Analysis News

Chiefs Waive Josh Gordon, Activate Khalen Saunders: Initial Reactions

The Chiefs have waived Josh Gordon and activated Khalen Saunders. What's next for the Chiefs at the Wide Receiver position?

The Josh Gordon experiment for the Kansas City offense has come to a close. On Monday, the Chiefs waived the drama-ridden wide receiver. He finishes his Chiefs career after appearing in 12 games and making seven starts. Gordon had been inactive in each of the Chiefs’ playoff games. Gordon’s final stat line as a Chief finishes at 14 targets, five receptions, 32 yards, and one touchdown. Josh Gordon dropped two passes this season.

Khalen Saunders, defensive tackle, returns for the Chiefs after being activated from IR. He entered his activation window this week and has a good chance to suit up Sunday against the Bengals. Saunders, a third-round pick (84th overall) for the Chiefs in the 2019 draft, last appeared for the Chiefs in Week Seven against Tennessee. This season, Saunders averaged 31% of snaps and logged eight tackles. The addition of Saunders gives the Chiefs additional depth on the interior defensive line that already features Chris Jones, Jarran Reed, and Tershawn Wharton.

What’s Next At WR?

This season, the Chiefs will finish with Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle, Demarcus Robinson, and Marcus Kemp as wide receivers. This gives the Chiefs plenty of depth for the remainder of the postseason. Gordon struggled to find the field already and didn’t shine when given a chance.

Looking to next year, the only wide receivers currently under contract are Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman. Demarcus Robinson signed a one-year contract to return this season. Byron Pringle and Marcus Kemp did the same. Rookie fifth-round selection Cornell Powell was released and returned on a one-year deal to the Chiefs’ practice squad.

Powell is my pick to get a chance next season as a fourth wide receiver behind Tyreek, Hardman, and Pringle. He has shown an ability to get vertical and play physically at the wide receiver position. The Chiefs could also pursue additional options in a deep wide receiver free agent class and through the draft.


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