Aug 7, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson (8) returns a kickoff during a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs have a streak heading into the regular season.
Undrafted free agents wide receiver Albert Wilson of Georgia State, strong safety Daniel Sorensen of Brigham Young and kicker Cairo Santos of Tulane made the initial 53-man roster.
And their presence marks the 12th straight season the Chiefs have at least one college free agent on the Week One roster. The accomplishment is the second-longest streak in the NFL behind only the Indianapolis Colts, a team with 16 straight seasons.
Sorensen admitted Monday he was unaware of the streak, but his mentality is virtually indicative of undrafted players trying to make a final roster.
“You try to prepare for the worst and assume you still have to work and prove yourself,” Sorensen said. “That was kind of my mindset. I was never thinking that I had made it until someone makes that decision for you.”
Still, undrafted players arguably have a tougher path than their drafted counterpart.
There isn’t a heavy financial burden for a team to incur when cutting ties compared to what a team pays a player selected during the annual three-day NFL Draft.
So for an undrafted rookie to stick, he has to really stand out.
That was fine for Wilson, who pointed out his hard work throughout the offseason workout program, minicamp, training camp and preseason contributed to where he is now.
“I feel like I came in day in and day out,” Wilson said, “trying to perfect my game as an individual and just worrying about what I have to do and my assignments.”
Santos echoed Wilson.
“I just had that dream and kept working every day,” Santos said. “I’m just completely honored to make this team and be a part of the Chiefs. So, I’m just excited to get this going now.”
Ultimately, Wilson, Sorensen and Santos may have come to the right team when it comes to getting more than a fair shot at cracking the roster.
And it’s not based solely on the Chiefs’ active 12-year streak because the proof is in overall roster.
Of the 53 players on the current roster, a total of 16 players, which includes Wilson, Sorensen and Santos, were undrafted free agents.
The players are quarterback Chase Daniel; wide receivers Frankie Hammond Jr. and Wilson; tight end Demetrius Harris; offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach; defensive linemen Mike DeVito and Damion Square; linebackers Josh Martin, Josh Mauga and Frank Zombo; defensive backs Husain Abdullah, Kelcie McCray, Ron Parker and Sorensen; and specialists Thomas Gafford and Santos.
Of course, surviving roster cuts is a joyous occasion for an undrafted free agent.
But there’s a bigger prize that will trump just making the roster any day in Wilson’s eyes.
“A Super Bowl could be better,” he said.