Tanoh Kpassagnon is reportedly finalizing a deal to join the New Orleans Saints in free agency, but that wasn’t his only option.
According to Kansas City Star beat writer Herbie Teope, the Chiefs attempted to bring back their former 2017 second-round draft pick. Kpassagnon instead chose to head to New Orleans, citing it as an “interesting opportunity,” per Teope.
The Saints were among the teams to show pre-draft interest in Kpassagnon back in 2017, holding a private pre-draft workout with him when he was a prospect out of Villanova. Saints DL coach Ryan Nielsen put Kpassagnon through that private workout according to Teope and he remains on the current staff in New Orleans.
I’m told the Chiefs made a run at bringing back Tanoh Kpassagnon, but he thought the Saints provided an “interesting opportunity.”
Also, pending signing gives Kpassagnon chance to work Saints DL coach Ryan Nielsen, who did the private workout with Kpassagnon back in 2017. https://t.co/wiXyTid3mU
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) March 29, 2021
It’s not all that surprising to see Kpassagnon choose to move on. He’s a talented athlete who seems to have a lot of untapped potential. He wasn’t able to unlock that potential through two different defensive coaching staffs in Kansas City. While he might not earn a starting role with the Saints, there is a chance for him to be part of a healthy rotation including Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport. New Orleans lost DE Trey Hendrickson to the Bengals in free agency, so they certainly have some pass-rush production to make up for in 2021.
As for the Chiefs, they still appear to be in the market to add another defensive lineman, even after the addition of Jarran Reed. They specifically seem to be looking for help on the edge opposite Frank Clark. Melvin Ingram took a visit with the team and could still potentially sign. There are some other players still available who make sense, such as Missouri native Aldon Smith.
Brett Veach could also turn his focus to a 2021 NFL draft class that has some intriguing talent at the position. Developing a young pass-rusher opposite Clark could certainly pay dividends in the future.