By Matt McMullen – Chiefs.com
The front office continued to make moves on Thursday as the Kansas City Chiefs officially signed four players – including a former first-round pick – in free agency. Kansas City signed offensive tackle Geron Christian, defensive back Luq Barcoo, linebacker Elijah Lee and wide receiver Corey Coleman in an effort to add depth on both sides of the ball. The signings were reported earlier in the week, but didn’t become official until Thursday.
The 27-year-old Coleman, who originally entered the league as the No. 15 overall selection and the first receiver taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, is looking to get a once promising career back on track. Coleman hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since 2018, catching five receptions for 71 yards in eight games (1 start) for the New York Giants that season. Coleman also returned kickoffs during his lone year of action with New York, averaging 26 yards-per-return on 23 kicks. The former Baylor standout – who led the nation with 20 receiving touchdowns during his final season for the Bears in 2015 – tore his ACL prior to the 2019 season and spent the following year on the Giants’ practice squad before spending last season out of football.
He spent the first two seasons of his career with Cleveland and found some occasional success despite missing time due to injuries, racking up 56 grabs for 718 yards and five touchdowns in 19 games (18 starts) between the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. Coleman was traded to Buffalo ahead of the 2018 season and later landed with the Giants after being cut by the Bills following training camp.
The Chiefs also added an offensive lineman on Tuesday, signing four-year veteran Geron Christian. A former third-round selection of the Washington Commanders in 2018, the 25-year-old Christian has appeared in 38 games (16 starts) across three years with Washington (2018-20) and one season with the Houston Texans (2021). He started eight games for Houston last season – logging 560 snaps at left tackle – and flashed some notable ability as a pass-blocker. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound lineman ranked 15th among all tackles in pass-blocking last season according to the metrics compiled by Pro Football Focus (min. 500 offensive snaps). He allowed just one sack all season long.
Kansas City made a pair of moves on the other side of the ball, too, beginning with the addition of defensive back Luq Barcoo. A former standout at San Diego State, the 23-year-old Barcoo – who led the nation in interceptions in 2019 – went undrafted in 2020 before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He appeared in three regular season games that year, recording 10 tackles, a tackle-for-loss and a pass defensed. Barcoo has spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers in the time since, but he didn’t see any regular-season action in 2021.
Lastly, the Chiefs signed a local product in linebacker Elijah Lee on Tuesday. Lee, who attended Blue Springs High School and later Kansas State, originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. He went on to spend time with the San Francisco 49ers (2017-19), Detroit Lions (2020) and Cleveland Browns (2020-21) while appearing in 66 total games (6 starts) during that span, recording 99 total tackles.
Most recently, Lee appeared in 16 games last season for Cleveland as a core contributor on special teams. His 332 special teams’ snaps last season led the Browns by a wide margin and ranked 33rd in the NFL.
The big additions over the last few weeks were undoubtedly the signings of safety Justin Reid and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, but under-the-radar moves like these are worth monitoring heading into the offseason training program.