Report: Chiefs Agrees terms to join Saints on a year contract worth $5 million

Report: Former Kansas City Chiefs LB Willie Gay Jr. Agrees to Terms With New Orleans Saints
Willie Gay Jr. is allegedly leaving Kansas City after four years to join the Saints in the NFC South.

Less than 24 hours before the official start of 2024 NFL free agency, the Kansas City Chiefs will lose a long-time part of Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, linebacker Willie Gay Jr. has reached an agreement with the New Orleans Saints. The contract is for one year with a potential value of $5 million. According to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, Gay will receive a $3 million guarantee upon signing.

Gay will reunite with old colleagues on defense, including Tyrann Mathieu and Khalen Saunders. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given that Gay tweeted from a new X account in January that he was “probably” playing his final home playoff game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. The tweet sent shockwaves through Chiefs circles, but it’s a reality that many players face as their contracts expire.

Following Gay’s post, I discussed his likely future with the Chiefs on Arrowhead Report:

The true lesson from the tweet, however, is about Gay’s long-term future with the team. He’s currently in the final year of his rookie deal and will be eligible for free agency in the spring. The tone of his post suggests that he won’t return for the 2024-25 season. Spotrac presently values him at a market value of four years and just over $28 million, with an average annual salary of $7 million. Even if that isn’t his true market, it’s possible that the team has little interest in retaining him.

Gay, a second-round pick in 2020, recently completed the final season of his rookie contract. In four seasons with the Chiefs, he appeared in 57 regular-season games and recorded 233 tackles (17 for loss), 19 passes broken up, five sacks, four fumble recoveries, and four interceptions. This season, he recovered three of the four fumbles and made 58 tackles in 16 games (15 starts). Since entering the league, he has played over 2,000 defensive snaps, including regular season and playoffs.

Without Gay, the Chiefs still have a fearsome linebacker trio. Nick Bolton and the newly re-signed Drue Tranquill led the way, while 2022 third-round pick Leo Chenal performed admirably in his second year on the job. Given Tranquill’s contract, there was no compelling reason for Gay to return to Kansas City. He’ll now head to New Orleans to fulfill his soon-to-be-finalized contract with the Saints.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *