Former Pitt tight end Manasseh Garner spent the last two seasons with the Washington Redskins but was waived by the team on June 6. However, after two months of waiting, Garner got another opportunity to earn an NFL roster spot, as the Kansas City Chiefs announced they had signed him on Monday.
We have signed TE Manasseh Garner.— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 13, 2019
RB Josh Caldwell has been waived. pic.twitter.com/9ugvZfyA7s
This is Garner’s second stint in Kansas City, as the Chiefs were the first NFL team to give him a shot after he went undrafted in 2015. However, this will be his first chance to show the team what he can do at tight end, as he previously served the team as a fullback before being cut.
Since he was cut by the Chiefs four years ago, Garner has bounced from team to team, with stops in Cleveland, Buffalo and Denver prior to his most recent stint in Washington. Garner has spent the bulk of his NFL career on practice squads, but he earned a promotion to the active roster in Washington and might have found his way onto the field if not for a season-ending ACL injury on Aug. 9, 2018.
In Kansas City, Garner joins a tight end corps led by Travis Kelce. He will face competition from the likes of Blake Bell, Jody Fortson, Nick Keizer, David Wells and Deon Yelder for a depth role. However, he is also at something of a disadvantage, as he is the team's smallest target at tight end at 6’2”, 240 pounds.
At Pitt, Garner played both tight end and wide receiver, notably complementing current Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd in the Panthers passing attack in 2014. He finished his Pitt career with 52 catches for 637 yards and five touchdowns. Prior to that, he spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons with Wisconsin and was named the Post-Gazette City League Player of the Year during his time at Pittsburgh's Brashear High School.
The opportunity with the Chiefs will bring Garner back to Heinz Field for the first time in his professional career, albeit in the preseason, as the team is set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road on Saturday. And with the Chiefs looking to evaluate their depth options at tight end, there’s a possibility Garner could see the field in Pittsburgh.