Kansas City Chiefs officially sign wide receiver Richie James to 1-year deal

The Kansas City Chiefs added more depth to their wide receivers room this week, officially agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran Richie James.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network originally reported the deal on April 7.

James is coming off the best year of his career in his only season with the New York Giants. In 2022, James posted career highs in receptions (57), receiving yards (569) and touchdowns (4), and Giants quarterbacks had a 119.6 passer rating when targeting him. Unlike earlier in his career, however, James was mostly a short-yardage weapon last season. His 10 yards per reception, 3.1 yards after catch per reception and 7.2 yards average depth of target were all career lows.

A seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, James spent the first four years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, though he didn’t play at all in the 2021 season after going on injured reserve with a knee injury. In those three seasons he was active, he caught 38 passes for 689 yards and had three receiving touchdowns.

The financial terms of the contract haven’t been revealed yet.

James is the first outside addition to the Chiefs’ wide receivers group this offseason, which has featured the departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Justin Watson. Smith-Schuster signed a three-year contract with the New England Patriots in March, while Watson is still a free agent.

Kansas City is also bringing back Kadarius Toney, who played a key role in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII victory and was briefly teammates with James in 2022. He joins Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore as the other key returners from last year’s wide receiver corps.

The Chiefs could add another pass catcher in this month’s NFL draft, which begins in downtown Kansas City on Thursday, April 27. Numerous mock drafts have the Chiefs targeting a wide receiver early in the draft, while tight end is also considered a need this year.