The Kansas City Chiefs are poised for another Super Bowl run in 2023. From top to bottom, their roster is one of the better in the NFL, but one area where there are still some questions is their outside pass rush. All offseason there was a belief that Frank Clark may return to the team to provide some veteran depth, but he surprised many by signing with the Denver Broncos last week.
Frank Clark seemed like a natural fit to bring back because of his experience in KC's system and his role as a leader and/or mentor to the younger players. With Clark now off the table will the Chiefs still look to add a veteran to their edge group or will they role with the group they have?
The cupboard isn't bare at defensive end in Kansas City. The Chiefs have spent a first round pick on an edge player in each of the last two drafts with George Karlaftis and Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Charles Omenihu was one of their bigger free agent signings this offseason and they also return veteran Mike Danna. The Chiefs also have used Chris Jones outside on some passing downs and spent a 5th round pick on developmental pass rush specialist BJ Thompson.
If the season were to start today they could absolutely work with the group they have, but there is a reason that the team reportedly had interest in bringing Clark back. Omenihu, Danna, and Jones are all best on the inside on passing downs and Thompson is probably going to need a year to develop before he's ready to contribute. That leaves just Karlaftis and Anudike-Uzomah as the primary outside rushers this season. Adding a veteran that can be part of the outside rotation just makes sense.
About a month ago, I looked at the best free agent defensive linemen available, but the landscape has now changed with Clark off the market. So today I thought I'd focus just on the edge players available. Before we look at the players that make the most sense for KC, let's talk about the players that don't.