Chiefs TE Jody Fortson signed ERFA tender

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In mid-March, the Kansas City Chiefs extended a qualifying contract offer to Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA) TE Jody Fortson. On Thursday, Fortson officially signed his contract tender following OTA practice, a formality ensuring he’ll be back with the team for the 2022 NFL season.

ERFAs are veteran free agents who have yet to accrue three seasons in the NFL. Instead of becoming an unrestricted free agent that can sign with any team, their original team holds exclusive negotiating rights. If an ERFA is tendered a qualifying contract offer by their team prior to free agency, they can’t refuse said offer to become an unrestricted free agent. They can only reach unrestricted free agency if a team declines to extend a qualifying offer.

Fortson’s qualifying offer is expected to be a one-year deal for $660K.

A converted receiver out of Valdosta State University, Fortson spent the 2020 season on the practice squad in Kansas City. The 6-6 and 240-pound tight end would have a standout training camp and preseason in 2021, paving his way to make the 53-man roster to start the season.

Fortson returned to the practice field for OTAs in a limited capacity this week after having missed the majority of last season with an Achilles injury. He had five receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns in six games in 2021 and was carving out a more significant role on offense at the time of his injury. Should he stay healthy in 2022, it’s fair to expect that he could again make the 53-man roster and claim the role he was working toward last season.

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