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Kansas City Chiefs land major under-the-radar steal in NFL free agency

The Kansas City Chiefs made a savvy signing on Friday that could end up having a major impact on the 2023 season and be one of the biggest steals of NFL free agency.

The Kansas City Chiefs are only a month removed from winning a second Super Bowl title in four seasons. While they are still basking in the glow of their championship victory, the focus has already shifted to reforming the roster for another run at the Lombardi Trophy in 2024. While the team lost stars like Orlando Brown Jr. and Juju Schuster-Smith in free agency, they have also made a few notable additions over the last few days.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs engaged in trade talks for three-time Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil

However, the team made an acquisition on Friday that will likely fly under the radar when it really shouldn’t. The Score NFL insider Jordan Schultz was one of the first to report that Los Angeles Chargers stud linebacker Drue Tranquill had come to terms on a one-year deal worth $5 million.

While Tranquill’s name may not be familiar to many NFL fans, and a player that signed for just $5 million usually doesn’t make headlines, the team was reportedly able to beat out four other teams for a player who seems to have perennial Pro Bowler potential.

Kansas City Chiefs record (2022): 14-3, first place in AFC West

kansas city chiefs
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Drue Tranquill was mostly a bench player in his first three seasons in Los Angeles. However, when he did get a lot of snaps, the fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft put up numbers. In 2019 and 2021, the 27-year-old only received 10 starts, but he still racked up 151 tackles. When he was offered a starting role last season, he proved his previous numbers were no fluke.

  • Drue Tranquill stats (2022): 146 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble

In 17 games in 2022, Tranquill posted an outstanding 146 tackles (95 solo), five sacks, one interception, eight QB hits, and 5 passes defended. All career-best numbers for the University of Notre Dame stand out.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has a long history of making good use of tackle-machine linebackers that can run a defense — as Tranquill did for the Chargers last season — dating back all the way to his championship days with the New York Giants.

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