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Chiefs tried to claim a former first-round defensive tackle on waivers

Kansas City was among eight teams to make a waiver claim on former Chargers defensive lineman Jerry Tillery

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, we learned that the Los Angeles Chargers were going to waive former first-round defensive tackle Jerry Tillery. But since the former Notre Dame player didn’t officially hit the waiver wire until Friday, NFL teams had until Monday to think about placing a claim on the 6-foot-6, 295-pound lineman.

So a total of eight teams placed a claim to take over Tillery’s rookie contract — one of them the Kansas City Chiefs.

As you might expect, the Chiefs were near the end of the priority list (teams with the worst records get first priority on waiver claims) so Tillery will now spend the remainder of the season with the Las Vegas Raiders — who will now assume the remaining $912,000 of his 2022 base salary. Since the Chargers had not exercised the fifth-year option on Tillery’s rookie deal, he will become a free agent at the end of the league year in mid-March.

It’s bad news for Tillery, who now has to move from a disappointing AFC West team to a downright bad AFC West team. The 26-year-old — who was selected 28th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft — played in 54 games (with 29 starts) in Los Angeles, where he was used as both a defensive tackle and defensive end. In three and a half seasons with the Chargers, he collected 106 tackles (57 solo, 12 for loss), 10.5 sacks, 33 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and two passes defensed.

This also tells us that the Chiefs are still interested in getting more pass rushers. A team with the best record in its conference always has a fairly slim chance of snagging a player from the waiver wire — but you never know. As usual, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach is taking as many swings as he can — especially when there’s a chance to acquire a former first-round pick.

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