After 15 years with the Kansas City Chiefs, Dustin Colquitt is moving on. The longtime punter posted a farewell to Chiefs fans via Instagram on Tuesday morning, and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero has since reported Kansas City is releasing the former Pro Bowler.
There has already been some speculation Colquitt, who will turn 38 in May, is planning to retire following his departure from K.C., but 610 KCSP's Bob Fescoe has reported that's not the case. Instead, the veteran will hit the open market, saving the Chiefs approximately $2 million in 2020 salary cap space.
Colquitt was a staple of Chiefs special teams and, as Pelissero pointed out, wasn't even among the top 10 earners at his position entering the final year of his contract. With Kansas City tight against the 2020 cap, however, with just over $3.5 million in space after the draft, his release seems like little more than a cap-saving maneuver. The team also just signed Florida's Tommy Townsend, a Ray Guy Award semifinalist and undrafted free agent, and earlier this offseason added Tyler Newsome, a Notre Dame product who spent the 2019 preseason with the Los Angeles Chargers.
A third-round pick out of Tennessee in 2005, Colquitt earned two Pro Bowl nods during his 15 years in K.C., breaking just about every one of the franchise's major punting records. Active for all but two games throughout his career, he averaged nearly 45 yards per kick and earned three different contract extensions, at one point becoming the highest-paid punter in the NFL. Colquitt punted twice during the Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV victory in February, when he was the longest-tenured member of the team's roster.