Kansas City Chiefs Sign Vaughn Martin To One-Year Deal


Add Vaughn Martin to the list of players vying for the opportunity to be Dontari Poe’s backup.

Rand Getlin is reporting the Chiefs have signed the 330-pound defensive tackle to a one-year deal. Martin was a fourth round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 2009 and played three seasons for them. In 2013 he appeared in three games for the Miami Dolphins before being released mid-season. The Detroit Lions took an offseason look at him last summer before releasing him, leaving Martin without a team for the 2014 season.

Here Twitter proof of Martin’s signing.

The obvious appeal of Martin is his size. At 330 pounds and standing at six feet, four inches, Martin is a massive human being who in theory should be able to eat up a lot of space. Martin has three career sacks and 79 tackles, but has never been much more than a rotational player.

One would imagine Martin will pair with former Green Bay Packers second round pick Jerel Worthy and BYU alumni Hebron Fangupo to compete for the spot behind Poe. Kansas City has yet to find a suitable nose tackle to rotate with Poe to keep him fresh in the first two years of the John Dorsey era. Finding that guy could help Poe stay fresh enough to remain a consistent force against the run and the pass.

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It also wouldn’t be too surprising if the Chiefs used a draft pick on an interior defensive lineman in the draft considering the need and the uncertainty surrounding Mike DeVito’s health.

Kansas City ranked 30th in the NFL in yards per carry (4.7 yards) and allowed over 2,000 yards of rushing. Some of this was due to injuries to DeVito and all-Pro inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, but the Chiefs defensive line struggled stopping the run as well. Of the three defensive linemen who played 250 snaps or more in 2014, all three of them had negative grades against the run. Poe earned the worst grade, tallying a -4.8 grade against the run. That grade comes one season after posting a +9.2 grade against the run in 2013.

Keeping Poe fresh and adding depth to the defensive line rotation is something the Chiefs need to try to piece together in tandem with improving the situation at inside linebacker. Martin could end up being one of those pieces that helps solve the run defense problem.