The Chiefs struggled to get after the quarterback for much of 2021, and they lost one of their top pass rushers this offseason when mid-year pickup Melvin Ingram signed with the Dolphins. On Thursday, with training camp just getting underway, they finally added a new veteran to the position, signing former Pro Bowl starter Carlos Dunlap to a one-year deal, as ESPN and NFL Media reported.
The 33-year-old Dunlap, who spent most of the last two seasons with the Seahawks, can earn up to $8 million on the deal, per Ian Rapoport. A longtime Bengals standout, he had been unsigned since Seattle released him in March.
Kansas City used a first-round draft pick, No. 30 overall, on Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis, who opened camp as a starter opposite former Pro Bowler Frank Clark. But Clark has seen his numbers decline in three straight seasons, failing to top eight sacks since arriving via trade from Seattle in 2019. Dunlap, then, is positioned to see a sizable role as part of the Chiefs’ rotation, likely serving as one of the top three edge rushers in their 4-3 lineup.
SportsLine’s Stephen Oh projects that Dunlap’s addition, while relatively minor, positively impacts the Chiefs’ chances of making a playoff and title run this year. Their simulated 2022 win total goes from 10.2 to 10.3 with him onboard, although the improvement is notable enough to take their championship percentage up to 9.1%, which is exactly what their current title odds (+1000) imply.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Dunlap logged 8.5 sacks with Seattle in 2021, a year after the Seahawks acquired him at the trade deadline. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career in Cincinnati, six different times eclipsing eight sacks on the year. His best season came in 2015, when he recorded a personal-best 13.5 sacks and 34 quarterback hits.