After his official free agent visit was delayed due to travel and logistical issues, former Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram was in the Show-Me State to workout for the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the trip didn’t end how Chiefs Kingdom had hoped.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and confirmed by Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star, the three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher left the visit without a signed contract to join the reigning AFC champions.
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Ingram Could Still Sign With Kansas City
Ingram, who will turn 32 years old on April 26, has spent his entire nine-year career with the Chargers after being drafted 18th overall back in 2012. Last season, the 6-foot-2, 247-pounder was limited to just seven games after two stints on injured reserve due to a knee injury — leaving him without a sack for the first time in his career after five consecutive seasons of at least 7.0 sacks. However, his 76.3 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus last season still ranked 19th-best at the position.
For his career, Ingram has tallied 360 combined tackles, 108 quarterback hits, 49.0 sacks, 28 pass breakups and 14 forced fumbles. Now entering his 10th season, he has shown at least some signs of slowing down, but the South Carolina product remains, at worst, a strong rotational pass rush piece who could offer an upgrade across from Frank Clark.
Ingram’s empty-handed departure from Kansas City on Wednesday does not completely close the door on him joining this team this offseason.
It’s likely he’ll continue to explore his options on the open market in search of a deal closer to his current asking price, which Brett Veach and company may have been uncomfortable with at this point. Still, the Chiefs have approximately $17.5 million in salary cap space to play with, according to Over The Cap, though $6-8 million of that with be withheld for the club’s incoming 2021 draft class.
Chiefs Miss out on Another Free Agent Defender
After missing out on (at least) three notable free agents on offense — LT Trent Williams, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and WR Josh Reynolds — in recent days, Ingram was one of two defenders to take their talents elsewhere on Wednesday.
After also leaving his free agent visit to Kansas City without a contract on Tuesday, San Francisco 49ers slot cornerback K’Waun Williams elected to re-sign with his former team on a one-year deal on Wednesday.
Williams, 29, spent the previous four seasons in the Bay Area, though his 2020 campaign was limited to a career-low eight games due to a two-game suspension, ACL and ankle sprains. His injury history, age, size (5-foot-9) and niche skillset all likely played a role in his diminished market, though he also drew at least some interest from the New York Jets and Detroit Lions.
The presence of a talented slot cover man could allow Tyrann Mathieu to more effectively roam the entire defense and push 2020 rookie standout L’Jarius Sneed to the more natural outside position. Fortunately, the free agent cornerback market remains littered with big names who could still be had at a relatively team-friendly rate.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!