Wide receiver Richie James will be catching passes from Patrick Mahomes in 2023 after agreeing to terms with the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
James had a career year with the New York Giants with 57 receptions for 569 yards and four touchdowns in 2022.
The fifth-year wide receiver might see those numbers climb again after he serves as a target for Mahomes, who ranked third in the NFL with 648 completed passes last season.
James’ three seasons in which he saw action prior to his breakout year in New York were highlighted by a career performance during the San Francisco 49ers’ 34-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers on November 5, 2020.
That night, with other 49ers receivers on the COVID-19/reserve list, James earned an elevated role and took advantage by making nine catches for 184 yards and one touchdown, surpassing the entirety of his previous season’s offensive production in one night.
James missed the entire 2021 season for San Francisco after suffering a preseason knee injury. Still, when the Giants signed him as a punt returner in 2022, that one game might have been on their minds as a sign of James’ potential offensive upside.
Last year, James was briefly demoted from his role as the team’s punt returner after some high-profile fumbles early in the season. He later recovered and totaled 24 punt returns for 174 yards for the Giants.
With the Chiefs potentially planning to grant a larger offensive role next season to Kadarius Toney, owner of the Super Bowl record for longest punt return, James could help the defending champions improve their low special teams numbers in 2023