After letting Benjamin Watson slip through their fingers, the Kansas City Chiefs have signed journeyman Tight End Tim Wright to compete for the backup role behind Travis Kelce.
Heading into his sixth season in his NFL career, the Chiefs will be the fourth franchise he has played for since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013. However, Wright has been out of football for the previous two seasons after tearing his ACL in May 2016 when he was with the Detroit Lions.
After going undrafted, Wright was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played for the 2013 season. Wright played all 16 games for the Bucs, catching 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns. He also finished the 2013 season as the only rookie Tight End to have more than 500 receiving yards.
On August 26, 2014, Wright was traded to the New England Patriots for Guard Logan Mankins and a 2015 fourth round pick. Wright played all 16 games as the backup to Rob Gronkowski, and despite not playing in Super Bowl XLIX, his 26 reptions for 259 yards and six touchdowns were a contributing factor that propelled the Pats towards their eventual championship. Wright was released by New England on June 11, 2015 and was picked up off waivers by his former team, Tampa Bay, a day later. However, the reunion didn’t last long as Wright was traded to the Detroit Lions for Kicker Kyle Brindza.
Wright played in nine games for the Lions during the 2015 season, catching only nine passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
Wright was re-signed by the Lions following the 2015 season but would be put on season-ending injured reserve due to a torn ACL during minicamp. Wright missed the entire 2016 campaign and was cut during the 2017 pre-season where he spent all of 2017 as a free agent.
While Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach could be jumping the gun a bit with this move, Wright has proven before that he can be a factor in the passing game, when healthy, despite bouncing around the league.
A quality number two Tight End has been something the Chiefs have been lacking for a number of years and have been forced to rely upon the inconsistant Demetrius Harris to step up and make plays. Harris’ spot on the roster will be what Wright competes for and will be something to keep an eye on as the off-season continues.
The Chiefs tried signing a quality backup at the position earlier during the free agency period with reports that former Ravens Tight End Benjamin Watson was in Kansas City working on a deal. However, Watson ended up scheduling a visit with New Orleans while still in KC and eventually signed with the Saints instead of the Chiefs.