Jaye Howard's release increases Chiefs' need for DL help in draft

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs' need for defensive line help in the upcoming draft has increased after the release of veteran Jaye Howard.

Howard was a regular at defensive end for the Chiefs the past three years before his 2016 season was cut short halfway through because of a hip injury. Howard was rehabbing in Florida, where he had surgery, rather than in Kansas City, where the Chiefs on Monday started their offseason conditioning program.

Howard’s release leaves the Chiefs thin on the defensive line. They lost nose tackle Dontari Poe as a free agent to the Atlanta Falcons, though they replaced him with Bennie Logan, a free agent from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Chiefs also have Chris Jones, their second-round draft pick last season, Allen Bailey, whose 2016 season was cut short by a shoulder injury, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

Logan signed a one-year contract, so he could become a free agent next March.