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Chiefs GM Brett Veach on Melvin Ingram: ‘We would love to have him back’

Kansas City is using the UFA tag on Ingram to ensure they speak to him before he makes a decision on 2022.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

On Monday, Kansas City Chiefs placed the seldom-used unrestricted free agent (UFA) tender on free-agent pass rusher Melvin Ingram (More from John Dixon on what that means here).

The Chiefs acquired Ingram by trading a sixth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in early November of last year. In nine regular-season games (including six starts) as a Chief, Ingram compiled 15 tackles (seven solo) and 11 quarterback pressures — including a sack. Ingram had five tackles (four solo) and 2.0 sacks in three playoff games.

On Tuesday, Veach described how the Chiefs came to the decision to use the UFA tag.

“Well that’s something our cap guys — (vice presidents of football operations) Brandt Tillis and Chris Shea — do a good job of,” said Veach. “It was an idea or concept we talked about maybe a week or two before the draft just as a possibility. And then we decided to do that.

“As far as where he stands, it’s always a little bit different and unique with these veteran guys. Melvin’s a guy that he’s played a lot of football, he’s accomplished a lot and I don’t think he’s in a rush. We knew that when the free agency period started — that he wouldn’t be in a rush. He would take his time.”

To this point in the offseason, Ingram’s only visit has been to the Miami Dolphins. As the Chiefs seemed to expect, the visit did not lead to an agreement.

“If it made sense for him, he would do something,” said Veach. “We’ve been in contact with his agent. If there was something that made sense for us, we would definitely want him back. I think what this UFA tender does is it allows us the ability to communicate and not have either him or his agent without us being in the mix — and I think that’s what we want to do.

“We don’t know where this is going to go. I can say that we would love to have him back, and it would make sense for us, but regardless, it at least allows us a chance to have a dialogue with them before they decide to do anything — if they decide to do something somewhere else.”

The Chiefs drafted Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis with the No. 30 overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft — and right now, he projects to be the Chiefs’ starter opposite Frank Clark. Ingram would make for much-needed veteran depth, something the Chiefs remain interested in bringing back.