Everything you need to know about the Chiefs cutting Cairo Santos

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Kicker Cairo Santos
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Kicker Cairo Santos /
3 of 5
CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Cairo Santos
CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Cairo Santos /

In tandem with the announcement that Santos was placed on IR, the Chiefs also announced his replacement—except it wasn’t Ficken. The first surprise of this entire episode is that Brett Veach had a new man, despite the solid showing from Ficken in the preseason. Eschewing Ficken’s familiarity with the coaching staff, the playbook and the locker room, Veach decided to pluck a prospect from the Carolina Panthers, taking Harrison Butker from the Panthers’ practice squad.

Butker was the Panthers seventh round choice, a Georgia Tech product who graduated as the team’s all time leading scorer. Butker converted 88 percent of his field goal attempts in 2016 and was one of only four kickers invited to the NFL Combine. Yet this preseason, the Panthers decided to go ahead with the veteran Graham Gano, leaving Butker to take up a practice squad spot.

What’s clear is this process is that the Chiefs front office is very excited about the possibility of adding Butker at this point. There’s only one reason to not go with the familiar and successful option and that’s if you truly believe there is something much better out there (e.g. Butker over Ficken). We’re learning a new name at kicker because the Chiefs believe there’s a new name worth knowing. We can lean on that trust.

A new story at the mother ship even mentions that special teams guru Dave Toub loved Butker coming out of college. If you’re going to trust any incoming rookie to potentially replace Santos, it should be the one to whom Toub is pointing.