Meet Cam Thomas, the Chiefs newest defensive tackle

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02: Outside linebacker Mark Barron
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02: Outside linebacker Mark Barron /

The Kansas City Chiefs have signed a new defensive tackle, adding NFL veteran Cam Thomas to the mix on Thursday.

Cam Thomas is the latest addition to the Kansas City Chiefs defensive front, bringing even steeper competition to the mix when there’s already going to be plenty of solid players cut before the regular season.

Thomas’s name might be familiar to some Chiefs fans who play fairly close attention to the rosters of the team’s rivals, since he entered the league as the San Diego Chargers fifth round pick back in the 2010 NFL Draft. He enjoyed a nice four-year run with the Chargers to fulfill his rookie contract, appearing in 54 games and starting 15 in that span.

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Over the last three years, Thomas has played for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2014-15) and St. Louis Rams (2016), failing to find a long-term home but always able to find work. Thomas remains a serviceable veteran who can provide solid rotational reps along the defensive front. His seven years of experience and 101 games of experience are a plus, as well as his dependability, since Thomas has only missed one game in the last six seasons.

For the Chiefs, it will be interesting to see how the competition along the defensive line shakes out. Thomas, as a late addition, would normally face a seriously steep challenge to make the final roster compared with players who’ve been in the film room, on the field and in the playbook for some time. Thomas might need to ingratiate himself with coaches and players more than others, but he also has seen it all at the pro level and could be an upgrade on the back end of the roster.

Several obvious spots are already locked down, including Chris Jones, Allen Bailey, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Bennie Logan. From there, however, it’s a toss-up on whether the Chiefs want to bring along developmental players and give younger guys some reps or whether they want to keep some veterans at the ready for the final spots. At 330 pounds, Thomas could be Logan’s primary nose tackle back-up or maybe Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Montori Hughes or T.J. Barnes can claim that same spot.