Kansas City, Mo. The rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs held true to their youth movement on the final cut-down day. Every one of their 12 draft picks remained with the organization after the Chiefs announced 21 players who were cut.
General manager Carl Peterson, who served as personnel head for the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in his career, said he could not recall a draft with the Chiefs or the Eagles when every member of the class survived the final cuts.
"There was a time way back when we used to draft 12 players and you felt good if six of them made it," Peterson said. "But it's a combination of we've really made a concerted effort to get younger and we've let a lot of older players go already and we needed to refill those spots. We are excited about a lot of our draft choices."
Rookie Connor Barth, who battled all year to be Kansas City's new place kicker, was one of 21 players released on Saturday.
There were no big names cut by the Chiefs, who had already cleansed their roster of many under-performing veterans following a 4-12 year. Barth's release makes Nick Novak the winner in the months-long competition, which came down to the last week.
Michael Merritt, a tight end taken in the seventh round of the draft last April, was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list, joining wide receiver and sixth-round pick Kevin Robinson, who was placed on the same list several weeks ago.
They will still be going to meetings and taking part in other team activities.
"They are still very much with the team," Peterson said. "It just allows us to take the extra six weeks to let them recover from their injuries. We didn't want to say goodbye to them at this point."
Linebacker Aden Durde has a roster exemption for international development players and will be on the eight-man practice squad that is announced on Monday.
Also released were tight end Michael Allan, tackle Anthony Alabi, wide receivers Sergiori Joachim, Kevin McMahan, Bobby Sippio and Jabari Arthur, cornerback Rashad Barksdale, safety Khayyam Burns, defensive end Johnny Dingle, guard Edwin Harrison, linebacker E.J. Kuale, guard Travis Leffew, defensive tackle Derek Lokey, fullback Chris Manderino, linebacker Steve Octavien, defensive end Jason Parker, linebacker LeRue Rumph, center Rob Smith, guard Tre Stallings and tackle Will Svitek.
Three of the 2008 draft picks have already assured themselves of starting jobs, first-round selections Glenn Dorsey and Branden Albert and second-round pick Brandon Flowers.
"We'd like to think we did have a good draft," Peterson said. "The fruition will come in the next two or three years. But it is good they've all at least made the team for this year. We'll see how they perform."