A recent conversation with former Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt on 610 Sports explains a bit more of how his release went down and how Tommy Townsend was possibly involved.
On Thursday morning, former Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt joined the “Fescoe in the Morning” program to discuss his recent release from earlier in the week as well as his 15-year tenure with the team. Right off the bat, the hosts ask Colquitt to speak about being cut and things were immediately interesting.
Colquitt was let go after a decade-and-a-half of being with the Chiefs—he was literally the only player who didn’t pre-date Andy Reid‘s tenure (2013)—earlier this week, and it was a move that came as quite a surprise. The Chiefs revealed their cards only recently by having Tyler Newsome on the roster as competition and then signing Tommy Townsend from the University of Florida as an undrafted free agent. However, Colquitt was such a staple that it felt like the team was just putting pressure on the competition at specialist—not preparing to give the veteran the boot.
Colquitt started to explain that Townsend used his leverage to find the best opportunity.
“I think they had an opportunity to kind of snag a young guy who was on a lot of teams’ draft boards … when he came available, so he didn’t get drafted, Kansas City didn’t draft a guy. I think they said, ‘Hey, this is the guy,'” said Colquitt.
“I think after talking to them, I think it was an issue if I was still on the roster. When you’re pursued by three or four teams, you have leverage. So I think that’s kind of what happened. They took their chance of a guy that they saw being the guy hopefully for the next 15 years.”
When asked for clarity—specifically “so this guy signed on the condition that you weren’t on the roster?”—Colquitt didn’t back away or mince words. Instead he agreed and said that’s how he interpreted the events around his release. However, he also said he understood the process.
“That’s definitely what it felt like and what it sounded like. And I understand it,” he said. “This is a business and they’re building a championship monster here in Kansas City. That’s what the last seven years have been about, so it does hurt[?] to get the call, but I’ve watched, y’know, hundreds and hundreds of guys get hundreds of calls and texts and FaceTimes to people who have been in my same shoes. It almost happens to everybody. Most people don’t get to kind of choose their own way out.
“Mine was just a little interesting and a little bit more emotional just because it just happened to be the longest-tenured deal. I’m glad we didn’t talk yesterday. I think it would have been a mistake and too emotional just how I got to interact with a lot of people. I was very humbled listening to everybody’s talks and versions of stories.”
The Chiefs brought in Jack Fox last offseason for some competition as well, so the team might have been looking for the right offseason to make the transition away from the veteran for the sake of a younger, cheaper option for at least the last year or more. That still doesn’t remove the surprise of not seeing Colquitt in the role of punter.
Colquitt did say that he only wanted to play one more year in Kansas City and that he would have done so at minimal cost if required.
“I told them, I said, ‘Hey I don’t ever want money to be an issue here … Just put me at minimum and let me keep going if you think I’m a dinosaur. I think that if I’d played one more year here, I absolutely would have retired, just because 16 years is a long time for the organization to drag somebody that far,” he said.
Moving ahead, Colquitt said he wasn’t ready to walk away from the game—and that he even expressed that to the Chiefs. “They wanted to know how much football I had left, and I told them I definitely didn’t see myself retiring,” he said. Instead, he mentioned that he’ll be patient with the offseason to see what comes his way.
The entire interview is worth listening to. Make sure to listen to it at that link over at 610 Sports.