For years and years now, Dustin Colquitt's stall was the first you'd see when you entered the locker room at the Chiefs' training facility at Arrowhead Stadium.


That always seemed about right when it came to not just their longest-tenured player but also an essential part of the connective tissue of the living, breathing organism within the room -- a microcosm of the impact he has had on the broader Kansas City community with his charitable work.


"A great mentor," quarterback Patrick Mahomes said last fall, adding that Colquitt embodies doing things the right way and "has a tip for everything."


Not to mention the ability to cast his influence everywhere.


In one moment among teammates, he might have been wielding a boombox to blast the fight song of an interviewee's alma mater.


In another, he might have been engaged in conversations playful or thought-provoking or anywhere in between. Or just making people laugh or extolling a point of his Christian faith or simply being a great listener.


His loving friendship was profound to long-snapper James Winchester after Winchester's father, James, was murdered in 2016. And it speaks volumes that Colquitt once in particular held a seat on a plane flight for volatile former Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters, whose on-field antics and protest stance Colquitt differed with.


Not to diminish what a terrific punter the two-time Pro Bowl performer was for the Chiefs, who after 15 seasons cut him on Tuesday.


The move apparently was made to provide further salary cap relief ($2 million) as the Chiefs evidently continue to try to position themselves to make a whopping long-term deal with Mahomes and, less certainly, defensive tackle Chris Jones.


But missed most will be his rock-solid constancy amid teammates and as a community pillar, not to mention his grace, wit and candor.


He was there for the jokes, like when my man Sam Mellinger coaxed him into critiquing Peter's form in punting the ball into the stands. He stood up in the hard times, like after the special teams breakdowns at the end of the Chiefs' loss at Tennessee last season.


And he would often take us where we wouldn't get to otherwise go as we sought to provide that service to our audience. Sam has joked that he deserved a second byline on some of the things we wrote, and that sure rang true. The most recent example I can think of ocurred in January.


When the Chiefs were about to start the playoffs a year after falling just short of the Super Bowl, I asked Colquitt if he felt any sense of parallel with the Royals' 2015 run after reaching Game 7 of the World Series in 2014.


Yes, it turned out, he did. And he launched into a tale about former Royals manager Ned Yost pulling Mahomes, Travis Kelce and him aside the summer before that became the basis for a column about the topic.


That way of treating all reflects how he embraced a role to make the most of his gifts.


Three times, Colquitt was the Chiefs' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for outstanding community service in the region where he's proud his five children were born.


It's testimony to his impact that on Tuesday there was an outpouring of affection for him from fans on social media, where other commendations further affirmed what he meant to the operation within.


By way of example, consider this Twitter post from Mike DeVito, who seemingly would have scant reason to be so attuned to Colquitt as a defensive end who played for the Chiefs from 2013 to 2015.


"Obviously @dustincolquitt2 is a pro-bowl punter whose play on the field was crucial to @chiefs success," DeVito tweeted. "That said, his presence in the locker room as a leader and an encourager is something even more special. Grateful that I had him as a teammate and for his friendship!"


Dozens, if not hundreds, could probably say that about Colquitt.


For better and for worse, through the organization's sickness and return to health and recent ascent to the mountaintop, Colquitt appeared in more games than any other Chief (238) ... along the way last season breaking the record of Pro Football Hall of Famer Will Shields (224).


In the process, he went from being, alas, one of their most potent offensive weapons to, alack, the Chiefs' version of the Maytag Repairman ... known in the old advertisement as being rarely needed.


The man who punted 96 times in 2009 punted exactly half as many times last season and 45 in Mahomes' first year as a starter.


While he remains a distinguished member of the First Family of American punters (relishing Jimmy Buffett's "Son of a Son of a Sailor" for its parallel to a history that now includes joining father Craig and brother Britton as Super Bowl winners), he'd also been on the field much more the last two seasons as a holder and kicker whisperer for extra points and field goals than as a punter.


No wonder he changed his Twitter bio to say "Official Holder for the Kansas City Chiefs."


"It sort of taints that (record) thing if you don't ever get to kick," Shields joked last fall about his friend.


More seriously, Shields added that the record was "awesome" and a meaningful "next mile-marker" that will be tough to top.


The same could be said in general of Colquitt, who will turn 38 next week.


The vacant job at least for now is left to a competition between recent signees Tyler Newsome and Tommy Townsend. But it's unlikely anyone will ever be able to replace Colquitt's unique presence and legacy here, which are far more substantial than his team-record 462 punts landed inside the 20-yard line and accolades on the field.


"All things must come to an end, sooner, sooner than you hoped, prayed & pleaded for them to," Colquitt wrote in an Instagram post, later adding, "Holding the post for 15 years has been an honor (that) I never took for granted. Thank you KC."


KC says thanks back and then some to Colquitt, who will be dearly missed on the field but also as the reassuring presence at the entrance to the team's inner sanctum.