The K.C. Chiefs finally found their defensive end in free agency. While the position has been up for grabs for the entire offseason thus far, the Chiefs have signed a familiar face and brought Alex Okafor back to the Power and Light District.
Make no mistake, Alex Okafor is no Jared Allen, and the Chiefs aren’t claiming he will be a Pro Bowl defensive end by signing a rotation player to a one-year deal. The 30-year-old defensive end spent the last two seasons with the Chiefs after spending four seasons in Arizona and two seasons in New Orleans.
A member of the Chiefs Super Bowl LIV team, Okafor has been around this defense and has been an effective defender in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.
Alex Okafor’s addition brings security, consistency to Chiefs defensive line.
Okafor brings veteran presence and consistency to an edge position that many Chiefs fans have had questions about all offseason. While Okafor has seen his fair share of injuries since coming to Kansas City—including a torn pectoral muscle in 2019 and hamstring injury in 2020—he has been a serviceable rotation player among the defensive ends and has brought with him considerable upside considering he is just now entering his age 30 season.
This signing comes one day after the Steelers signed defensive end Melvin Ingram, who many thought would don the yellow and red in Kansas City, only to sign a 1-year, $4 million dollar deal to go to Pittsburgh. This move looks to be a lateral one—not a splash signing, but a sound move by a sound front office. The Chiefs must have known they’d be better off taking a chance on a team-friendly deal for Okafor than they would be testing the waters of the open market on players who may not fit the defensive scheme of the Chiefs.
We should expect more moves to come on the defensive side of the ball as the front office takes preemptive measures following Frank Clark’s arrest in Los Angeles for felony firearm possession. Okafor looks to be a solid signing who should help provide consistency and dependability to the defensive line rotation. However, time will tell who Brett Veach will look to sign or trade for as we look forward to the 2021-2022 NFL season.