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Gehrig Dieter retires from the NFL

Kansas City’s longtime practice-squad wideout has decided to hang up his cleats.

NFL: JAN 03 Chargers at Chiefs Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s not every day that you’ll read an Arrowhead Pride story about the retirement of a Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver who was targeted just five times over a five-year career.

But this is one of those days.

Through a social media post on Wednesday, Kansas City wideout Gehrig Dieter announced he is walking away from the game.

Signed out of Alabama as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Dieter spent his entire career in Kansas City — almost all of it on the team’s practice squad. He appeared in a total of 10 regular-season games, catching two passes for a total of 32 yards. He also appeared in three postseason games, during which he caught another pass for 11 yards.

He also saw significant use on special teams during the games for which he was active.

But that’s not why you know his name. You know it because of his friendship with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who also joined the team in 2017.

During his first couple of years with the team, Mahomes sometimes spoke of his relationship with Dieter. Offseason videos of Mahomes working with his pass-catchers at high-school football fields often showed Dieter among those snagging passes.

Many observers ultimately came to believe that Dieter remained on the practice squad year after year because of his relationship with the starting quarterback. But it’s a lot more likely that in Dieter, the Chiefs saw someone who could play a number of different roles on the scout team during practices — and who came to work with the right attitude every day.

Now, however, things have changed. Dieter didn’t appear in a single Chiefs game last year. While he was signed to a Reserve/Futures contract at the conclusion of the 2021 season, the team released him in early May. At the time, we saw this as a way for the Chiefs to bring more players into the rookie minicamp; we considered it likely he would be re-signed. But unlike some other players released at the same time, Deiter remained on the street after the minicamp concluded.

With 13 wide receivers currently on the team’s 90-man roster, it seems likely that Dieter has come to realize that even his opportunity to remain with the team’s practice squad is now in jeopardy. He moves on to the next phase of his life with just over $1 million in career earnings (and a Super Bowl ring) in his pocket — along with some great memories.

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