Looking for another shot in the NFL, ex-Central Michigan DB Vince Agnew signs with Kansas City Chiefs

Vince Agnew, CMU football

Signed, cut. Signed, cut.

Welcome to the life of an undrafted free agent in the National Football League. Welcome to the career of Vince Agnew.

This time, however, he hopes for some stability.

On Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs signed the former Central Michigan cornerback to a 1-year contract, reuniting Agnew with fellow Chippewas Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, and Frank Zombo, an undrafted free agent in 2011 that has found his niche in the NFL. (Zombo signed with the Chiefs in April.)

"They brought me in for a tryout at their mandatory mini-camp last week, with a bunch of other DBs, and at the end of the week I ended up getting signed," Agnew said Friday. "It went really well."

It's team No. 3 in as many seasons for Agnew, a 5-foot-10, 196-pound Grand Rapids native who was named third-team All-MAC at defensive back in 2010, his senior season. And as rocky as his journey might seem to an outsider, "it's been an interesting ride," Agnew admits.


Let's start in Florida. Agnew was signed as a free agent by the Miami Dolphins in July 2011, just hoping to make the roster -- just looking for a chance. He played in all four preseason games that year, recording an interception and three tackles, but was one of the final players cut as the team trimmed its roster to 53. A day later, he was back -- signed to the Dolphins' 8-man practice squad.

Signed, cut. Signed.

By mid-October, Agnew had been cut and signed to the practice squad once more. He was given another shot, another chance, but couldn't catch that break needed to move up. Dolphins coach Tony Soprano was fired 12 games into the 2011 season, leading to player turnover, Agnew said.

He would be resigned by the Dolphins in January 2012, spending the offseason and training camp with the team. But his chance at making the roster was dashed again when he was released during final cuts prior to the start of the 2012 season.

Signed, cut. Signed, cut.

So Agnew moved on, and six weeks later was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. He was moved up to the active roster on Nov. 10 and got to play in four games last season -- all wins -- but didn't show up on the stat sheet. And then personnel changes hit again: defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired, and players were released. Agnew was one of them, so Dallas could sign Michael Coe, a fifth-round draft pick in 2007.

Agnew was signed once more before being cut for good in March, making him a free agent.

"So I’m looking for a little continuity and a stable situation," he said. "But I think Kansas City is a good fit with there being a brand new staff with some older veteran coaches. It’s a really good situation there, with a little bit more stability.”

Signed, cut. Signed, cut.

With the Chiefs, Agnew sees an opportunity. Their secondary is led by Brandon Flowers, whose 48 tackles and three interceptions last season ranked him near the bottom of the NFL in cornerbacks. They signed 10-year veteran Dunta Robinson from Atlanta and Sean Smith from Miami this offseason.

But beyond that, there are two other corners on the roster -- Jalil Brown (Colorado) and rookie Buddy Jackson (Pittsburgh) -- and Agnew considers the position "wide open" heading into training camp.

"It’s a great opportunity to compete, and probably one of the best spots to be in for a young corner right now in the NFL," he said.



CMU 'takeover' in KC?

Since arriving in Kansas City last week, Agnew said he's talked a lot with former teammates Eric Fisher and Frank Zombo. The trio played together at CMU in 2009.

Fisher, the first No. 1 overall draft pick in the history of the Mid-American Conference, has been moved to right tackle while Zombo, limited in the last two seasons due to injuries, is expected to be the back up at outside linebacker.

"We've been reppin’ the MAC, telling everyone Central Michigan’s taking over the locker room," Agnew joked Friday.

Contact Aaron McMann: aaron.mcmann@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @AaronMcMann. Follow @CMLIFE_football, too.


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