Newly acquired pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah spoke to reporters about playing with Patrick Mahomes instead of against him and being in his contract year.
Emmanuel Ogbah is a motivated man. Not only is he ready to earn a big paycheck in his contract season in the NFL, but he’s also ready to reward the Kansas City Chiefs for believing in him enough to trade for him. As veteran players returned for voluntary offseason workouts, Ogbah took to the podium to speak to reporters and answer questions as one of the team’s newest acquisitions.
Ogbah came over in a trade with the Cleveland Browns, one in which general manager Brett Veach sent defensive back Eric Murray to Cleveland in exchange for Ogbah, a pass rusher in the final year of his contract. To date, Ogbah has largely been deemed a disappointment due to the second round investment made in him, but the Chiefs are hoping he’s ready to blossom at just the right time.
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“I’m in my contract year, so you know I have that in my back pocket, but you know, I’m out here to give it my all and compete against the best,” said Ogbah to Chiefs media on Monday. “There’s a lot of guys at my position just out here to compete.”
Ogbah says he’s excited to not only join the Chiefs but specifically to play alongside his friend Chris Jones along the team’s defensive front. The pair have worked out together ever since they met at the NFL Combine back in 2015.
“Me and Chris rained with each other before the combine,” says Ogbah. “That’s how we met. We’ve always been going to the same guy ever since, so when this whole trade speculation was going on, he was trying to say, ‘Hey, why don’t you come to the Chiefs?’ We were all just laughing about it, talking about it. When it happened, he was the firs tone to give me a call and say, ‘Welcome.'”
Jones will need Ogbah to step up next to him on the field after losing fellow pass rushers Justin Houston and Dee Ford this offseason. The Chiefs led the league in sacks last year, but the loss of those two will make it harder for Jones to replicate his 15.5 sacks from last season.
Ogbah has averaged only four sacks per year for his first three seasons in the NFL, making a full 40 starts in that time. The Chiefs have to hope they can tap into something more with Ogbah in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, but it will help to have the payday dangling like a carrot from a stick in front of Ogbah for the next several months. And the Chiefs will hopefully reap the rewards for also chasing after Ogbah like a wanted man.
“It definitely feels good to be wanted by a team that traded for me,” said Ogbah.” I just want to go out there and give them a championship.”
Ogbah, who is only 25-years-old, had 40 tackles and 3 sacks in 2018 for the Browns.