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Chiefs Looking Forward to ‘Remarkable’ Addition of Carlos Dunlap

Kansas City is excited about its newest addition to the defensive line.

The Kansas City Chiefs have needed help at the defensive end position ever since Melvin Ingram signed with the Miami Dolphins, and possibly even before that. They now have their help, and things are beginning to look up for Steve Spagnuolo's unit as 2022 training camp continues. 

On Thursday morning, it was reported that free agent pass-rusher Carlos Dunlap intended to sign with Kansas City. Following his visit with the team yesterday, that transaction became official. Dunlap, a 33-year-old veteran set to enter his 13th season in the NFL, is a well-respected player with 96 career sacks to his name. He recorded 8.5 of them last season as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, proving to the world that he had plenty left in the tank. When asked about the possible addition of Dunlap following yesterday's practice, defensive tackle Chris Jones spoke glowingly of his new teammate. 

“I mean Carlos Dunlap; his resume speaks for itself," Jones said. "I think he had seven or eight sacks last year for Seattle. He’s a high-character guy. I trained with him this offseason in Miami. If we’re able to add him, if the report is true, we’ll accept Carlos with open arms. I think he’s a veteran guy that has had a lot of experience in this league and to have a veteran guy like that in this position group I think it will be remarkable.”

With the Chiefs, Dunlap projects to be a part of a defensive line rotation that includes the likes of Frank Clark, George Karlaftis and Mike Danna. Joshua Kaindoh and Malik Herring, previously viewed as players the team would rely on to provide some sort of pass rush, will now have some proverbial weight taken off their shoulders due to the addition of a proven vet. Dunlap's 2021 campaign saw him post a pressure rate of 11.3%, after all, which was higher than both Ingram and Clark and would've trailed only Jones as far as snap-heavy defensive linemen are concerned. 

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The Chiefs recorded just 31 sacks last season, which was "good" for 29th in the NFL. An inability to generate consistent and reliable pressure and an immense struggle to close the deal were all glaring weaknesses in 2021. It showed up early in the regular season — leading to the trade for Ingram — and it continued to show up throughout the postseason. While Kansas City's offensive collapse in the second half of the AFC Championship Game was the main culprit behind the club's disappointing loss, the lack of wrap-ups against Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow also proved to be crippling. 

Dunlap isn't going to single-handedly solve the Chiefs' problems. He's a part-time player at this point in his career, but that's just fine. The mere fact that he was able to remain so effective last season despite playing just 38% of Seattle's defensive snaps is a testament to his impact. He's a professional pass-rusher and a capable run defender, which makes him mostly matchup-proof and allows him to be a good fit for just about any look Spagnuolo draws up. He'll help bolster what was projecting to be a very underwhelming pass rush, and that's certainly a start. If Andy Reid's words are any indication, Dunlap will be a welcomed addition when he arrives at camp by next Wednesday.

"He's been doing this awhile and can still roll," Reid said. "We look forward to bringing him into the mix."