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.
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.”