KC Adds 14 to the Roster

The Kansas City Chiefs announced the signing of 14 free agents yesterday including Peyton Manning's successor at Tennessee and last year's sixth round draft choice. They also signed a NAIA project from Mid-America Nazarene in Olathe, KS.

Quarterback Casey Clausen was in training camp with the Chiefs last year, but did not make the final cut. Clausen was cut in favor of veteran Damon Huard, who is best known for backing up Dan Marino and Tom Brady.

Clausen's numbers in Knoxville were only second to Manning, after Clausen threw for 9,707 yards, 75 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions. He started 44 career games for the Volunteers.

Jeris McIntyre spent 15 weeks on the Kansas City practice squad after being drafted in the sixth round last April. McIntyre only started 13 games for the Tigers, but appeared in 49. He caught 69 balls for 973 yards and four touchdowns in four years with Auburn.

Local Kansas City product John Booth spent eight weeks on the Chiefs practice squad last season. At Mid-America Nazarene he was a quarterback and with the Chiefs they are moving him to wide receiver. In the offense down in Olathe he threw 4,250 yards, 42 touchdowns, and only 16 interceptions.

The 14 free agents will spend the spring in Europe trying to impress Chiefs coaching staff. Last year two players were able to make the roster from their stay overseas in NFL Europe; safety Scott Connot and linebacker Rich Scanlon.

"As everyone knows, the Kansas City Chiefs have had tremendous success with players in the NFL Europe League (NFLEL)," Chiefs President/General Manager Carl Peterson said. "Pro Bowlers Brian Waters, Dante Hall and Gary Stills and former starters in NFL Europe and are excellent examples of how the NFLEL enhances young players' careers."

NFL Europe has been a remarkable success as a breeding ground for future NFL players. Last year the NFL sent 229 players this year that number is expected to increase as the Chiefs are sending 14 of their own. The season starts April 2 and it will conclude June 11 at World Bowl XIII in Düsseldorf, Germany.

"As a member of the NFLEL Executive Committee, I will always utilize the NFLEL and this year and am doing so with the allocation of 13 players." Peterson said. "We anticipate that some of these players will come back this summer to help the Kansas City Chiefs win games during the 2005 season."

In other Chiefs news Saturday fans will know if their beloved linebacker Derrick Thomas will be one of the new inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thomas is one of 15 finalist for the induction. He will have to receive 80 percent of the votes to be enshrined in August. This past weekend Kansas City Chiefs radio personality Bob Gretz pitched the Hall of Fame committee about the merits of DT.

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