Switching to a 4-3 under new Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and losing Ford and Houston, have the Chiefs looking for low-cost, high reward depth for the defensive line.
The Kansas City Chiefs have completed a trade for former second-round defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. In the move, the Chiefs traded safety Eric Murray to the Cleveland Browns.
The move fits the narrative for both clubs. The Browns add safety depth after cutting Derrick Kindred earlier in the day, and they continue to add players familiar to General Manager John Dorsey (who drafted Murray in 2016).
For the Chiefs, they were able to unload a player that would likely be out of a job this summer (with Armani Watts, Jordan Lucas, Tyrann Mathieu, and Dan Sorenson on the roster), and open up a bit of salary cap space.
Most importantly, the Chiefs are able to continue building their defensive line in the mold most preferred by new Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. In his 4-3 system, which the Kansas City will shift to this offseason, the run-stuffing, rotational types are most productive. Much like Alex Okafor, signed by the team last month, that is precisely what the Chiefs will get in Ogbah.
This will be critical for two reasons: first, it will free up the linebackers to make plays. Second, it will help shore up what has been an abysmal run defense for the Chiefs over the last two years. Third, it will free up the pass rushers on the team to focus on getting to the quarterback: Chris Jones and Breeland Speaks.
The trade ultimately comes with very little downside for Kansas City. Ogbah was an early-round talent who floundered in the Browns system. He may very well find himself a solid contributor, if not a key contributor along the line this season.
Additionally, the move gives the Chiefs some veteran presence along a relatively inexperienced defensive line. Ogbah will have the most games played of anyone starting on the line. In this system, the Chiefs may be able to maximize the talent he showed coming out of college, outlined here by Yahoo! Sports writer Terez Paylor.
As for what this means for the Chiefs roster, we may quickly see the end of the Tanoh Kpassagnon experiment in KC. A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Kpassagnon found himself clearly out of favor with the team last season, being inactive (a healthy scratch) for the Chiefs’ last six games.