Add another one to the list.
An up-and-down free agent period for the Kansas City Chiefs saw another talented offensive weapon choose another team on Monday. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, former Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard has elected to sign a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after receiving interest from the Chiefs, among others.
“Tom Brady and Bruce Arians both personally recruited Bernard, one of the NFL’s best receiving backs, after his release from Cincinnati. Another weapon for Brady and the Super Bowl champs,” the NFL insider tweeted.
Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport first reported Kansas City’s interest in the former second-round pick, while ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Jenna Laine later confirmed that the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars were among Bernard’s other suitors.
James White had interest in joining Tom Brady and the #Bucs as their third-down back before re-signing with the #Patriots. Instead, it’s the newly available Gio Bernard. He had interest from TB and the #Chiefs, but ends up in Tampa Bay. https://t.co/OjMJY9lxTp
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 12, 2021
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Other Chiefs Free Agent Shortcomings This Offseason
Interestingly enough, Brady and the Bucs weren’t the only team to take a personal approach to lure Bernard to their club. According to Laine, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson also called the dynamic playmaker to make their pitch. It’s unclear, though, the Chiefs’ level of interest, especially considering the financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed. However, based on the timing of Rapoport’s tweet, it’s fair to suggest the AFC champions may have once again been “in it to the end.”
Of course, that was the story with Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams before the prized free agent accepted a new six-year, $138 million megadeal to stay in San Francisco rather than protect Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.
While the Chiefs were able to lock up the next best available free agent lineman in Joe Thuney last month, free agent wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster also passed up a larger contract offer from Kansas City to stay with Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers for another season.
The trend continued with 49ers slot cornerback K’Waun Williams, who also returned to the Bay Area despite similar offers from teams like the Chiefs, and former Los Angeles Rams receiver Josh Reynolds, who elected to sign a team-friendly $1.75 million deal to join the Tennessee Titans.
Still, Kansas City remains in good standing to make a run at a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance despite some bad fortune this offseason, though not from a lack of effort from general manager Brett Veach and company.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!