Chiefs ink long snapper James Winchester to new deal

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs free agent long snapper James Winchester has agreed to a new contract to return to the team for the 2017 season.

June 2, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs long snapper James Winchester (41) practices snaps to punter/holder Dustin Colquitt on Day Four of OTAs. Photo used with permission from Chiefs PR. Credit: KCChiefs.com

June 2, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs long snapper James Winchester (41) practices snaps to punter/holder Dustin Colquitt on Day Four of OTAs. Photo used with permission from Chiefs PR. Credit: KCChiefs.com

Winchester’s agent Ken Sarnoff initially confirmed the signing on Twitter. No terms for the new contract were immediately released.

Winchester signed a two-year contract with the Chiefs before the 2015 season. The 27-year-old long snapper entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013, spending time in training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles.

With Winchester and punter Dustin Colquitt in the fold for 2017, kicker Cairo Santos remains the team’s only specialist without a contract for 2017. Santos is a restricted free agent, meaning the team can match any offer the third-year veteran receives.

Winchester has proven a reliable solution at long snapper for the Chiefs. He has played all 16 games each of the last two seasons and is known for accurate snaps and an ability to get downfield on punt coverage. Winchester recorded two tackles on punt coverage this season and recovered a muffed punt against Denver in week 12.

The former Oklahoma Sooner suffered a devastating loss this season off the field with the tragic shooting death of his father, Michael Winchester, on Nov. 15. James Winchester missed practice during the week and attended his father’s memorial service on Nov. 19 before returning to the team for their game the next day against Tampa Bay.

Winchester was one of the team’s three exclusive rights free agents. The other exclusive rights free agents are fullback Trey Millard and wide receiver Kenny Cook, both of whom spent the season on injured reserve.

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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