NFL CAREER – Originally selected by the Chiefs in the third round (84th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Western Illinois, Khalen Saunders enters his fifth NFL season and first with the New Orleans Saints. The St. Louis, Mo. native has appeared in 38 career regular season games with five starts, recording 81 tackles (40 solo), 4.5 sacks, two passes defensed and three stops for loss. The fifth-year pro has also appeared in six postseason contests, posting eight tackles (six solo) and one sack as a member of Kansas City's Super Bowl LIV and LVII Championship teams. Saunders comes to the Saints after turning in his most productive season as a pro in 2022, setting career highs in games played (16), tackles (48), sacks (3.5) and stops for loss (three).
CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms with the New Orleans Saints (UFA-KC), 3/17/23; Placed on Reserve/Injured, 11/30/21; Placed on Reserve/Injured, 9/19/20; Signed by the Chiefs to a four-year contract, 6/4/19; Originally selected by the Chiefs in the third round (84nd overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
2022 – Played in a career-high 16 games in 2022 and posted career-highs in tackles (48), sacks (3.5) and stops for loss (three) in his final season in Kansas City. Also appeared in three post-season contests, posting five tackles and a sack as a member of the Super Bowl LVII Champions…at Indianapolis, Sept. 25, tallied a career-high eight tackles (three solo)…Vs. Tennessee, Nov. 6, recorded six tackles (three solo) and a 12-yard sack of Titans QB Malik Willis…Vs. Jacksonville, Nov. 13, posted two tackles (one solo) and a takedown of Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence…In the AFC Championship vs. Cincinnati, 1/29/23, Recorded a postseason career high three solo tackles…In Super Bowl LVII vs. Philadelphia, 2/12/23, tallied two tackles (one solo) and his first post-season sack, taking down Eagles QB Jalen Hurts for a one-yard loss as the Chiefs won 38-35. 2021– Appeared in seven games and recorded eight tackles (two solo)…At Tennessee, Oct. 24, Posted a season-high four tackles (one solo)…Placed on Reserve/Injured with a knee injury 11/30/21 and missed the remainder of the season. 2020– Appeared in three regular season contests with one start, posting three solo tackles as the Chiefs advanced to Super Bowl LV. 2019 – Appeared in 12 regular season games with a career-high four starts as a rookie, recording 22 tackles (13 solo), one sack and one pass defensed. Also appeared in three postseason contests, tallying three tackles as a member of the Super Bowl LIV Champions…In Super Bowl, LIV vs. San Francisco, 2/2/20, recorded one solo tackle as Kansas City won 31-20, securing their first championship in 50 years.
COLLEGE – Appeared in 46 games for Western Illinois, tallying 203 tackles (120 solo), 17.5 sacks for 113 yards lost, six passes defensed, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in four seasons...Appeared in 11 games as a senior in 2018, recorded 72 tackles (42 solo), 6.5 sacks for 38 yards lost, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery…Became WIU's first-ever Senior Bowl participant and recorded the first sack of the 2019 game…Majored in math education.
PERSONAL – Lettered in football, wrestling and track & field at Parkway Central (Chesterfield, Mo.) HS…Earned All-Conference and All-State honors…Team placed second in state during 2013 football season…Was runner-up junior year in the state track meet in shot put…Nicknamed "Bingo" as a youngster…Brother, Kameron, has been a choreographer and dancer on three of Taylor Swift's tours, including her current "Eras" tour…Also enjoys playing the piano…Born August 9, 1996…First name pronounced: KAH-len.