This week's signing of Cory Grissom brings to 11 the number of defensive linemen under contract to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs, after losing starting defensive end Tyson Jackson in free agency to the Atlanta Falcons, replaced him by signing Vance Walker away from the Raiders.
Grissom may not wind up making the roster when the regular season begins. He may just be a camp guy. The Chiefs could always use the depth but even without him they look like they have enough bodies on their defensive line.
In that regard, much depends on Walker. If he can be more than Jackson was and contribute as a pass-rusher, the Chiefs will be in great shape. Already, their line in the base defense looks good with Walker and Mike DeVito, who had a very good season as a run defender last season, as their ends and Pro Bowler Dontari Poe at nose tackle.
The Chiefs also have three intriguing players as their backups. One is Allen Bailey. Bailey has pass rush skills but also has played well at end when given a chance in their base defense. He's capable of more than the Chiefs have given him.
The others are Mike Catapano and Jaye Howard. Catapano showed more pass rush ability last season as a rookie than should be expected from a seventh-round draft pick from Princeton. He may never become an every-down player but could eventually help the Chiefs as a pass-rusher, perhaps as soon as this season.
"With regards to Catapano, he's been here day in and day out,'' general manager John Dorsey recently said. "He's been working his butt off. The guy is driven. He's one of those relentless warriors you want on your team. I'm excited to see him contribute as we go forward here in the second season for him. I've always said all along that those guys make the greatest strides in year one to year two and I can see great strides coming from Catapano.''
Howard is one of the seven players the Chiefs grabbed off waivers at the start of last season. He came from the Seattle Seahawks. Howard played little during the season, but the Chiefs thought enough of him to carry Howard all season on their active roster. The Seahawks drafted him in the fourth round in 2012 after he had a successful collegiate career at Florida.