Ex-Chiefs Edge Rusher Signs With 5th Team in 6 Seasons

Taco Charlton

Getty Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Taco Charlton rushes the quarterback on October 19, 2020.

About a week and a half ago, eight-year Kansas City Chiefs veteran Daniel Sorensen signed with the New Orleans Saints.

On April 4, a former 2020 teammate on the defensive side joined the safety in NOLA. PFF NFL reporter Ari Meirov had the initial scoop: “Former #Cowboys first-round DE Taco Charlton is signing with the #Saints.”

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Charlton Continues to Bounce Around League

After originally entering the NFL as a late-first-round selection in 2017, the Saints will become Charlton’s fifth organization in six years.

The Dallas Cowboys bust had his best campaign in Miami in 2019, the year before he joined Kansas City. He had five sacks that season with two forced fumbles and three tackles for a loss.

That led to a one-year deal in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense that culminated in a Super Bowl berth — although Charlton did not appear in the postseason with the Chiefs. He only played in seven games with KC, contributing two sacks, seven tackles (one for a loss), and one forced fumble.

Charlton actually did enough to earn a second contract with the Chiefs last March but did not crack the 2021 roster in training camp. From there, he latched on with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the remainder of the season and logged one tackle and one quarterback hit on Patrick Mahomes during the first round of the 2021-22 playoffs.

Now he’ll compete with ex-Chiefs draft pick Tanoh Kpassagnon — as well as a couple of others — for a reserve pass-rusher role in this Saints defense behind Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport.

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Chiefs Expected to Target EDGE in Draft

General manager Brett Veach has not made any significant additions at defensive end so far this offseason, after rumors that the Chiefs would attempt to bolster their pass-rushing core.

Frank Clark restructured his contract, keeping him in Kansas City. Let’s say Chris Jones moves back inside at defensive tackle, that leaves a starter-sized void on the EDGE with Mike Danna, Joshua Kaindoh, and Malik Herring in competition for snaps among others.

Melvin Ingram is still currently a free agent, and the Chiefs have been connected to other affordable veterans like Jerry Hughes, but many believe they will target their new star pass rusher in the first or second round of the draft.

It’s a deep class — Daniel Jeremiah recently tweeted that he loves the top 20 edge rushers in 2022.

Veach could stay put at No. 29 and 30, or use the Chiefs’ draft capital to trade up (or down) for an edge rusher that management has their eye on. That opens a world of possibilities, including a potential high-end prospect like Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson or Purdue’s George Karlaftis.

Some of the EDGEs that could end up dropping to KC’s current range are Arnold Ebiketie (Penn State), Boye Mafe (Minnesota), Nik Bonitto (Oklahoma) or the recently injured David Ojabo (Michigan).


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