The Chiefs may have their eye on another veteran defensive end to reinforce the pass-rushing unit after a Chris Jones extension gets done.
Coming off a Super Bowl victory in 2022, why would anyone from the Kansas City Chiefs’ championship-winning roster want to leave? That seems to be the mentality of Carlos Dunlap, a 34-year-old defensive end who played his first and only campaign with Kansas City last season.
Having spent most of his career on the Bengals, Dunlap got a taste of glory this past February and may be hungry for more.
“I can help another team get one of their own or help the Chiefs again. The Chiefs haven’t ruled that out, but currently it’s a waiting game.”
So the organization hasn’t ruled out a reunion with Dunlap, even as negotiations surrounding Chris Jones’ long-term contract are ongoing.
Dunlap’s desire to rejoin the team has zero effect on Jones’ potential deal. But the Chiefs have the lowest remaining cap space of any team entering 2023, according to Over the Cap, so Jones’ deal could indirectly sway Dunlap’s future with Kansas City.
Chiefs could re-sign defensive end Carlos Dunlap
Once Jones’ deal goes through, the Chiefs would have considerably more cap space for 2023, and Dunlap could be one player the team decides to bring back. Would he be worth it?
In 2022, Dunlap recorded four sacks and 12 quarterback hits in 17 games along with all three postseason games. He was on the field for 50 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and achieved an admirable feat during his brief time in Kansas City: he notched his 100th career sack, becoming just the 41st player in league history to reach that milestone.
As an unflappable mentor to young pass-rushers like George Kaflaftis and Mike Danna, Dunlap could make another positive impact in 2023 by taking rookie Felix Anudike-Uzomah under his wing.
Plus, seeing fellow veteran defensive end Frank Clark join the Broncos earlier this summer may have lit a fire under the Chiefs, even if that was an expected loss.
Last year, Dunlap joined Kansas City around the start of training camp, which this year will begin sometime in July. Assuming Jones’ extension gets done by then, KC can run it back with Dunlap joining their pass-rushing corps in what could be considered a fairly obvious, low-stakes roster decision.
Dunlap’s veteran leadership, reliability on the field, and solid chemistry make him a no-brainer pick-up for the Kansas City this summer.