The Kansas City Chiefs signed 10 players to reserve/futures contracts on Tuesday, according to the NFL’s official transaction report. Reserve/future contracts count toward the offseason 90-man roster and 2021’s salary cap. The new league year begins on March 17 at 3 p.m. Arrowhead Time.
Here are the signees with some information about each:
- Cornerback DeAndre Baker
Baker, 23, is likely the most well-known name on this list. The 2019 first-round draft pick joined the Chiefs in mid-November after he was cleared of off-the-field legal issues. There was a chance Baker might have contributed in the postseason, but he broke his leg in the Chiefs’ Week 17 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo have both spoken highly of the defensive back since his arrival to Kansas City.
- Tight end Evan Baylis
Baylis, 27, is a former 2017 undrafted free agent who has had a limited number of offensive snaps in his career. Baylis was most recently a member of the Arizona Cardinals, who used him in five games this past season before demoting him to the practice squad.
- Linebacker Omari Cobb
Cobb, 23, spent most of his rookie season (2020) on the Chiefs’ practice squad, but he was called up to the roster and played 10 defensive snaps in Kansas City’s Week 16 game against the Atlanta Falcons. Anthony Hitchens could not play due to COVID-19 and Ben Niemann was hurt in the game. The Falcons only managed 14 points.
- Defensive end Austin Edwards
Edwards, 23, spent most of his rookie season (2020) on the Falcons’ practice squad, getting called up for one game. He is a D-II man out of Ferris State.
- Wide receiver Maurice Ffrench
Ffrench, 23, was on the Chiefs practice squad for the entirety of his rookie season (2020). He compiled 96 receptions for 850 yards and four touchdowns as a senior at Pittsburgh in 2019, breaking a 92-catch school record previously held by Larry Fitzgerald.
- Wide receiver Joe Fortson
Fortson, 25, was a popular dark-horse candidate to make the Chiefs’ 53-man roster in his second season (2020) after safety Tyrann Mathieu tweeted about him in August during training camp. The Chiefs originally saw him as a tight end before letting him back in the receiver room. Fortson has the size and weight at 6 feet 6 and 230 pounds, but does he have the playbook down? Fortson said his goal for 2020 was to learn everybody’s position. With Demarcus Robinson and Sammy Watkins set to become unrestricted free agents, perhaps Fortson will emerge as a replacement candidate.
- Defensive end Demone Harris
Harris, 25, originally joined the Chiefs midway through his second year (2019) by way of being signed off of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Harris tallied 170 defensive snaps down the stretch for the Chiefs in 2019, including 49 in the playoffs. In 2020, he only dressed for one game — Week 7 against the Denver Broncos.
- Linebacker Emmanuel Smith
Smith, 25, will enter his fourth NFL season and third with the Chiefs in 2021. In 2020, he was called up for one game — Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints. Smith only played 16 snaps on special teams in his only career game action.
- Center Darryl Williams
Williams, 23, was another dark-horse candidate we thought might make the Chiefs’ 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent in 2020. The Chiefs spent more than $100,000 to secure him onto the roster, and he is a player to watch for in 2021.
- Guard Bryan Witzmann
Witzmann, 30, started 13 games at left guard for the Chiefs in 2017 before he was ultimately released ahead of 2018. The Chiefs signed Witzmann to the practice squad last December, but he never played an offensive snap despite being called up to the game-day roster twice.