The writing has been on the wall for some time for Okafor in Kansas City. When the Chiefs restructured his contract this past offseason from a three-year to a two-year agreement, it was clear that Okafor would be hitting the open market earlier than originally anticipated when he signed with the Chiefs in 2019.
This year has also been one to forget for Okafor even as the team is 9-1. While Okafor is likely enjoying the culture and winning environment, he also must be frustrated with a series of injuries that has kept him off the field for all but five games in 2020.
Next offseason, Okafor will be a 30-year-old defensive end coming off of a couple injury-laden season with separate concerns for a hamstring injury, a torn pectoral muscle, a hip strain, a calf injury and an ankle problem. If that leads to any deal at all in free agency, it’s bound to be a one-year deal at or near the veteran minimum.
However, Okafor does have a real chance here, a month-plus to showcase that he can still offer a well-rounded performance at defensive end at a level high enough to play for the defending Super Bowl champs. The Chiefs could use some stronger play opposite Frank Clark, and Okafor returned last week for his first snaps in several weeks. As he works his way back into game shape, Okafor’s story could take a very positive turn with motivated play along the defensive front.