The Kansas City Chiefs have finally signed a wide receiver.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Chiefs have agreed to terms with former New York Giants WR Richie James. A former seventh-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers out of Middle Tennessee in 2018, James caught just 38 passes for over 500 yards and three touchdowns in his first three seasons in the league.
The 27-year-old is coming off of a breakout campaign in NYC, where he caught 57 passes for 569 yards and four touchdowns. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, James had 488 snaps in the slot last season compared to just 103 snaps out wide according to PFF. It’s safe to assume that his future with the Chiefs will continue to feature the majority of snaps in the slot.
The #Chiefs have agreed to terms with WR Richie James, source says. After a breakout season with the #Giants (57 catches for 569 yards and 4 TDs), James becomes a target for Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 7, 2023
One thing that James’ signing will provide for Kansas City is some relief on special teams. He has 75 career punt returns for 547 yards and 47 career kickoff returns for 1,081 yards and a touchdown. With players like Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney and Isiah Pacheco expected to take on larger roles on offense in 2023, the Chiefs will need James to fill in as a return specialist.
As for his ability to contribute on offense, if he can replicate his 2022 campaign with New York, it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Kansas City found last season that having numbers at the wide receiver position is an effective means of success.