NFL

The Bengals claim former Chiefs defensive back Chris Lammons on waivers

On Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs waived defensive back (and special teams ace) Chris Lammons. On Tuesday, we learned from the official NFL transaction report that Lammons was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals, who will be in Kansas City to play the Chiefs for the AFC Championship on Sunday.

Normally, we might wonder if the Bengals would be hoping to get some intelligence on the Chiefs before Sunday’s game.

But there are special rules about waiver claims made by teams still active in the postseason. Those waiver claims aren’t officially processed until the season ends — that is, the day after the Super Bowl. So Cincinnati won’t have access to the information Lammons has until it will do them no good.

So why do it?

As we noted on Monday, we believe Kansas City waived Lammons to create a roster spot that it could use to activate either tight end Jody Fortson or running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the active roster. The Chiefs likely hoped Lammons — who led the team in special teams snaps during 2022 — wouldn’t be claimed on waivers. Even in the postseason, that would make Lammons a free agent who could then be signed to Kansas City’s practice squad.

During the postseason, practice squad players may be elevated to the roster an unlimited number of times. So the Chiefs would have been able to elevate Lammons to Sunday’s game — and potentially to their Super Bowl roster — while using his old roster spot to activate another player (likely Fortson) from reserve/injured (injured reserve).

This is similar to Kansas City’s other move with cooperative players. You may recall that on May 5, the team released backup center Austin Reiter and wide receiver Gary Jennings from its 90-man roster. It was just before the team completed its rookie minicamp. This allowed them to sign two more rookies to work out in camp. On May 10 – after the team had decided which rookies it wanted to keep – both players were re-signed.

Kansas City apparently wanted to do the same with Lammons — but Cincinnati has blocked the move.

In the end, the Chiefs may have the last laugh. As we told you on Monday, the team has one of their own Other things favorite special teams players on the practice squad: wide receiver Marcus Kemp. It’s a safe bet that Kemp will be elevated to the roster for Sunday’s game — and hopefully for Super Bowl game day.

In the meantime, the Bengals will likely pay Lammons a week’s salary — or maybe two weeks’ salary — and then release him. It is likely that he will then be signed to a 2023 Reserve/Futures contract in Kansas City.

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