The Chiefs have three veteran running backs on their roster: two-time All-Pro Larry Johnson; Kolby Smith, a fifth-round 2007 draft choice who filled in when Johnson was injured last season; and Jackie Battle, a 2007 free agent who played a minor role.
Ironically, Texas' Jamaal Charles and Savage, the two all-Big 12 backs, could wind up on the same NFL roster. The Chiefs selected Charles in the third round. They also signed Kalvin McRae, a free-agent running back from Ohio.
Some NFL teams listed Savage as a fifth- or sixth-round draft pick. Despite rushing for 1,272 yards his senior year, capped by 10 consecutive 100-yard games, Savage went undrafted.
Signing a free-agent deal has been more difficult this season. With NFL Europe folding last season, there are now 250 fewer NFL free-agent contracts, around eight less camp roster spots per team.
"This year we can only take 80 to camp,” Gailey said. "It makes those camp spots very important. If you need someone at a certain position, where do you cut? Sometimes it comes down to who's beat up and who you need on special teams.”