The Kansas City Chiefs made somewhat of a surprising move when they decided to bring in veteran defensive tackle Danny Shelton late in the free agency process. Some even speculated whether or not he was a serious roster candidate after his delayed start at camp.
Shelton is currently listed behind Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Khalen Saunders, Tershawn Wharton and Taylor Stallworth among others, so was this addition more of a kick in the pants of those in front of him? Or was it a legitimate upgrade?
That remains to be seen, but Shelton did reveal that he had multiple NFL suitors during his press conference on August 16.
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Chiefs Called, Shelton Answered
When reporters first asked what made Kansas City the right place for the journeyman D-tackle, his initial response was both candid and hilarious.
“S***, honestly I was just tired of flying around,” he joked while also noting that it came down to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chiefs. Later, Shelton explained further after a follow-up question:
I had [the Carolina] Panthers, [Las Vegas] Raiders, Jags, and then Chiefs [in consideration]. You guys called and I was ready.
It’s always nice to feel wanted and in this scenario, both KC and Shelton are sharing the love. The run-stuffer had a lot of teams that were interested and the Chiefs won the bid.
How much they actually spent on Shelton has yet to be revealed, although one could assume it’s somewhere near his Over the Cap valuation and 2021 base salary of approximately $1.2 million.
Fans have gotten a small taste of what the big-bodied defender might offer in camp reports and sightings but his debut should be on the way. “If coach puts me in there I’ll be ready,” Shelton told the media when asked about the Chiefs’ second preseason outing on August 20.
With evaluation time waning by the day, expect the veteran to get a few looks this weekend.
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Recent D-Line Camp Notes
Shelton was a full-go in practice on August 16 and Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney provided some detailed camp notes as always.
“In OL vs. DL drills… Shelton had a dominant rep against OL Vitaliy Gurman, and on another go, two offensive linemen struggled to block him at the same time,” informed Sweeney. “The 345-pound Shelton is a run-stuffer, but there were talks Tuesday of him helping on passing downs, too, opening things up for [defensive ends].”
He added that Shelton “is fun to watch,” while quoting him: “S—t. That’s the job of the interior guy. You got to be gritty and just go to work. You’re not always going to have the pretty plays, pretty sacks and all that — but you’re going to contribute to that sack.”
If you’re curious what to expect, the Arrowhead Pride media member compared Shelton to former Chiefs DT Dontari Poe at first glance on August 15, based on sheer size and girth.
Sweeney also highlighted good reps from DL challengers Wharton, Saunders and edge rusher Malik Herring on the 16th.
Earlier that practice, Sweeney reported on “two would-be sacks” from starting D-end Frank Clark and a “bat-down” by rookie George Karlaftis while discussing defensive linemen. He added that veteran Carlos Dunlap saw a ball go right through his hands. The other newcomer in the trenches had a pass breakup on a similar play a couple of days before.