After parting with two players collectively responsible for 22 sacks last season, the Chiefs added a piece to rebuild their pass rush Thursday: defensive end Alex Okafor, signed to a three-year, $18 million deal, a source confirmed to The Star.
The deal can be worth up to $24 million with incentives.
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Okafor spent the last two seasons in New Orleans, and he started all 16 of the Saints’ regular-season games a year ago. The 28-year-old recorded 36 tackles and four sacks in 2018, slightly down from his 2017 output, when he had 43 tackles, 4.5 sacks and four passes defensed.
The Texas product entered the league in 2013 as a fourth-round pick by Arizona. He spent four seasons with the Cardinals, including a 2014 campaign in which he racked up eight sacks and his lone career interception.
The move also reunites Okafor with newly acquired Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, who the Arizona Cardinals originally selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Earlier this week, the Chiefs released veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston and traded outside linebacker Dee Ford.
With Okafor, the Chiefs add a pass rusher to a group that features Breeland Speaks and Tanoh Kpassagnon. They will play a 4-3 defensive alignment under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.