The Kansas City Chiefs have lost out on veteran free agent defensive end Melvin Ingram despite placing a free agent tender on him.
Ingram is signing with the Miami Dolphins, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network on May 15.
The good news for the Chiefs in this situation is that they get a 2023 compensatory pick in return for Ingram signing elsewhere due to the free agent tender, which they placed on him on May 2. So, although they lose a player that could have potentially added another season of pass-rush value to Kansas City’s defense, the Chiefs stack on top of their now-11 draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, which will take place in Kansas City, Missouri.
The latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Ingram an Impact Player for Chiefs in 2021
Ingram was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Chiefs in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick on November 2, 2021. Following the trade, Kansas City went 9-1 and allowed just 16.6 points per game on defense. That’s in part because of what Ingram’s ability did to boost the Chiefs’ defense.
From being traded to the Chiefs until the end of the regular season, Ingram recorded an overall grade of 79.0 from PFF, which ranked sixth among Chiefs defenders and second to only Chris Jones along the defensive line. However, his 88.2 run defense grade was by far the best on the team, as the next best defender against the run Kansas City had was cornerback Rashad Fenton, who graded nearly 10 points lower at 79.8 during the regular season.
Comparing Ingram’s run defense grade as a Chief to other edge defenders’ grades for the entire regular season, Ingram ranked second overall in the league, only behind Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (93.2).
Ingram Expressed Desire to Return to Chiefs
Although it was back in January, Ingram did publicly express a desire to return to the Chiefs for the 2022 season.
“I definitely got a lot of desire, but that’s looking too far ahead in the future,” Ingram said of wanting to return to the Chiefs during his press conference on Wednesday, January 19. “I ain’t never been a person to look far into the future. I’m just focused on the task we got at hand right now, and that’s trying to win another playoff game.”
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach also said at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine that Ingram was a player the organization wanted back in the fold.
“I do think if a guy like Melvin decides he wants to come back and play, I think we would be at the top of his list, and that’s something we’ll work to keep a dialogue open with,” Veach said on February 1.
Although the Chiefs tried to bring Ingram back via a tender — which would have paid the veteran $4.4 million on a one-year deal — Ingram signs with the Dolphins, who value Ingram enough to give up future draft capital for the 33-year-old defender.
As of May 15, Kansas City’s defensive end room consists of rookie first-round pick George Karlaftis, Frank Clark, Mike Danna, Joshua Kaindoh, Malik Herring, and Austin Edwards.
With rookie minicamp officially over (May 7-9), next up on the Chiefs’ offseason schedule is organized team activities (OTAs) from May 25 to 26. After a three-day break, the team will meet again for more OTAs from May 31 to June 2. Their last set of OTAs will be from June 7 to 10.
After OTAs, the last time the Chiefs meet before summer break will be for mandatory minicamp from June 14 to 16.