Report: Chiefs sign veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap motions to fans during the second half of an NFL...
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap motions to fans during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)(Stephen Brashear | AP)
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 10:42 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 2:52 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - After losing Melvin Ingram in the offseason, the Chiefs addressed their defensive line with a first-round pick in the NFL Draft.

On Thursday, they shored up the defensive end position with a veteran free agent signing.

Carlos Dunlap is headed to Kansas City on a one-year, $8 million deal, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. He accounted for 8.5 sacks last season with the Seattle Seahawks.

He will join fellow ex-Seahawk Frank Clark, highly touted rookie George Karlaftis, Michael Danna, Joshua Kaindoah and others along the Chiefs defensive line.

The 33-year-old Dunlap was released in March by the Seahawks, who acquired him in a trade with Cincinnati in 2020 and had signed him to a two-year deal. Dunlap rotated with other defensive ends in Seattle, much like he’s expected to do with the Chiefs, and had 8 1/2 sacks along with eight tackles for loss while playing 38% of snaps last season.

Dunlap was a second-round pick of the Bengals in 2010, making back-to-back Pro Bowl trips in 2015 and ‘16, and is among the NFL’s active leaders with 96 career sacks. He also has 117 tackles for loss across 13 seasons in the league.

“I trained with him this summer in Miami. We’ll accept him with open arms,” said Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, who has been their best at pressuring the quarterback in recent years. “I always told him I would love to play with him.”

The Chiefs managed just 31 sacks last season, better only than Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta, and their inability to put pressure on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was a factor in a second-half collapse in the AFC championship game.

Painfully aware of the situation, the Chiefs reworked Clark’s contract in the offseason rather than letting him go, even though he managed just 4 1/2 sacks last season. They also spent the second of their two first-round picks on Karlaftis, an edge rusher out of Purdue whom the Chiefs hope can develop into a long-term solution.

In the meantime, they hope Dunlap can fill a role similar to what Melvin Ingram did for Kansas City last season. He was acquired midway through it from Pittsburgh as the Chiefs were trying to bolster their pass rush for the playoffs. And while he had just one sack in nine regular-season games with them, Ingram had two more during the postseason.

The Chiefs hoped to bring Ingram back this season, but he ultimately signed with Miami in free agency.