The official free agency period doesn’t begin until the onset of the new league year on March 15, but the Kansas City Chiefs have still been busy adding to their roster.
Kansas City has already signed 15 players to “Reserve/Future” contracts, which are specialized deals meant for players who were not on an active roster when the previous season came to an end. That pool of eligible players includes those who were on practice squads – including Kansas City’s practice squad – at the conclusion on the 2022 campaign, which is why many of the Chiefs’ “Reserve/Future” signees may look familiar.
These deals will officially begin when the new league year kicks off on March 15, but in the meantime, no other team may sign these particular players.
Here’s a look at the 15 players currently under contract with “Reserve/Future” deals as of March 6:
Signings on Jan. 9:
Wide Receiver Ty Fryfogle
The 24-year-old Fryfogle signed with the Dallas Cowboys after going undrafted last year. He was waived following training camp with an injury designation (hamstring) and remained a free agent throughout the 2022 season.
The 6-foot-1, 204-pound wide receiver played his college ball at Indiana, where he was the Big 10 “Receiver of the Year” in 2020 after catching 37 passes for 721 yards and seven touchdowns in eight starts. Fryfogle caught 46 passes for 512 yards and one score the following season.
Wide Receiver John Ross
A former first round pick, the Cincinnati Bengals made Ross the No. 9 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. Ross was the third receiver taken that year due in part to his blazing, 4.22-second 40-yard dash, which remains the fastest time ever recorded at the event since the electronic clock was introduced in 1999.
Ross went on to appear in 27 games (20 starts) for Cincinnati over the next four seasons, catching 51 passes for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns. His best statistical year was in 2019, when he hauled in 28 receptions for 506 yards and three scores in eight games. Ross most recently appeared in 10 games for the New York Giants in 2021, catching 11 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t take the field in 2022, but at still just 27 years old, Ross is seeking a fresh start in Kansas City.
Signing on Feb. 3:
Defensive Lineman Daniel Wise
A University of Kansas product, Wise spent the last two seasons with the Washington Commanders after going undrafted in 2021. He logged 17 appearances (2 starts) during that time, recording 11 tackles and one quarterback hit.
The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Wise spent some time on the Chiefs’ practice squad in January.
Signings on Feb. 14:
Tight End Kendall Blanton
An alum of the University of Missouri, Blanton spent time on the Chiefs’ practice squad in 2022. He also appeared in four games for the Los Angeles Rams in between stints on Kansas City’s practice squad last season, catching two passes for 35 yards.
Blanton checks in at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds. He has six receptions for 72 yards in 16 career games (2 starts).
Cornerback Dicaprio Bootle
Bootle is back with the Chiefs after appearing in four games for Kansas City in 2022. He logged 11 snaps on defense and 31 snaps on special teams in those games. The former Nebraska standout spent the rest of the campaign on the Chiefs’ practice squad.
Tight End Matt Bushman
Bushman, who suffered a fractured clavicle during the preseason last year, will look to pick up where he left off prior to the injury as he embarks on another offseason with Kansas City. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end was in the midst of a monster performance against the Green Bay Packers in the Chiefs’ final preseason game last year – catching three passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns – before the injury essentially ended his season.
Prior to joining the Chiefs last year, Bushman appeared in two games for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021.
Offensive Guard Mike Caliendo
Caliendo returns to Kansas City after spending the 2022 campaign on the Chiefs’ practice squad.
The 6-foot-4, 301-pound lineman signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent last offseason out of Western Michigan. He appeared in 54 games during his time there, logging experience at all three positions along the interior offensive line.
Linebacker Cole Christiansen
Christiansen, who signed with the Chiefs’ practice squad in early September of last season, went on to appear in one game (Week 6 vs. Buffalo) for Kansas City in 2022. He logged 18 special teams’ snaps in the game.
The 25-year-old linebacker appeared in seven games for the Los Angeles Chargers between the 2020-21 seasons before signing with Kansas City.
Running Back Jerrion Ealy
Ealy is back with the Chiefs after spending much of the 2022 campaign on Kansas City’s practice squad.
A versatile player who spent time at both running back and wide receiver during Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in 2022, Ealy signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent last offseason. He was a three-time “Second-Team All-SEC” honoree during his time at Ole Miss, racking up 2,235 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground during his three-year career – averaging 5.8 yards-per-attempt across 384 carries – while also contributing as a pass-catcher, hauling in 67 grabs for 545 yards and four touchdowns. Additionally, Ealy impressed in the return game, too. He averaged 25.4 yards-per-kick-return with two touchdowns in his career.
Quarterback Chris Oladokun
A seventh-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022, Oladokun signed with the Chiefs’ practice squad in late August. The 6-foot-1, 213-pound quarterback spent time at the University of South Florida and Samford University during his college career before landing at South Dakota State in 2021, where he threw for 3,164 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Running Back La’Mical Perine
Perine joined the Chiefs’ practice squad in late January and will now receive an extended opportunity to show what he can do during the offseason training program. A fourth-round pick in 2020, Perine appeared in 14 games for the New York Jets between the 2020-21 seasons. He rushed for 263 yards and two touchdowns in that time.
Center Austin Reiter
A familiar name on this list, Reiter appeared in 42 games for the Chiefs between the 2018-20 seasons. He also played every offensive snap in all six of Kansas City’s playoff games between the 2019-20 campaigns, including Super Bowl LIV.
Reiter, who briefly departed for a stint in Miami during the 2021 season, spent 2022 on the Chiefs’ practice squad.
Defensive Tackle Danny Shelton
A first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Shelton joined the Chiefs as a free agent during training camp last year. He went on to spend much of the season on Kansas City’s practice squad, appearing in one game (Week 16 vs. Seattle). Shelton recorded nine defensive snaps and two special teams’ snaps in the game.
A big man at 6-foot-2 and 345-pounds, Shelton brings a veteran presence to the Chiefs’ defensive line entering the offseason training program.
Wide Receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette
A fifth-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2021, Smith-Marsette joined the Chiefs’ practice squad in October of last year. He went on to appear in two games for the Chiefs, logging 12 snaps on offense and one snap on special teams.
Smith-Marsette has 16 career appearances to his name, catching six passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns in that time. He checks in at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds.
Signing on Feb. 15:
Wide Receiver Cornell Powell
Another familiar name on this list, Powell originally joined the Chiefs as a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. A stalwart on the Chiefs’ practice squad in each of the last two seasons, Powell earned a promotion to the active roster for three games in 2022. He recorded three offensive snaps and 28 special teams’ snaps in those appearances.
Each of those 15 players will compete throughout the Chiefs’ offseason training program for an opportunity to take the field for the defending Super Bowl champions in 2023.
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