Saints finalizing two-year contract with Chiefs DE Tanoh Kpassagnon

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John Sigler
·2 min read
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NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday that the New Orleans Saints are closing in on a two-year contract with defensive end Tanoh Kpassgnon (pronounced passing-yawn, for the curious), a Kansas City Chiefs unrestricted free agent. While the value of this deal is unclear, Pelissero added that it would be a multiyear contract, giving the Saints a possible option in 2022 if they do not re-sign Marcus Davenport after the upcoming season or decline to pick up his $10.6 million fifth-year option.

A member of the 2017 NFL draft class, Kpassagnon was picked at No. 59 in the second round by the Chiefs out of Villanova. Like Davenport, he’s an exceptional athlete: Kpassagnon weighs in at 6-foot-7 and 289 pounds, with arms measuring more than 35 inches in length. He’s got some burst off the line of scrimmage and can bully smaller opponents, but never really broke out in Kansas City with just 7 sacks in 61 career regular season games.

To his credit, Kpassagnon might be an ascending player. He’ll turn 27 this summer, and Pro Football Focus credits him with 70 pressures created in his last two years. He also brings extensive experience with 8 playoff games (6 starts) behind him. If he can make the most of his opportunities in the rotation with Davenport, Cameron Jordan, and Carl Granderson, he’ll be well-positioned to cash in with a big contract upon reaching free agency before his 30th birthday.

Kpassagnon signing with the Saints should not jeopardize their projected compensatory picks in 2022; he’d have to average $5.5 million or more in average annual salary to do that. The Saints have lost lesser-valued free agents like Justin Hardee ($2.3 million per year) and Alex Anzalone ($1.7 million), so those future picks should be safe. But keep an eye out for details on his contract.