Knile Davis’ up-and-down tenure in Kansas City has come to an end.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs announced they traded the former third-round pick to the Green Bay Packers, confirming The Star’s report earlier in the day.
In return, the Chiefs received a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2018, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.
The trade nets the Chiefs a cap savings of about $700,000, as the Packers will be responsible for the rest of Davis’ remaining $675,000 base salary. The Chiefs had about $10.8 million in cap room prior to the trade, according to the NFL Players Association.
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The trade is a good opportunity for Davis, who essentially fell out of the Chiefs’ primary running back rotation last season. The Packers, 3-2, are banged up at running back, with starter Eddie Lacy battling an ankle injury and James Starks expected to miss several weeks because of a knee injury.
Davis, 25, was chosen with the No. 96 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. His career in Kansas City got off to a somewhat promising start. He spent the first two seasons of his career as Jamaal Charles’ primary backup, before ultimately ceding that role a year ago to Spencer Ware, a reserve-futures signing, and Charcandrick West, an undrafted free agent.
Davis still served as an effective kick returner for the Chiefs after his demotion, however, scoring a 106-yard touchdown against Houston in last season’s AFC playoffs. He continued in that role this year, returning six kicks for 126 yards, the second most on the team behind electric rookie Tyreek Hill, who has returned eight kicks for 188 yards.
But on Sunday, Davis was inactive for the Chiefs’ 26-10 win at Oakland as De’Anthony Thomas was active for the first time this season. Davis went through concussion protocol in the Chiefs’ previous game, a 43-14 loss at Pittsburgh. But when asked Monday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that had nothing to do with the choice to activate Thomas over Davis, who was No. 4 on the running back depth chart behind Ware, Charles and West.
“It was a football decision, but we had the other three backups so that was really the only reason, that was it,” Reid said. “De’Anthony could go in there in an emergency and play that position, likewise (Tyreek) could. We just thought we had enough backs for what we need.”
Reid said he liked what he saw from Thomas, who played 12 snaps and caught two passes for 12 yards.
“I thought he did pretty good,” Reid said of Thomas. “I mean, he didn’t have a ton of snaps but the ones he had, he brought a little juice in there and had a nice third-down catch there. I was curious to see how he’d do, and I thought he did a good job for what he was asked to do.”
Reid also said Thomas could continue to see playing time going forward. The Chiefs play host to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
“Yeah, I think we could continue that — I didn’t see any reason why you couldn’t,” Reid said. “I haven’t gotten so far into the Saints, but I would tell you that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.”
Davis, 25, has logged a single carry for minus-2 yards this season. For his career, he’s carried the ball 233 times for 775 yards, a 3.3-yard average. He also fumbled six times in his career, losing three, though he worked hard to conquer that issue — and improve his pass catching — this offseason.
The trade freed up a roster spot for the Chiefs, who signed four players (inside linebacker Ramik Wilson, cornerback Terrance Mitchell and defensive linemen Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Kendall Reyes) to the active roster.
To make room for those four, they also placed two defensive starters (inside linebacker Justin March-Lillard and defensive end Allen Bailey) on injured reserve and released a reserve defensive lineman (Nick Williams).