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Chiefs sign veteran linebacker to practice squad, release Darryl Williams

Kansas City has signed a linebacker who has spent five seasons in the league, playing for both the Raiders and Patriots.

New England v Houston Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

According to the NFL’s official transactions report for Tuesday, the Kansas City Chiefs have signed veteran linebacker Shilique Calhoun to their practice squad. The team already had its maximum complement of 16 players, so center Darryl Williams was released to make room for the new player.

Calhoun joins the Chiefs in his sixth NFL season after playing for the Oakland Raiders from 2016 through 2018 and the New England Patriots in 2019 and 2020. Taken by the Raiders in the third round (75th overall) of the 2016 NFL draft, the former Michigan State linebacker checks in at 6 foot 4 and 260 pounds. He spent time with the San Francisco 49ers in training camp but didn't make their final roster.

Calhoun has played in 51 NFL games, starting only one for the Patriots in 2019. But it was the 2020 season in which the 28-year-old was the most productive, collecting two sacks, two forced fumbles, 18 tackles (13 solo, one for loss) and three quarterback hits while playing in 25% of New England’s defensive snaps for the season. He was also used in 23% of their special-teams snaps that year.

The Chiefs signed Williams as an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State following the 2020 NFL draft. He spent last season on the team’s practice squad and returned for the 2021 offseason. Waived on final cutdown day and then re-signed to the practice squad, he has been there ever since.

The transactions report also notes that the Chiefs have protected four of their practice-squad players before Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans: quarterback Shane Buechele, linebacker Darius Harris, defensive end Demone Harris and linebacker Christian Rozeboom.