Kansas City Chiefs sign Kyle Shurmur, others to futures deals

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Kyle Shurmur #9 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes the ball in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 29, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Kyle Shurmur #9 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes the ball in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 29, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs announced they’ve reached futures deals with several players including quarterback Kyle Shurmur.

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers finally made their reserve/futures contracts official after the Super Bowl on Tuesday, weeks after some other teams had done the same. Per the NFL’s transaction wire, the Chiefs added nine players to their roster while the Niners added seven.

For fans of the Chiefs, many of the names will sound familiar because they’ve been around on the team’s practice squad or even from the preseason last year. The Chiefs believe in these players enough to develop them further and see what future competition will yield. Given the Chiefs’ willingness to play the best available no matter the investment, it will be interesting to see who earns a real shot at the active roster from this bunch.

Here’s a breakdown of each signing from Tuesday:

Joe Fortson, WR

Fortson came up big in the preseason last year as a small-school tight end turned wide receiver out of Valdosta State. While he failed to make the active roster, he spent last year on the practice squad. Given more time to develop with the team’s training and conditioning staff, Fortson looks the part as a real future contributor on special teams and a wide receiver prospect. You can check out our interview here.

Braxton Hoyett, DL

At 6’3, 310 lbs., Hoyett has the requisite size to play the role of run stuffer at the heart of the defensive front. The Titans were the first to sign him after he went undrafted last May but the Chiefs ended up with him at this point. Hoyett started 22 games at Mississippi State and finished with 7.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

Nick Keizer, TE

We already covered Keizer’s signing here, but it’s clear the Chiefs like what they see from the small-school tight end. Formerly from Grand Valley State, the Baltimore Ravens first signed him after the draft but didn’t have enough room for him given the level of investment that John Harbaugh’s team has made at the position.

Chris Lammons, DB

The Chiefs are Lammons’ fourth NFL team after spending time with the Falcons, Dolphins, and Saints since 2018. The Chiefs added Lammons in early December to their practice squad, likely with a vision of seeing what he would add during the long offseason to the mix.

Devaroe Lawrence, DL

Lawrence is an anomaly among this lot as a 27-year-old veteran who played in 11 games and made 2 starts just this past season for the Cleveland Browns. He still qualifies for the practice squad despite spending the last 2 years in Cleveland and a year with New Orleans before that. The Chiefs likely love his toughness and strength and will invest the time to see whether he can be an interior contributor for Steve Spagnuolo.

Elijah McGuire, RB

The Chiefs really seem ready to uncover some new talent at running back this offseason given the presence of both Mike Weber and McGuire on the roster alongside holdovers like Damien Williams, Darrel Williams, and Darwin Thompson. Marcus Marshall was also already signed to a reserve deal to bring him into the picture once the new league year begins. McGuire, like Weber, was a recent add and gives the Chiefs a scatback to project into competition for the preseason.

Kyle Shurmur, QB

Kyle Shurmur was an free agent quarterback signed by the Chiefs after going undrafted last year. A four-year starter out of Vanderbilt was heralded for his intellect and experience, and as the son of Pat Shurmur, you know he’s going to look the part. He beat out Chase Litton for the QB3 role out of training camp. It could be interesting to watch his stock on the roster given that both veteran backups in Matt Moore and Chad Henne are free agents.

Emmanuel Smith, LB

Smith spent all of last season on the Chiefs practice squad after bouncing between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons for the full year before that. The 6’2, 240 lb. linebacker apparently has shown the Chiefs enough to stick on the PS through the regular season and now a futures deal keeps him in house. Coaches clearly see some potential here.

Mike Weber, RB

Weber was an interesting late-season addition to the Chiefs’ practice squad. A former running back for Ohio State, Weber was drafted in the seventh by the Dallas Cowboys last fall but failed to make the team and the Chiefs seized an opportunity to watch him further in 2020. Weber averaged 6.1 yards/carry in his collegiate career and he’ll hope to prove he can ascend the depth chart with the Chiefs, a team that allows unearthed gems to shine at this particular position.