According to Thursday’s NFL transactions report, the Kansas City Chiefs have released six players from their 90-man roster: wide receivers Gehrig Dieter and Gary Jennings, tight ends Josh Pederson and Nakia Griffin-Stewart, defensive tackle Lorenzo Neal Jr. and defensive end Jonathan Woodard.
Another team could claim any of these players from the waiver wire before 4 p.m. Arrowhead Time on Friday. On Tuesday, the Chiefs waived wide receiver Chris Finke, whom the Chicago Bears claimed off waivers the next day.
The Chiefs signed all of these players to reserve/future contracts during January and February. Two of them — Dieter and Griffin-Stewart — were on the team’s 2021 practice squad. Dieter, of course, has been one of the team’s practice-squad players since he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017 but hasn’t played in a game since 2020. Griffin-Stewart was elevated for two 2021 games.
It’s entirely possible that either Dieter, Griffin-Stewart — or any of the other four players waived on Thursday — could find their way back to the roster before the season begins. Right now, the Chiefs need the space to bring in the new players and see what they have.
With these moves, the team’s roster stands at 81 players, leaving room for as many as nine undrafted free agents to be added to the roster in the coming days. But there could easily be even more on the way. It’s not unusual for the Chiefs to open additional roster spots to make room for more first-year players following the team’s rookie minicamp, which will take place from Saturday through Monday.
All of the released players had salaries at or below the Top 51 threshold, so none of these roster moves have affected Kansas City’s salary cap space, which we now estimate to stand at $14.1 million.