The conclusion of the NFL Draft often brings about a swarm of moves, as teams around the league continue their ongoing efforts to find a diamond in the rough among the throng of undrafted players.
The Chiefs continued their annual effort this time of year, as a number of players have accepted a rookie tryout or signed priority free-agent deals, including Oklahoma State safety Jordan Sterns, Alabama receiver Gehrig Dieter and Oregon State safety Devin Chappell, sources told The Star.
A number of players also announced on Twitter that they were either signing with the Chiefs or trying out, including: West Florida receiver Anas Hasic, Marshall receiver Justin Hunt, Marshall tight end Emanuel Byrd, Auburn receiver Tony Stevens, Hawaii receiver Marcus Kemp, Oklahoma State cornerback Ashton Lampkin and Southern California guard Damien Mama.
Utah State defensive lineman Ricky Ali’ifua, Western Kentucky long snapper Nolan Dowling, Utah State tight end Wyatt Houston, Miami (Ohio) defensive lineman Austin Gearing, UTEP offensive lineman Corin Brooks will also be headed to Kansas City according to tweets from their respective schools.
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Montana receiver JR Nelson is also headed to Kansas City, according to the Missoulian.
At this point, it’s unclear how many are priority free agents — like Chappell, a source said — and how many are simply invites to the three-day rookie minicamp, which starts next Saturday.
The difference is that priority free agents receive contracts — and thus, money in the form of a small signing bonus — while tryout players aren’t guaranteed anything. That often gives priority free agents a better shot to make the team, since the club has already invested some money.
That’s part of the reason players sometimes back out of these agreements around this time of year, as well. If another team comes along and offers players a deal, it often makes sense for them to sign it and earn some money, given the tenuous nature of rookie-tryout invites.