KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs performed a bit of last-minute roster cleaning following the conclusion of the team's mandatory minicamp, signing former New York Jets tight end Neal Sterling while waiving three other players.
The 6-4, 257-pound Sterling has played in 35 games with six starts in a four-year NFL career. Jacksonville selected Sterling in the seventh round of the 2015 draft from Monmouth. He spent two seasons with the Jaguars before signing with the Jets following his release from Jacksonville at the end of the 2017 preseason.
The Jets waived Sterling in October 2017, and he signed with the Chiefs practice squad. Two weeks later, the Jets signed Sterling back off from the Chiefs. He played 16 games for the Jets the past two seasons five starts, catching 12 passes for 129 yards.
The Chiefs had depth issues at tight end during the offseason program. Travis Kelce did participate while he recovers from ankle surgery, and Deon Yelder missed the end of OTAs and minicamp with hamstring injury.
The club also waived linebacker Gary Johnson, running back James Williams and offensive tackle Justin Senior.
Johnson's departure comes as a bit of surprise. General manager Brett Veach singled him out following the draft as one of the team's most intriguing rookie free agent candidates. But the recent addition of linebacker Darron Lee added more veteran depth to that position group, leaving Johnson with fewer opportunities during offseason workouts.
Williams also appeared on of the club's most promising rookie free agents, but the Washington State product found himself in an uphill battle at that position group with starter Damien Williams and backups Carlos Hyde and Darrel Williams looking strong during OTAs.
The transactions on Thursday along with Wednesday's waiving of cornerback Jalin Burrell leaves the Chiefs with three vacancies on the 90-player roster. Defensive end Tim Ward remains on the non-football injury list and does not count toward the 90-player limit.