Taco Charlton says nothing else really mattered for him other than going to the best overall situation to play football, which is why he signed with the Chiefs.
After two shorter-than-anticipated stints in the National Football League thus far, defensive end Taco Charlton had reached a point where the only thing that mattered was fit. For Charlton, once he’d cleared waivers to establish his status as a free agent, the best possible fit came with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Charlton is the latest addition to the Chiefs roster this offseason, an unexpected pickup at a fairly deep position. For general manager Brett Veach, it’s another chance to tap into some unreached potential in a former high round draft pick (e.g. linebackers Reggie Ragland and Darron Lee or offensive lineman Cam Erving). For Charlton, it’s an opportunity to make good on his pro hopes before hitting free agency for the first time.
Charlton recently spoke with reporters via a conference call and said that “nothing else really mattered” when it came to joining the Chiefs other than the fit.
"“It was a place I was looking forward to coming,” Charlton said of Kansas City. “Once I cleared [waivers], Frank was on the phone and we were talking. Nothing else really mattered. Money-wise, nothing really mattered. I just wanted to play football and wanted to go to a good situation where I could play some good football and add myself to a good defense.”"
Thus far, Charlton has failed to live up to his draft billing and buzz with both the Dallas Cowboys, the team that drafted him in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the Miami Dolphins. Certainly both teams were interested in seeing Charlton perform at his best, and the Cowboys made a considerable investment to make it happen. NFL history will speak to the long odds facing Charlton at this point given that he’s already on his third team before his fourth season. Some players just aren’t able to carve out a long-term fit in the NFL.
However, Charlton believes if he’s ever going to turn the corner and showcase what he can do, Kansas City is the right fit. It helps that Frank Clark is here, a former teammate from Michigan. Charlton also spoke highly of the Chiefs coaching staff, from head coach Andy Reid to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to position coach Brendan Daly.
"It was just everything about the organization, from hearing how great of a coach Coach [Andy] Reid is, and then once I talked to Frank, he told me how great of a coach [defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] is, how great a person he is and how I’d like to play for him. That’s all I really needed to hear."
Charlton had a career-high five sacks last year for the Miami Dolphins but ended up sitting out games as a healthy scratch by year’s end. He is still only 25 years old.