Chiefs Tender Fan-Favorite Veteran Defender: Report

Melvin Ingram

Getty The latest on Melvin Ingram in free agency could be bad news for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Kansas City Chiefs are trying to bring back free-agent veteran pass-rusher Melvin Ingram.

The defending AFC West champions placed an unrestricted free-agent tender on Ingram on May 2, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Using that tender on Ingram means the Chiefs are offering Ingram a one-year, $4.4 million contract for the 2022 season, which is 110% percent of his 2021 pay, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. If Ingram declines the offer and signs with another team, Kansas City will in turn earn a compensatory pick despite the deadline for earning compensatory picks being on May 2.

Ingram now has to sign with Kansas City if he hasn’t signed with another team by July 22 or the first day of training camp (whichever is later).

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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 brought to the Chiefs in terms of ability.

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.

With Ingram presumably back in the fold, Kansas City’s edge rushers now consist of Ingram, rookie first-round pick George Karlaftis, Frank Clark, Khalen Saunders, Taylor Stallworth, Lorenzo Neal Jr., Malik Herring, Cortez Broughton, and Jonathan Woodard.

Twitter users reacted to the news of Kansas City tendering Ingram.

“Signing Justyn Ross, trading peanuts for Lonnie Johnson, and pretty much ensuring Melvin Ingram is back? What a nice Monday from Brett ‘can’t miss’ Veach,” Connor Christopherson of Arrowhead Report wrote.

“I don’t see a realistic scenario in which Melvin Ingram isn’t back with the Chiefs but even if he chooses to go elsewhere, the Chiefs will get a compensatory pick in return. Win win,” another user wrote.


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