According to a report from ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Kansas City Chiefs players have been reaching out to former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook, encouraging him to consider joining the Chiefs for the 2021 season.
Over the weekend some #Chiefs players reached out to free agent WR Dede Westbrook to engage his interest in coming to Kansas City. Meanwhile, both the #Vikings & the #Bengals have had preliminary conversations with Westbrook as well. Westbrook was a 2016 Biletnikoff award winner.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) May 10, 2021
None of this appears to have occurred on social media — and Anderson isn’t naming names — but it makes sense.
No fewer than four current Chiefs are — like Westbrook — former Oklahoma Sooners: tight end Blake Bell, long snapper James Winchester, newly-drafted center Creed Humphrey and just arrived left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. In fact, Brown was a Sooners teammate in 2016, when both he and Westbrook were named All-Big 12, Brown was named Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and Westbrook was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
So far, however, the NFL has been kinder to Brown. He became a starter during his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens, while Westbrook — a former Heisman Trophy finalist — was drafted in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. Only during his sophomore season in Jacksonville did he lead the team in receiving yards, competing for targets with wideouts like DJ Chark, Keelan Cole, Donte Moncrief and Chris Conley.
Fourth on the depth chart entering the 2020 season, Westbrook tore an ACL during Week 7 and finished the season on injured reserve. He is expected to be ready to play by August.
Westbrook — listed at 6 feet and 178 pounds — isn’t exactly the physical type the Chiefs are likely seeking to replace departed free agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but Westbook has shown himself to be able to get production on a roster crowded with other receivers, picking up 1,720 yards (and nine touchdowns) on 160 receptions during 40 games with the Jaguars.
Anderson’s report makes no claim that the Chiefs front office has been speaking with Westbrook’s representatives — but we have also learned it is wise not to ignore reports that Kansas City players are trying to get a player to join them on the Chiefs.
We’ll keep you posted.