Kansas City Chiefs News: Jaye Howard Signs with Chicago Bears

Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Jaye Howard (96) - Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Jaye Howard (96) - Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Jaye Howard signed a deal with the Chicago Bears.

It’s official! Defensive end Jaye Howard will not be a part of the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs after signing a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Since the Chiefs released Howard a week ago, some folks probably secretly hoped they might be able to re-sign him to a cheaper deal. In reality, there was almost zero chance this was going to happen anyway.

The move by general manager John Dorsey still seems puzzling, since the Chiefs take a $5 million cap hit, according to Spotrac.com.

Adam Schefter, ESPN Insider,  tweeted the news about Howard’s deal last night.

Since joining the Chiefs in 2013, he accumulated 7.5 sacks and 87 in 43 games. He started 30 games in his four seasons.

His best campaign was in 2015 when he notched 5.5 sacks, recorded 36 tackles, and recovered two fumbles.

Howard battled a hip flexor in 2016 and missed eight games and the playoffs. Rakeem Nunez-Roches and rookie Chris Jones both performed well as defensive ends and evidently made Howard expendable going forward.

In addition to Jones and Nunez-Roches, the Chiefs still have plenty of depth along the defensive line on their roster. Allen Bailey, T.J. Barnes, Montori Hughes, David King, Bennie Logan, Jarvis Jenkins, and Cory Johnson all will compete for playing time.

More from KC Kingdom

Of course, the Chiefs drafted Tanoh Kpassagnon in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft last weekend.

Many of the names above aren’t very thrilling. With Howard gone, and with Dontari Poe now in Atlanta now, fans have to be a little worried about how the defensive line will look come September.

The Chiefs allowed 1,938 rushing yards a year ago, the seventh most in the league. They only recorded 28 sacks in 2016. Only four other teams had fewer.

Those numbers indicate the line didn’t play all that well last year, but injuries to Howard and most of the linebacking corps also caused the Chiefs pass rush and rush defense to struggle.

The Chiefs need to show improvement in getting to the quarterback and by stifling the run better at the line of scrimmage. Doing these things without Poe and Howard might be challenging.

The defense has to be a little bit of a concern for the Chiefs in 2017 but Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid obviously didn’t think Jaye Howard was going to help them much. Hopefully, some of the younger players will develop quickly and the Kansas City Chiefs won’t feel the loss of Poe and Howard to intensely.