NFL News & Analysis

Pittsburgh Steelers trade edge rusher Melvin Ingram to Kansas City Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws under pressure from Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Melvin Ingram (8) in the second quarter of the NFL Week 3 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. The Bengals led 14-7 at halftime. Cincinnati Bengals At Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers edge defender Melvin Ingram is headed to the Kansas City Chiefs in a trade, according to PFF's Ari Meirov. The Chiefs will be sending a sixth-round pick to the Steelers, and Ingram brings a veteran minimum salary of about $600K to Kansas City.

Ingram arrived in Pittsburgh after the better part of a decade spent with the Los Angeles Chargers and was off to a strong start alongside the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL, T.J. Watt, and 2020 third-rounder Alex Highsmith.

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Ingram’s 13.7% pressure percentage and 17.6% pass rush win rate so far in 2021 are both top-30 marks among edge defenders, and his six quarterback hits are tied for the 14th-most. His 82.1 pass-rush grade so far this season is his best mark since 2017 and continues a consecutive streak of 70.0-plus pass rush grades that dates back to 2014. 

Season Snaps Overall Grade Run Grade Pass Rush Grade Coverage Grade
2017 866 85.3 69.8 89.6 64.3
2018 988 73.8 72.8 73.1 88.9
2019 644 74.7 62.2 75.6 81.2
2020 347 72.3 53.8 76.3 77.8
2021 248 73.6 68.2 82.1 29.5

Click here for Melvin Ingram's career in PFF's premium stats.

Since 2014, Melvin Ingram is ninth among edge rushers with 385 total quarterback pressures and 19th in sacks with 48. He represents a huge upgrade for the Chiefs defensive line, as the team currently ranks dead last in run-defense grade at 38.0 and second-to-last in pass-rush grade at 62.4.

The Chiefs have a ton of familiarity with Ingram, a 2012 first-round pick of the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers. He now gears up for a Super Bowl run to close out a very impressive career.

Ingram’s frustration with his diminished role in Pittsburgh is a bit confusing considering Watt and Highsmith were already established on the edge, as Highsmith earned a 72.0 overall grade and 71.5 pass-rush grade in his rookie season while Watt has been one of NFL's elite edge defenders. Highsmith became a full-time starter in Week 13 and had 17 quarterback pressures to Watt’s 15 over the final five weeks of the season (Watt missed Week 17 to injury).

This past offseason, Ingram also took visits to the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. ESPN’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported last week that the Kansas City Chiefs made the Steelers a trade offer recently.

Ingram was the Los Angeles Chargers‘ first-round pick in 2012 — a year after the Denver Broncos selected edge defender Von Miller, who was recently traded to the Los Angeles Rams.

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