The Kansas City Chiefs waived cornerback D.J. White to make room for Tamba Hali and the Indianapolis Colts made a winning claim.
The Kansas CIty Chiefs had to make room. With Tamba Hali officially ready to join the team and contribute in-game after missing the first half of the season on the Physically Unable to Play list, the Chiefs had to place someone on waivers, even if they secretly hoped they could keep that player on the practice squad. Unfortunately, they lost a young defensive back in the process after the Indianapolis Colts claimed cornerback D.J. White.
White was the Chiefs sixth round pick back in the 2016 NFL Draft and he was able to earn decent playing time during his rookie season. He played in 11 total games, mostly on special teams, but he also entered the game in dime packages where multiple defensive backs were needed. He had a single interception and 3 passes defended along with 11 tackles on the season. It was a nice start for a low-round pick and showed the Chiefs know how to find value for their specific schemes late in the draft.
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This year, White was unable to find the field, but the Chiefs simply had too many players over him on the depth chart. White was able to play last year while Phillip Gaines was out, but this year he has been healthy. The emergence of Terrance Mitchell late in 2016 also pushed White a bit further down the ranks. Ultimately this year, despite the need for solid cornerback play, White never was able to break through and was often inactive on game day.
To make room for Hali, the Chiefs waived White. If the Georgia Tech player had gone unclaimed, K.C. would be able to add him to their practice squad, but instead White has become a member of the Colts. Former Chiefs general manager Chris Ballard is the team’s general manager, so he would be very familiar with White’s college tape and first year play. The Colts have focused on remaking their entire secondary in Ballard’s first year as GM, including drafting Malik Hooker and Quincy Wilson, so it’s not surprising to see Ballard take interest in White.
White might be able to make his presence felt on a different team, a needier team, at this point, but then again, he’s bound for some further uncertainty in the future as Indy faces a hot seat under a head coach in Chuck Pagano. Any new coach will undoubtedly bring in new schemes and needs. For now, White hopes the final several weeks of the season gives him a chance to showcase what he can do.