The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly added a veteran pass-rusher to their roster, agreeing to terms with free agent Carlos Dunlap after reportedly hosting him for a visit on Wednesday night. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Dunlap is inking a one-year deal worth up to $8 million with the Chiefs. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the aforementioned visit was actively taking place at the time the signing became official news.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports that she recently spoke with Dunlap, and he said the following about intending to sign with the Chiefs:
It's been a whirlwind trip. I met with coaches last night and started looking at film around midnight. It's an exciting time for me and a long time coming.
Dunlap, a 12-year NFL veteran who spent more than a decade with the Cincinnati Bengals before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks in October 2019, has 96 career sacks after recording 8.5 sacks in the 2022 season with the Seahawks.
What will Carlos Dunlap bring to Kansas City?
According to Conner Christopherson of Arrowhead Report, Dunlap recorded 35 total pressures on 309 pass-rushing snaps in 2021, achieving an 11.1% pressure rate. That exceeded the rates of both Frank Clark (10.1%) and Melvin Ingram (9.7%) last season.
After the Chiefs lost Ingram in free agency, Jordan Foote of Arrowhead Report discussed some options the team could explore when looking to add more pass-rush help, including a look at Dunlap:
At 33 years of age, Carlos Dunlap is an elder statesman who just keeps on turning in quality stretches of play. He's no longer a full-time starter but he still managed to record 8.5 sacks last season with the Seahawks. His length and strength would play well in Kansas City, and the possibility of him working in a rotation rather than being so heavily relied upon could result in the team getting the best out of him on the back nine of his career. Dunlap is the definition of an intriguing veteran.
Where does Carlos Dunlap fit with the Chiefs?
This move just makes sense. Ahead of the start of training camp, I offered one bold prediction for a surprising move the Chiefs could make around camp, and Dunlap's addition delivered the payoff even sooner than I expected:
Bold prediction: At some point before, during or late in training camp, the Chiefs will add another noteworthy defensive end to bolster their thin group of pass rushers. Rookie George Karlaftis and veteran Frank Clark are the two presumed starters without much significant depth behind them, so the Chiefs will look to add a veteran in some form, even if that means waiting until another team makes a difficult move during roster cutdowns in late August.
Dunlap immediately projects to be one of the Chiefs' top rotational defensive ends, with the veteran Clark and rookie Karlaftis currently penciled in as the likely starters for Week 1.
Clark has struggled to stay healthy and productive in Kansas City, leading to a reworked deal to keep him in KC on a more team-friendly cap number this season. Karlaftis, the No. 30 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, will still be set to start as a rookie if he can earn defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's trust over the course of training camp.
Behind Clark and Karlaftis, the Chiefs have 2020 fifth-round pick Mike Danna and 2021 fourth-round pick Joshua Kaindoh, who will both remain in position to make a statement this season. Danna has proven to be a reliable role player and was on the field for 38% of the Chiefs' defensive snaps in his rookie season before playing 48% of KC's snaps in 2021. Kaindoh played just 46 snaps in his rookie season as he battled injuries and a steep learning curve at the NFL level.