The Chiefs brought in former Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga for a visit earlier this week, but Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star reports that Maualuga left without a contract, and it does not appear as though there is anything imminent between the two sides at this time.
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Kansas City also hosted free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges a few weeks ago as it attempts to bolster a unit that ranked No. 26 in the league against the run in 2016. Hodges, too, left town without a contract.
Maualuga, a USC product, was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2009 draft, and he was a serviceable starter for most of his eight-year tenure in Cincinnati, but he saw his playing time decrease last season, as he was on the field for just 326 snaps in 14 games. He rated as the third-worst linebacker in the league, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics.
Most of the Chiefs’ linebackers – including Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, and Tamba Hali – are homegrown. Victor Ochi, who was previously with the Jets’ taxi squad, is the only LB to join the group since the end of the 2016 season, and he profiles as more of a pass rusher than run-stopper. It appears that the Chiefs’ search for a run-stuffing linebacker will continue on, and they may now turn to the draft to fill that need.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.