Local football fans will likely recognize the name Cale Garrett. If you’re wondering what happened to him in recent years, a potential answer could come in the form of resurfacing with the K.C. Chiefs.
The Chiefs hosted Garrett, a former linebacker with the Missouri Tigers, on Tuesday for a free agent visit at Arrowhead Stadium. The timing was interesting given that the team was forced to cut a few players to reach the NFL’s 85-man roster limit by the same day as well.
Garrett was a factor on the field for all four seasons at Mizzou and was well on his way to a strong senior season in 2019 when a torn pectoral ended his season prematurely after only five games. It halted a potential All-American season for a stout Missouri defense that would have surely earned Garrett strong draft consideration.
In the following 2020 NFL Draft, Garrett went undrafted but was signed by the Tennessee Titans. He wouldn’t last into the regular season, however, but the Minnesota Vikings offered him a short stint on their practice squad. The New York Giants signed him to a reserve/futures deal last January and he spent the bulk of this offseason with Joe Judge’s team.
Former Missouri linebacker Cale Garrett visited with the K.C. Chiefs.
It’s hard to see what the Chiefs are doing here other than some really extended homework. The team is going to have to release a few linebackers as it is to get down to the active roster requirements of only 53 players. Anthony Hitchens, Nick Bolton (a former teammate of Garrett’s), and Willie Gay Jr. are locks, and Ben Niemann is also a solid bet. Darius Harris has shown up strong in camp, as has Omari Cobb. Riley Cole, Emmanuel Smith, and Dorian O’Daniel are also around. In short, there’s not a lot of room for any additions given the need to downsize—not only here but at every position.
That said, let’s go back to Garrett’s injury. If the Chiefs are circling back around to an undersized prospect they like when healthy, then Brett Veach might have circled his calendar around this time, if Garrett was available, to check in on him and see how the torn pectoral is still affecting things or not. The Chiefs hardly have a “type” here at linebacker, and guys like Niemann have proven others wrong and earned significant playing time.
In 46 total games at Mizzou, Garrett put up 291 total tackles, including 26 of them for for loss; 5 sacks; 6 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns; and 2 fumble recoveries.