KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs had been caught off guard within the Tremendous Bowl – an unbalanced loss to Tampa Bay that uncovered the dearth of high quality depth alongside the offensive line.
Kansas Metropolis was ok to win Tremendous Bowl LIV with Eric Fisher, Stefen Wisniewski, Austin Reiter, Laurent Duverney-Tardif and Mitchell Schwartz up entrance, from left deal with to proper deal with.
The Chiefs weren’t ok to beat the Buccaneers with Mike Remmers, Nick Allegretti, Austin Reiter, Stefen Wisniewski and Andrew Wylie because the beginning offensive line, left to proper.
That is a giant purpose the Chiefs could be clever to speculate – and make investments excessive picks – in offensive line prospects throughout the 2021 NFL Draft on the finish of April.
Fourth and 1 analyst Nick Jacobs and host Tod Palmer kicked off their collection of preview previews with a dialogue of the deal with, middle and guard prospects that make sense to the Chiefs.
After successful the franchise’s first Tremendous Bowl in 50 years throughout the 2019 season, a string of absences and accidents piled up and price the Chiefs any likelihood of turning into the primary recurring champions within the historical past of the NFL in 16 seasons.
Duvernay-Tardif, the primary participant in NFL historical past to even be a health care provider, opted out of the 2020 season, spending the yr in his native Canada to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stays below contract with the Chiefs, however there is no such thing as a indication but if he’ll play subsequent season.
In the meantime, Kansas Metropolis’s solely offensive lineman drafted final season – Lucas Niang, a TCU third-round proper deal with prospect – has additionally retired.
As soon as the season began, Kelechi Osemele, an offseason rookie who secured the beginning left guard put up, suffered a number of knee accidents in October. He missed the remainder of the season.
Proper deal with Mitchell Schwartz, an ironman identified for enjoying all significant snaps throughout his first eight seasons within the NFL, was arrested for the season every week later on account of a again harm that in the end required a surgical intervention.
Probably the most damaging blow got here late within the Chiefs’ victory over Buffalo within the AFC championship recreation, when left deal with Eric Fisher – former No. 1 general decide and Kansas Metropolis’s prime offensive lineman – took suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Fisher’s harm compelled an general reshuffle of the road within the two weeks main as much as Tremendous Bowl LV.
The web end result was that towards a vaunted Bucs line of defense, the Chiefs had just one wholesome starter enjoying in his greatest place (Reiter), a left guard substitute (Allegretti) and three wholesome veterans. – even when one got here from a significant harm initially of the season. (Wisniewski) – play fully (and helplessly) out of place.
Remmers performed comparatively nicely rather than Schwartz on the correct deal with, however he was uncovered to the left deal with and Wylie, who’s a goalie by commerce, was unable to carry up in area towards the Tampa Bay rushers.
As an alternative, Patrick Mahomes and Kansas Metropolis had a irritating, touchless night time – Mahomes’ first NFL video games with out TD – which underscored the necessity to solidify the offensive line.
The chiefs appear to know this.
GM Brett Veach arguably chased the NFL’s greatest left deal with – Trent Williams, who in the end stayed with San Francisco on the NFL’s greatest contract for an offensive lineman – and landed top-of-the-line. NFL left guards to Joe Thuney, who signed a five-one yr with the Chiefs.
Kansas Metropolis additionally re-signed Remmers, signed former Bears Professional Bowler Kyle Lengthy out of retirement and added former Los Angeles Rams middle Austin Blythe.
Nevertheless, all three contracts had been one-year offers, leaving the Chiefs with lingering long-term wants at deal with, middle and proper guard.
Martinas Rankin, now 18 months away from a torn ACL, and Yasir Durant, an undrafted rookie from Mizzou final season, additionally stay on the present roster and supply depth within the deal with.
Allegretti can also be returning with different growing guys – together with Bryan Witzmann, Darryl Williams and Prince Tega Wanogho.
However Veach and his firm nonetheless have loads of work to do, together with discovering a beginning deal with on the left and including depth, forward of the 2021 season.
Fisher and Schwartz had been launched because the Chiefs scrambled to get under the decreased wage cap forward of the beginning of the 2021 league yr.
Each stay free brokers.
The Chiefs have proven no want to re-sign Reiter and backup middle Daniel Kilgore, who changed Reiter for 4 video games within the beginning lineup at mid-season, who’re additionally free brokers.
Wisniewski, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle throughout Pittsburgh’s season opener and signed just a few months later with the Chiefs, additionally stays a free agent.