius, so it was perfect and that helped. Then the offense and how they use their 12 personnel (two-tight end sets), it kind of all fit in perfect for me.”
When Seals-Jones entered the league three years ago, he was asked to transition from a college wide receiver to the tight end position — a process he explained he is still going through.
“When I made the switch over, I pretty much just had to pretty much learn a new position and also keep learning — put the extra tools in my toolbox,” h said. “I look at it as I’m still learning the tight end position, and I’m a great route runner and catcher, but I can always be better, so I just come in every day and work on everything as a whole to make my whole game better.”
There are likely not many better guides in the world than Travis Kelce, who Seals-Jones will understudy if he wins the job. Seals-Jones noted that he realizes being Kelce’s backup comes with special teams expectations.
Bell played 50% of the Chiefs’ special teams snaps last season, which will now be somebody else’s duty.
“I’m willing to do whatever to help the team win,” said Seals-Jones. “I played special teams in Arizona and in Cleveland. Special teams is not something that I don’t want to do. If they need me to do it, I’ll do it. I’m cool with special teams. It does not bother me, not one bit.”
Seals-Jones explained that because the Chiefs’ offense is so explosive, it was an easy decision once his agent informed him that they had reached out.
Seals-Jones had the opportunity to play at Arrowhead Stadium in 2018 when he was a member of the Arizona Cardinals. The tight end remembered that November day well.
“Crazy fanbase,” he said. “That fanbase is, I would say, top five in the NFL. Great atmosphere. I’m excited to be a part of it and not against it.”