The Chiefs could strike gold with Taco Charlton, a change-of-scenery signing a la Emmanuel Ogbah.
The Kansas City Chiefs watched last year’s surprise find sign for solid money this offseason with the Miami Dolphins. Now they’re hoping a former Dolphin can be their next unearthed gem.
Midway through the season last year, pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah went down with an injury that would keep him out for the rest of the season. At the time he tore his pectoral muscle, Ogbah was leading the Chiefs in total sacks with 5.5. Despite missing significant time, Ogbah showed enough in his new environment to earn a two-year deal with the Fins worth up to $15 million.
Ogbah, if you’ll remember, came over to K.C. in a last-minute preseason trade that shipped safety Eric Murray to the Cleveland Browns. It was a rare player for player swap, and it was general manager Brett Veach’s attempt to strike gold with a player who had largely frustrated the Browns as a second round pick.
The Chiefs are now hoping that lightning can strike twice with such acquisitions. Earlier this offseason, the Chiefs signed Taco Charlton who was released by those same Dolphins. At the time he was cut, it marked the second straight team who had given up on Charlton, a former first round pick as a pass rusher out of the University of Michigan. The Chiefs decided to pick him up in hopes that their own coaching staff can coax out whatever talent is there before his rookie deal is up.
Steve Spagnuolo, the team’s defensive coordinator, spoke with reporters on Wednesday and admitted that the team is hoping Charlton can basically be this year’s version of Ogbah.
“We were really fortunate last year when we got [defensive end] Emmanuel Ogbah. He surfaced in the system, played good football and now he’s at Miami. Emmanuel and I have talked about this a lot and a change of scenery for him was really good. So, I think the hope, certainly, is that maybe Taco can do the same thing.”
Charlton set some career highs last year in Miami with sacks (5) and forced fumbles (2), but by season’s end, he was a healthy scratch for a poor Miami Dolphins team focused on the future. Perhaps Spags and his staff can work their magic once again with a reclamation project that will only enhance the competition at pass rusher heading into a new season. They’ve done it before.