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Louis Rees-Zammit aware of risks as he aims to make Kansas City Chiefs roster

10 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Louis Rees-Zammit playing for Wales / NFL Logo (Credit: PA)

Louis Rees-Zammit is determined to make the Kansas City Chiefs’ playing roster after admitting his NFL dream could be over in a heartbeat.

The former Wales rugby star returns to the United States on Wednesday to begin pre-season training after signing a three-year contract with the back-to-back Super Bowl champions.

However, Rees-Zammit is only guaranteed to be paid for the first year and has revealed that if he fails to impress, he can be jettisoned immediately.

As NFL salaries are made public, it has emerged he will be paid £634,000 if he is picked in the 53-man roster for the upcoming season but only £199,500 if he remains in the practice squad. The total contract could be worth as much as £2.27million.

“As a rookie you sign a three-year deal and you get guaranteed money. So if you get injured or you get cut, you’re still guaranteed that money,” Rees-Zammit told The Rugby Pod.

“But you can get cut at any point so it’s bit of a cut-throat sport. I could go to pre-season now, not do well and just get cut straight away.

“You’re not guaranteed the three years at all – and no one is. I just need to make the 53-man squad now. I’m ready to show everyone what I can do.”

Playbook

Rees-Zammit has been busy studying the Chiefs’ playbook on his iPad, revealing that they will have 1,000 plays for a season with 80 of them used in any one game.

The 23-year-old’s most likely path to actually playing in the NFL is as a kick-returner – a role set to increase in influence next season following a change to the rules – but he will also be tried at running back and wide receiver.

“The new kick off rules this year are absolutely massive. That’s where my main position will be and I’ve got to fight to start in that position this year,” he said.

“And then within the offence it’s about how quick I can learn the playbook. We’ve got a plan to put me in various positions, play out the backfield at running back, be a slot receiver. Just being able to use me as much as possible and be creative with me.

“It’s all about me learning the playbook and getting the chemistry with the players on the offence so they can use me.

“It’s going to take a lot and a bit of time to do that and all the coaches know that, so there’s no pressure.”

Rees-Zammit has already had contact from quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ biggest stars.

“Pat and Travis both messaged me. Pat’s my best mate now! They said welcome to KC and if I ever need anything then let me know. I’m so excited to meet everyone and get training,” he said.


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