The best free agent bargains still available for the Kansas City Chiefs

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DE Carl Lawson

How is Carl Lawson only 28? It seems like the Auburn product was with the Cincinnati Bengals for much longer than his four-year rookie contract. However, after three injury-riddled years in New York, Lawson must prove himself once again. Could Kansas City give him a shot?

In 2020, Lawson was an elite pass rusher, leading the league in quarterback knockdowns and recording 64 total pressures for the Bengals. He led the league in quarterback knockdowns that season, recording 64 total pressures for the Bengals. He parlayed that season into a three-year deal with the Jets worth $45 million. However, similar to Akers, a season-ending Achilles tear during training camp sidelined him in 2021. His 2022 season showed promise, with seven sacks and 49 total pressures. He looked like the player New York paid him to be, but another injury ahead of 2023 hindered any momentum he had.

Lawson saw career lows in snaps, sacks, and total pressures last season as the Jets relegated him to a reserve role. It was a disappointing end to his time in the Big Apple. However, Kansas City could benefit from Lawson's skills and experience, enhancing their pass rush.

Why should Kansas City be interested?

Lawson is going to be on a one-year prove-it deal, no matter what team he goes to. Why not prove it on a contending team? Kansas City also needs to bolster its pass rush with a veteran player due to Charles Omenihu's uncertain status. He tore his ACL in the AFC Championship Game and may not be playing at full speed until late in the 2024 season.

Kansas City retained Mike Danna this offseason, making him, along with George Karlaftis and Anudike-Uzomah, the primary edge rushers. They have room and a need for some cheap defensive end depth. Why not Lawson?