Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chiefs waive injured Moeaki, KU’s Opurum; McDougald sticks


— Tony Moeaki’s career in Kansas City has apparently come to an end.

The former third-round pick who dazzled during his rookie season but couldn’t stay on the field because of injuries was fittingly waived as an injured player on Saturday, part of a series of moves that the Chiefs used to reach the 53-man roster limit by the NFL’s deadline.

Moeaki fractured his shoulder in a preseason game against Pittsburgh.

He’ll end up on injured reserve along with offensive lineman Ricky Henry, who ruptured his bicep Thursday night against Green Bay, if Moeaki passes through waivers without being claimed.

“Well Chiefs Kingdom, it’s been a pleasure,” Moeaki tweeted. “Was starting to feel back to form. Bad timing for an inj. However...Challenge accepted.”

Moeaki has struggled with knee and shoulder injuries throughout his career.

The Chiefs had to clear 22 players to reach the roster maximum, which meant cutting 20 others by the deadline. Among those was running back Shaun Draughn, safety Tysyn Hartman and wide receivers Rico Richardson and Josh Bellamy, all of whom were in close competitions for jobs.

Hartman, a former Kansas State standout, was beaten out by another undrafted free agent in Bradley McDougald, and that one might sting for Wildcat fans still smarting from their loss Friday night to North Dakota State. McDougald went to school just down the road at Kansas.

“The men we let go today put in a substantial amount of work for our club and we are grateful for their efforts,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “We feel like we have a good foundation and we will continue to look to build our roster in the best interests of the team.”

Draughn was beaten out by second-year pro Cyrus Gray for the No. 3 running back job behind Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. It may have come down to the Chiefs’ preseason finale against the Packers, too, when Gray carried 13 times for 72 yards as the starters and most of the second team sat.

Draughn ran for 233 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in all 16 games last season.

Richardson and Bellamy were in a tense competition for the past couple of wide receiver spots, but were beaten out by Devon Wylie — who hurt his hamstring against the Packers — and Junior Hemingway, the Chiefs’ former seventh-round pick who appeared in just one game last season.

Hemingway might have solidified his spot against the Packers, too. He hauled in seven catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, emerging as a viable option opposite Dwayne Bowe in the passing game.

Most of his targets in the game came from quarterback Tyler Bray, an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee who had won the No. 3 job earlier in camp. The Chiefs cut Ricky Stanzi during the first round of roster reductions, and it was unlikely they’d go into the season with just two quarterbacks.

The other players who were cut were defensive backs Malcolm Bronson, Greg Castillo, Kennard Cox and Semaj Moody; offensive linemen Matt Reynolds, Rokevious Watkins, Tommie Draheim and Steven Baker; defensive linemen Marcus Dixon, Austin Lane and Ridge Wilson; fullback Toben Opurum, also out of Kansas; wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.; linebackers Darin Drakeford and Orie Lemon; and tight end Demetrius Harris.

Harris was an undrafted free agent who hadn’t played football since high school after playing basketball at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Chiefs will likely try to sign him to the practice squad.


AsadZ 7 years, 1 month ago

Glad to hear that McDougald has made the Chiefs roster and hope that he can survive in the league.

I also hope that some other team can sign Opurum

David Serven 7 years, 1 month ago

How about the rest of the Jayhawks around the league? How stuck and who got cut?

BayPark 7 years, 1 month ago

Greg Brown was cut by the Chargers several days ago.

Thomas Young 7 years, 1 month ago

I hope Opurum finds another team, but I bet if he doesn't he finds his way onto the Chiefs practice squad. That would actually be a good thing as he learns the FB position.

Andy Godwin 7 years, 1 month ago

It would be nice if Opurum found a home on a practice squad. Very hard to make an NFL team as a fullback given that most teams only carry one. He blocked reasonably well against the Packers, but dropped the only pass thrown his way in the game. He has been jerked around (starting with Gill) so much in his football career, one can only hope he gets a chance to develop at his nature position.

namohcan_99 7 years, 1 month ago

Being converted to DE, did it really help him or was that just another failed Turner Gill experiment?

AZJHWK 7 years, 1 month ago

I think Hawkinson made it with Cincy, he was playing guard with the starters in the game I saw. It would be nice if the LJW paid as much attention to former footballers trying to make in the NFL and lesser leagues as they do to BBallers floating around Europe. For example Jon Cornish has been tearing up the CFL for the past few years and not a word about it.

Fototherapist 7 years, 1 month ago

Turner Gill didn't do Toben any favors by moving him to D. I always thought that was a bad move. It's only Toben's natural football abilities that allowed him to function as a DE/LB. If he was allowed to develop as a FB or RB, he might have been drafted.

kranny 7 years, 1 month ago

I completely agree. I'll go farther back and blame Mangino for taking Opurum out and putting Sharp back in after he was injured. Opurum was a beast while Sharp was out. Led to the 7 game slide in my opinion.

Brad Swisher 7 years, 1 month ago

Both Harris and Steven Johnson made the final 53 for the Broncos.

Brad Hall 7 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, McDougald got cut when the Chiefs picked up some folks that were cut from other teams. Chiefs picked up 7 and cut 6, at this time, including McDougald who had a good pre-season.

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