NFL Rumors: Marquez Valdes-Scantling Released by Chiefs; Saves $12M in Cap Space

NFL Rumors: Marquez Valdes-Scantling Released by Chiefs; Saves $12M in Cap Space
Mike Chiari@@mikechiariX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 28, 2024

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Marquez Valdes-Scantling #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on November 20, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs reportedly released veteran wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on Wednesday, ending his two-year tenure with the organization.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the move will save the Chiefs $12 million against the salary cap.

MVS, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Chiefs in 2022, won a pair of Super Bowls during his time in Kansas City.

The 29-year-old Valdes-Scantling entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick out of South Florida in 2018, and he spent his first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

In 2020, Valdes-Scantling set career highs with 690 receiving yards and six touchdowns, plus he led the NFL with 20.9 yards per reception as a deep threat for then-Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

MVS’ numbers dipped in 2021, as he missed six games due to injury, but he still landed a sizable contract with the Chiefs to serve as an outside speed option for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Valdes-Scantling and Mahomes had a solid connection in 2022, as MVS set a career high with 42 catches and finished with 687 yards and two touchdowns. He also had seven grabs for 122 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs, as the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.

He was one of several wide receivers tasked with replacing some of the production lost by Kansas City trading superstar wideout Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins.

Valdes-Scantling struggled for much of the 2023 season, as did the Chiefs offense as a whole, with the defense stepping up and becoming arguably the top unit on the team.

MVS’ 21 catches for 315 yards and one touchdown were all career lows, plus he had some untimely drops in big situations that may have contributed to his playing less than 50 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in four of five games from Weeks 11 through 15.

However, Valdes-Scantling once again came to life during the playoffs, finishing with eight receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown in four contests.

In the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVIII win over the San Francisco 49ers, Valdes-Scantling had a 16-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, which gave Kansas City a 13-10 lead.

The release of Valdes-Scantling leaves Kansas City thin at wide receiver, as Mecole Hardman and Richie James are set to hit free agency as well.

As of now, the Chiefs’ wide receiver corps consists of Rashee Rice, who was a big-time contributor as a rookie in 2023, plus several far less reliable options, including Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, Justin Watson and Justyn Ross.

Aside from Rice, no wide receiver on Kansas City’s roster had more than 27 receptions for 460 yards in 2023, which suggests wideout will be a major point of emphasis for the Chiefs this offseason.

It won’t be surprising if Kansas City makes a push to sign one of the top wide receivers available in free agency in addition to using a high draft pick on a pass-catcher as well.

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