In a move that was somewhat of a surprise, the Kansas City Chiefs reached an agreement with free agent wide receiver Rod Gardner tonight. With no apparent injuries to anyone in the wide receiving corps, the move speaks volumes concerning the team's opinion of their wide receiver production. The Chiefs' receivers gained only 69 yards in Sunday's 23-10 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gardner was a first round pick of the Washington Redskins in 2001 out of Clemson. The Chiefs are hoping that the big (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), talented wideout can add a possession-type component to the offense. Gardner's been around the NFL with stops in Washington, Carolina and Green Bay. Last season, splitting games between the Packers and the Panthers, Gardner caught 13 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. He went to camp with the Packers this year, but was released in their final cuts.
The Chiefs are hoping that Gardner can hit the ground running and show the ability the Redskins saw when they drafted him five years ago. It'll be tough for Gardner to produce early. The Chiefs run a complicated Coryell offense with tons of formation and shifting combinations. Still, the Chiefs could use a spark in the receiving corps, and if his mind is right and he's still physically capable, Gardner could be that guy.
It'll be interesting to see what the Chiefs do to make room for Gardner. Will the cut come from the wide receiver corps, or will it come from another position group? Someone's got to go.
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