The Baltimore Ravens spent a fifth-round pick, precisely the 157th overall selection in the 2023 NFL draft, on a cornerback coming out of Stanford after spending four seasons in college. All of that only to release him before the end of August. Sheesh...
The Seattle Seahawks initially scooped him up after he first got released on the NFL roster-cut day, and now the Green Bay Packers have bolstered their defensive ranks by claiming rookie cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, as reported by NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
In a corresponding move, the Packers waived safety Innis Gaines, who was signed off the practice squad last week. Kyu Kelly will join the Packers this week ahead of their Week 11 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, although it's unclear if he will make his debut with the Cheeseheads so early.
The Packers reportedly faced competition to land Kelly with the Los Angeles Rams also claiming his services. The Packers had waivers priority, so they ended up snatching the former Raven and Seahawk.
Kelly, who appeared in five games for the Seahawks in 2023, primarily contributed on special teams with 37 snaps but never took a defensive snap while in Seattle.
A former mid-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens, Kelly was signed to a four-year, $4.1 million rookie contract after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Only $300k of that deal was guaranteed money, however, so the Ravens didn't hesitate to release him. That said, it's hard not to see this decision as a waste of resources by the franchise.
Ravens GM Eric DeCosta described Kelly as a "polished, efficient mover" with "good size and versatility," but after struggling through the preseason on a heavy dose of snaps, Baltimore simply couldn't see no good in him and cut the young man.
The 22-year-old cornerback, whose father is former NFL cornerback Brian Kelly, couldn't convince the Seahawks to retain him either, and he will now join a third team in less than three months trying to finally play a defensive snap in the NFL.