The Kansas City Chiefs are tendering one of their exclusive-rights free agents, tight end Jody Fortson, for the 2022 season — according to friend-of-the-site Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star.
Chiefs are tendering exclusive-rights free agent TE Jody Fortson for 2022, according to a source.— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) March 16, 2022
Fortson was en route to a strong season before suffering a torn Achilles tendon. Gets another shot to build on what he started last season.
As a reminder, an exclusive-rights free agent is a player with fewer than three accrued seasons and an expired contract. If his original team — in this case, the Chiefs — offers him a one-year contract at the league minimum (based on his credited seasons), the player cannot negotiate with other teams. With one credited season to his name, Forton’s salary would be $825,000 for the 2022 season.
Fortson, 26, appeared in six games for the Chiefs in 2021, recording five catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns. Along with Travis Kelce, Blake Bell and Noah Gray, Fortson was one of four tight ends to make the Chiefs’ initial 53-man roster, leading to many conversations about the potential for Andy Reid to use a four-tight end set — or, as the Chiefs termed it, the “T-Rex” package.
“Things happen in this business; he’ll be back,” Reid said at the time. “He’s built a nice foundation for himself. He got a taste of it, so it’s just a matter of him getting into rehab and getting himself back — but he knows he can play now. Not that he didn’t before, but he’s done it... there’s no easy way around it, he’s going to miss it — but he’ll be plenty busy rehabbing that thing.”
Fortson said on Instagram in October that his return would be “legendary” — and now we know it will be with the Chiefs.