A key member of the Chiefs' run of success is moving on.
Kansas City released linebacker Anthony Hitchens on Tuesday and thanked the veteran for his contributions via Twitter:
Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, Hitchens joined the Chiefs via free agency in 2018 and launched a stint that proved to be essential to Kansas City in the years to come. Hitchens recorded a career-high 135 tackles in his first season with the Chiefs and blossomed into a leader, filling a team captain role in his time in Kansas City. A year later, Hitchens posted 88 tackles and two sacks in the regular season before helping the Chiefs reach Super Bowl LIV, which they won in a come-from-behind thriller over the San Francisco 49ers.
Hitchens' departure wasn't a total surprise. With the Chiefs up against the salary cap and aiming to remain competitive, cuts had to be made somewhere. Releasing the 29-year-old Hitchens will save the Chiefs $8.4 million in space while carrying the remaining $4.2 million of his $12.6 million cap number for 2022 in dead cap.
Kansas City found a quality replacement at linebacker in second-round pick Nick Bolton, whose rookie season demonstrated he was ready to take over a full-time starting role. They shouldn't miss a beat without Hitchens, though they'll need to identify a new captain.