By VAN HOLLAND
Tarboro native, Shaun Draughn, is looking for a new NFL team to play for after he was released Saturday by the Kansas City Chiefs.
"I'm disappointed, because I have put in a lot of hard work," Draughn said in a telephone interview Sunday. "I was given the chance to compete for a spot, but I guess they thought they made the best decision for the team."
Draughn, who was heading into his second season with the Chiefs, was optimistic going into training camp. He was recovering from sports hernia surgery.
Draughn was beaten out by second-year pro Cyrus Gray for the No. 3 running back job behind Jamaal Charles and rookie Knile Davis.
After Draughn was released, Gray sent Draughn a tweet saying; "Big shout out to @2shaundraughn0 and prayers also. So thankful to have you as a teammate and brother. You have showed me the ropes."
The Chiefs decision may have come down to their preseason finale against the Green Bay Packers, when Gray carried the ball 13 times for 72 yards as the starters and most of the second team sat.
During the preseason, Draughn had 17 carries for 50 yards and two catches for 31 yards.
Draughn will continue to work on his game to get better and stronger as he waits for another team to contact him. Draughn believes that chance will come, but as for now, he is going to wait patiently and visit with family and friends.
"I get to see my family now, because I have been away from them for awhile," Draughn said. "I will also get back to work and hope a better situation comes my way so I can play again in the league."
During his rookie season last year, Draughn rushed for 233 yards and scored two touchdowns, while appearing in all 16 games for the Chiefs. Last year, Draughn was listed as the team's No. 2 running back most of the season after Peyton Hillis was injured.
Draughn was signed to the Chiefs practice squad in 2011 after he was released by the Washington Redskins. Draughn impressed former Chiefs' coach Romeo Crennel during his time on the practice squad and earned a spot on the team's roster during the final game of the season that year. And that carried over into the last season when Draughn was a member of the Chiefs active roster.
The Chiefs had to clear 22 players to reach the roster maximum, which meant cutting 20 others by the deadline. Among those was Tony Moeaki, safety Tysyn Hartman and wide receivers Rico Richardson and Josh Bellamy, all of whom were in close competitions for jobs.
"The men we let go today put in a substantial amount of work for our club and we are grateful for their efforts," Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "We feel like we have a good foundation and we will continue to look to build our roster in the best interests of the team."
After those moves were complete, the Chiefs traded linebacker Edgar Jones to the Dallas Cowboys for an undisclosed draft pick, leaving them with an open roster spot.