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The defensive end is back for his third season in Kansas City.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Kansas City Chiefs have agreed on a one-year deal with defensive lineman Alex Okafor.
Free agent pass-rusher Alex Okafor is signing back with the #Chiefs, source said. He gets a 1-year deal and will return to KC, his home for the last two seasons.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 20, 2021
Okafor, 30, first signed with the Chiefs on a three-year deal back in 2019, but his road since coming to Kansas City, unfortunately, could be best described as injury-riddled. In the Chiefs’ Super Bowl season in 2019, Okafor suffered an ankle injury in late October and tore his pectoral muscle in mid-December, so he only started nine games, missing the playoff run.
The Chiefs restructured Okafor’s contract last offseason to save $2 million in salary-cap space while allowing the defensive end to hit the market a year early. In 2020, Okafor suffered an ankle injury during a Week 6 game against the Buffalo Bills, again landing him on injured reserve. Okafor returned in Week 10 and played as a rotational EDGE player the rest of the season and into the playoffs.
Okafor registered no starts last season but appeared in 11 regular-season games. He’s combined for eight sacks over his two seasons in Kansas City.
Okafor has been a solid part of the rotation when he’s healthy. He can eat up snaps if Clark does miss time, but the DE position also needed another veteran.
It’s a really inexperienced group. Okafor gives them a vet (that knows the system) to learn from — at least for camp
— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) July 20, 2021
The Okafor news coincided with former Chargers pass rusher Melvin Ingram (who had visited the Chiefs this offseason) signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday. In addition, there remains an off-the-field situation with defensive end Frank Clark that needs to be resolved. Okafor can serve the Chiefs as a veteran presence who is embedded into Steve Spagnuolo’s system.
The key for the veteran will be staying on the field for an entire season. More to come.