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Chiefs place seldom-used UFA tender on defensive end Melvin Ingram

Kansas City has used a little-used tool to try and secure Ingram for the 2022 season.

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Throughout the offseason period, it has been presumed that the Kansas City Chiefs wanted to re-sign their free-agent defensive end Melvin Ingram — but it was also clear that the team wanted to avoid paying Ingram a lot of money for his services in 2022. In addition, they also wanted to avoid Ingram having a negative impact on the team’s opportunities for compensatory draft picks in 2023.

Well... that was correct. But rather than signing Ingram to a new contract after the comp pick deadline (which passed at 3 p.m. Arrowhead Time on Monday), the Chiefs have employed a seldom-used tactic: placing a UFA tender on the defensive end.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported on Monday that both the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens are using this tool on two different players.

At least for the moment, the effect on Ingram and former Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston — on whom the Ravens have placed the UFA tender — is minimal. Both can continue to seek a new contract with any team. If they sign a deal with another team before July 22 (or the beginning of training camp, whichever comes later), the tender drops away.

But if they are still on the market at that time, they can sign the tender and be paid a minimum of 10% more than they earned in 2021. They will have until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season to sign it. But whether or not they sign the tender, their rights for 2022 will be tied to the tendering team; if they choose not to sign, they’ll have to sit out the season.

So unless Ingram is signed by another team by the July deadline, he’ll likely spend another year in Kansas City — being paid a salary that could be as low as $1.23 million.

There’s one other effect of this deal — and it is also good news for the Chiefs: players who have received a UFA tender go back into the equation for compensatory picks for the following year. In other words, should Ingram sign with another team, the Chiefs could end up receiving a comp pick for him in the 2023 draft — something that would not have been possible without the UFA tender.

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