Chiefs waive DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches in salary cap move

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs waived Rakeem Nunez-Roches on Thursday, two days after the defensive lineman posted his goodbye message to them on social media.

Defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

The moves comes less than two weeks after he re-signed with the team for the 2018 season. The Chiefs attempted to find a trading partner willing to pick up the fourth-year lineman, but his release indicates the search turned up fruitless.

“It’s a bitter moment but good things come at hard times,” Nunez-Roches said in the video posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

The decision comes primarily as a salary cap decision. Nunez-Roches signed a tender offer on April 27 paying him $1.907 million for the upcoming campaign. None of the salary came with a guarantee.

Nunez-Roches started 11 games for the Chiefs last season but ranked fourth among the defensive line in playing time. He played 35.5 percent of the team’s snaps a year ago. The addition of third-round selection Derrick Nnadi likely made Nunez-Roches a backup luxury the team could not afford.

The NFLPA salary cap report shows the Chiefs with $6,753,470 in available cap space counting the top 51 contracts. Releasing Nunez-Roches frees up approximately $1.28 million for now. The club will eventually need to include all 53 players on the regular-season roster and any players on injured reserve. The team normally would need about $8 to $10 million in available cap space.

The team also re-signed defensive tackle Stefan Charles in a related move. The team waived Charles earlier this week making way for college free agent acquisitions. His previous contract included $790,000 in base salary but accounted for just $630,000 under the veteran minimum rule.

Now Nunez-Roches heads out looking for a new NFL home.

“I just want to thank the Chiefs organization for everything they did for me and my family,” Nunez-Roches said in the video. “I really appreciate it. Now it’s time to move on.”


Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.