Former KC Chiefs players find new homes with Cardinals, Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann (56) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann (56) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

A few former members of the Kansas City Chiefs roster found new homes for the 2022 season in the last few days, including LB Ben Niemann.

While our primary focus is all about the current state of the Kansas City Chiefs roster, the truth is we remain interested in what’s happening with former players who played at Arrowhead Stadium even after they’ve last donned the red and gold. That means our interest was piqued when we heard about new faces in new places in recent days as former Chiefs fortunately had the chance to extend their careers with new teams.

Within the last few days, a few former Chiefs players found new homes for the 2022 season—or at least a chance to compete for a long-term spot—including linebacker Ben Niemann. Let’s take a closer look at these transaction and what they mean for the team and player.

Ben Niemann, LB, Arizona Cardinals

NIemann’s legacy with the Chiefs Kingdom, or at least a major part of it, feels a bit unfair given that all he was did was work his butt off enough to earn the trust of the coaching staff and front office as a rookie free agent out of Iowa back in 2018. He latched onto the active roster and never let go and now ended up with a new contract with the Cards, a testament to his talent and non-stop motor exhibited on the field for the Chiefs in the last few years.

Yes, Niemann was frustratingly out of position at times and he was also tasked with defensive mismatches. But that’s on Steve Spagnuolo for putting guys in a losing situation before they even played out. (And remember, Niemann isn’t the only face to fit that description here.)

NIemann has already played over his head in terms of expectations and the Cardinals are likely going to like such a scrappy player who endears himself to a coaching staff so quickly. Here’s hoping he surprises the Cardinals defensive staff and makes the active roster for a Week 1 matchup.

Darryl Williams, OL, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have added another young offensive lineman from the Chiefs to the offseason mix when they signed Darryl Williams just one year after they also traded for former Missouri star Yasir Durant.

Williams was recently let go by the Chiefs in order to create a roster spot for Jerick McKinnon, but the loss of Williams to the Patriots removes a bit of security for K.C. since he’s been around for the last two full seasons as a former rookie free agent out of Mississippi State. Williams felt like the kind of player who would remain on the team’s radar even if he was let go at this stage, but not anymore.

Williams faces an uphill climb to make the Patriots, but having the attention of two different franchises in case something arises is a nicer position to be in.

Josh Jackson, CB, Arizona Cardinals

Speaking of the Cardinals adding a former Chiefs defender, the Cards also signed cornerback Josh Jackson but the difference in transactions could not be any different.

Jackson joined the Chiefs as a free agent flyer as Brett Veach hoped he might get lucky giving a change of scenery to a cornerback who was once a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers who has only disappointed so far at the pro level. For a player who once led college football in interceptions, Jackson hasn’t learned to translate those ballhawk skills to the NFL.

Jackson only lasted with the Chiefs from last October to January and was on the team’s practice squad for the entire time. He’s one of several former high-round corners that Veach has brought in over the last few years hoping for better results—including Mike Hughes and Deandre Baker. Maybe the Cards can get something out of Jackson, but the Chiefs and New York Giants have already tried. It’s hard to imagine something working out here.

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