<
>

Chris Conley's emergence the reason for Da'Rick Rogers release

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Da'Rick Rogers hadn't been impressive in offseason practice but it made sense for the Kansas City Chiefs to give him a longer look. At 6-3 and 215 pounds, Rogers is big and also fast and talented. He once put up big numbers in college at Tennessee.

But the Chiefs gave up on him hours before the start of their mandatory minicamp. Rogers was released and the Chiefs, not so deep or talented at wide receiver that they can afford to give up on a prospect, will move on without him.

One reason is the play of rookie Chris Conley, their third-round draft pick. I was told when the Chiefs drafted Conley they viewed him as more of a developmental prospect, someone they thought would help down the road but not necessarily immediately.

After seeing him in offseason practice, the Chiefs now appear hopeful, if not necessarily certain, Conley can be an immediate contributor. He's been getting a lot of snaps with the starters, with satisfactory results. He was a starter one day when Jeremy Maclin sat out with a sore foot.

We'll see whether Conley is indeed ready when training camp begins and the pads come on. I'm sure Sean Smith, among others, is eager to try to get his hands on the rookie wide receiver at the line of scrimmage and bury him there.

One more point on Rogers. Some fans have suggested to me Rogers' recent guilty plea for DUI in Indianapolis led to the Chiefs' decision here but it shouldn't have had anything to do with it. Rogers faces an NFL suspension for his guilty plea, but the Chiefs should have known that was coming. His DUI was last September. The Chiefs signed him in January.