Pass Rusher Linked to Chiefs ‘Still Deciding on Best Fit’: Report

Getty Seattle Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap.

The Kansas City Chiefs pass rush unit wasn’t what it needed to be last season.

During the 2021 season, the Chiefs defense tallied 31 total sacks, which ranked 29th in the entire NFL, per StatMuse.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones (86.7) and defensive end Melvin Ingram (70.6) were the only pass rushers on Kansas City’s roster that graded out above a 70 for pass rush by PFF for the season. Defensive end Frank Clark, one of the highest-paid players in Kansas City, registered 4.5 sacks — his lowest sack total since his rookie season — and didn’t record his first sack until Week 8.

That is why gaining help in the edge rush department was of the utmost importance this offseason for the Chiefs, especially with a young secondary in place.

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The team drafted defensive end George Karlaftis with the 30th overall pick this offseason. He will help off the edge in a big way in Kansas City. The defending AFC West champions could, however, still use another edge rusher to put themselves in a position to potentially be elite in that department this upcoming season. That’s why one NFL insider is suggesting that the Chiefs sign one particular defensive end still on the free agent market ahead of training camp.

Kyed: Chiefs Should Sign Carlos Dunlap

PFF NFL insider Doug Kyed recently named one player that each team in the NFL should sign or trade for before 2022 training camp is underway in late July. For the Chiefs, Kyed suggested they sign free agent defensive end Carlos Dunlap.

“The Chiefs lost Melvin Ingram III to the Dolphins in free agency and are currently set to start Frank Clark and rookie George Karlaftis on the edge,” Kyed wrote on June 29. “They could use another rotational rusher, and Dunlap, 33, was efficient for Seattle last season with a 72.1 overall defensive grade, 15.3 percent pass-rush win rate.”

Kyed then dropped a little nugget at the end of his writeup on Dunlap.

“He’s received interest on the open market and is deciding on the best fit, per a source.”

Carlos Dunlap Has 2-Time Pro Bowl Resume

Dunlap, 33, entered the league as a second-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010. He would go on to play 10 full seasons for the Bengals and earn two Pro Bowl nods in the process before Cincinnati traded Dunlap to the Seattle Seahawks on October 29 of 2020. He played the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season as a member of the Seahawks.

Entering his 13th season in the league, Dunlap has accumulated 96 sacks, 255 quarterback hits, and 117 tackles for loss during his NFL career.

Having not signed with a team yet as we enter July, whichever team decides to sign Dunlap will likely get him on a relatively low-impact contract.

According to the NFLPA’s Public Salary Cap Report, Kansas City currently has $13.9 million in available cap space to spend. So, if the Chiefs are interested in signing a veteran edge rusher ahead of training camp, specifically Dunlap, they have the funds to do so.

Signing Dunlap to a one-year, prove-it deal while also leaving the organization with some financial breathing room entering the 2022 season is a real possibility based on the factors involved.


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