It’s just past noon on the Wednesday after waiver claims and the National Football League has just released the list of players who’ve been claimed after final roster cuts were due. The K.C. Chiefs lost two such players in the process of whittling down the final roster in defensive end Tim Ward and cornerback BoPete Keyes.
The Chiefs knew they were likely to lose one or more players to waivers given the loaded nature of the team. Even after trading away Yasir Durant to the New England Patriots, there was still too much talent to just float out there in hopes they could return on the practice squad.
General manager Brett Veach traded for Keyes back in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Chiefs were out of picks, but Veach wanted to leap back into the draft to be able to take Keyes, a tough defensive back out of Tulane. He played on special teams last season for the Chiefs and was looking to become a bigger staple in the defense, but the Chiefs simply had too much young talent after adding former first-round picks in Mike Hughes and Deandre Baker as well.
The Chiefs lost two players to waiver claims in Tim Ward and BoPete Keyes.
As for Ward, he’s the most painful loss of the two given that he’s a prototypical defensive end for Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive fronts. Ward was signed as a rookie free agent out of Old Dominion two seasons ago and spent the last two years on the team’s practice squad and offseason roster developing into a contributor up front.
This preseason, Ward looked ready for the regular season, but roster complications kept him from being able to make the active roster. Ward was likely the last man out after Willie Gay’s injury forced the Chiefs to keep six linebackers instead of five as expected.
As for Ward’s new home, he’s in a good place where he can likely grow into meaningful playing time very quickly for a needy Jets team playing for a defensive-minded head coach in Robert Saleh. Meanwhile, Keyes likely fits what Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard is also looking for and has a chance to help them in the AFC South.