Dustin Colquitt is the longest-tenured member of the Kansas City Chiefs. He has been on the roster for 15 seasons and he should consider retiring this off-season.
I want to start this by saying that I am a big fan of Colquitt and all he’s done both as a football player and a member of the Kansas City community. He has been nominated by the Chiefs twice for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his work with TeamSmile. It’s a foundation he co-founded that provides free dental care to underprivileged children. Kansas City has been a better city because of Colquitt and his family’s addition to it.
On the field, he’s been a top-three punter in the NFL for well over a decade. He holds team records for longest punt (81 yards), most games played (238), seasons played (15), punts (1,124), and punting yards (50,393). He is an all-time Chief and his name will be in the ring of honor soon.
With all that being said, Colquitt is coming off the worst season of his career outside of his rookie season. He averaged 44.3 yards per punt, his worst since his 39.4-yard average his rookie season. He had two punts blocked, a career-high, and had a career-low with only 21 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Age is catching up to him and he is well into the downside of his career. Colquitt is set to make $2,650,000 in the final year of his contract in 2020. The Chiefs could cut him and only cost $650,000 towards the cap saving them $2 million. I do not think the Chiefs would cut Colquitt this off-season. But he could retire and save the Chiefs that $2 million.
Personally, I am not a fan of a team with an offense like the Chiefs paying a punter more than the league minimum. Before Patrick Mahomes starting, Colquitt averaged 79 punts a season, in two years with Mahomes he’s averaged 46. With an offense like the Chiefs you don’t need a great punter, you just need one to do the job and not screw it up. It’s a nice luxury to have a great one under a cheap contract, but unnecessary. As long as the punter isn’t shanking 20 yarders every other punt or fumbling snaps than he’ll get the job done.
If Colquitt retired the Chiefs could easily pick up an undrafted free agent punter for the league minimum. Combine that with Colquitt’s dead cap the Chiefs would have $1.5 million in freed up cap space. No, it’s not a big number but when you are looking at the huge contracts the Chiefs are every dollar counts.
So yes Colquitt retiring is better for the team but I also think it is good for him. He gets to go out as a Super Bowl champion with all the records and a true fan favorite. What he doesn’t want to do is to continue his downslide and have fans start to see him in a negative light.
With all this being said, the decision is up to Colquitt. I do not believe the team would cut him under any circumstance. He’s a franchise legend and his cap hit is not something the team can’t afford. So if he wants to keep playing, then he should keep playing. But if he’s having any retirement thoughts, I think it would be smart to go out on top rather than risk going out on any lesser note.
Disclaimer: ChiefsTake or “Hot Take” articles are not necessarily the opinion of Arrowhead Live and the entirety of it’s staff.