Chiefs Release Veteran WR Ahead of Free Agency: Report - Sport News

Chiefs Release Veteran WR Ahead of Free Agency: Report

The Kansas City Chiefs have made the final call on veteran wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling — who profiled as a potential cap casualty heading into the 2024 offseason.

Chiefs release Marquez Valdes-Scantling ahead of NFL free agency.

ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler was the first to report, informing: “Source: #Chiefs are releasing wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.” This roster move saves Kansas City a helpful $12 million in cap space ahead of NFL free agency.

Cutting “MVS” always felt like a necessary decision for general manager Brett Veach in 2024 — especially after he finished the regular season catching 21-of-42 targets for just 314 yards and one touchdown as the highest-paid wideout on the roster. Valdes-Scantling was also one of the main culprits when it came to dropping passes this year, along with Kadarius Toney.

Having said that, after another clutch Super Bowl run from MVS during the postseason (128 receiving yards and a touchdown in four games), there was a small chance KC would try and restructure his contract or somehow lower his cap hit to keep him around. In the end, a return was not meant to be.

After dropping $11 million in cap space earlier this week, the Valdes-Scantling cut puts the Chiefs right back around their starting point before the combine, just under $29 million in available space.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Wins 2 Super Bowls With Chiefs Over Brief 2-Season Tenure

A decade or so from now, it’ll be interesting to see how Chiefs Kingdom remembers MVS. If you look at his specific contract as a singular entity, the signing was one of Veach’s worst since taking over as general manager.

Valdes-Scantling did reach 1,000 receiving yards (at 1,002) if you combine his two regular season campaigns, but he was paid like a high-end WR2, or perhaps even a low-end WR1 at the time. He also had a lousy catch rate of 51.2% with the Chiefs, including just three touchdowns ahead of each playoff run.

But the postseason performances do count — and some fans may remember those more than each regular season drop when they look back on MVS’s tenure.

In the playoffs, Valdes-Scantling added another three touchdowns with the Chiefs, as well as 250 receiving yards and 12 first downs. His catch rate also rose to 62.5% over those seven appearances that helped earn back-to-back Super Bowl rings.

The 29-year-old’s signature performance as a Chief may have been in winter of 2023, against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship game. MVS went off that game with six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, in part boosting Kansas City to their third Super Bowl appearance in the Patrick Mahomes era.

Although he was not able to log a reception during the 2023 Super Bowl, Valdes-Scantling did have a few big plays versus the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills in winter of 2024, including a vital touchdown against the Niners.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Earns $18 Million With Chiefs

Aside from the two championship rings, Valdes-Scantling closes the book on his $30 million deal by earning exactly $18 million with the Chiefs according to Over the Cap. That equates to 60% of his original contract as Veach utilizes the “out” that he gave himself back in 2022.

Joining a free agency pool that could include Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley and Michael Pittman Jr. among others, MVS in unlikely to garner the same type of interest in 2024.

With that in mind, his next landing spot should be interesting to monitor. An early favorite could be the New York Jets.

Valdes-Scantling spent his first four seasons in the NFL with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Obviously, Rodgers is now in New York, the Jets have a veteran need at WR, and the NYJ franchise has already previously elected to link up with several former Green Bay Packers to appease their new offensive signal-caller.

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