KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs have made their first substantial moves of the offseason, releasing veteran WR Donnie Avery and waiving WR A.J. Jenkins.
Avery had one year remaining on his free agent contract signed with the team in 2013. He was set to count $4.05 million against the salary cap in 2013, and the Chiefs will save $3.5 million with his release.
Jenkins, who was acquired in via a trade with San Francisco for WR Jon Baldwin in August 2013, was set to count approximately $1.4 million versus the salary cap.
The combined moves will clear about $4.9 million in cap space for the 2015 season.
In two seasons with the Chiefs, Avery caught 55 passes for 772 yards and two touchdowns. The 30-year-old receiver played in just six games for the Chiefs last season, playing only one snap against Arizona during the last month of the season.
The acquisition of Jenkins was a change of atmosphere for two struggling former first round draft picks. The Chiefs sent the underperforming Baldwin to the 49ers for Jenkins, who failed to make an impact with the 49ers after being selected 30th overall in the 2012 draft.
Jenkins played in 25 games with three starts for the Chiefs during the past two seasons. He caught 17 passes for 223 yards and no touchdowns.
The departures of Avery and Jenkins mark the beginning of the Chiefs addressing two pressing offseason issues. The moves clear substantial cap space which the team needs to address the contract situation of free agent LB Justin Houston.
The transactions also signal the Chiefs need to improve their wide receiver corps.
Chiefs receivers failed to score a touchdown in the 2014 season. With the NFL Combine starting this week, the team is expected to be actively involved in the wide receiver market, perhaps both during the draft and free agency.