Apr. 22—A big concern for the Chiefs this offseason has been their offensive line.
After Kansas City released Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz to save $18.25 million in salary cap space, the Chiefs have been left with big shoes to fill.
“That door always remains open. These guys did it the right way here. Then, the addition with Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, Jarran Reed, we’ve added a few people in here, and Brett Veach isn’t done,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “You know how he rolls, he’s very aggressive and he’s staying on top of his game. We get Larry (Duvernay-Tardif) back, so that’s a nice positive to add in to that offensive line mix. So, I think we’ve got a pretty good nucleus there.”
A two-time Super Bowl champion, Thuney has started every possible game since entering the league in 2016. Reid believes he offers a lot of flexibility.
“He can play either guard or center and do it at a Pro Bowl level. He’s arguably one of the better guards in the league right now,” Reid said. “He comes from a great culture from New England, understands what it takes to be on a winning team and keep that winning going forward, so we welcomed him aboard with that and thought it was important to get him.”
Reid added there’s currently a number of options of players in the mix to play at the left tackle position.
“We’re fitting that through, but we had aspirations of potentially moving (Lucas) Niang over to that spot. He looked like he had some potential for that when we had him last. Obviously, Kyle (Long) has that flex to be able to do something like that. He’s played inside too. The majority of the time he played inside, but he wasn’t bad on the outside either. Then, we’ve got guys coming back. Whether it’s Rem (Mike Remmers) or whether it’s Andrew (Wylie), we’ve got guys that also have flexibility to play in those spots,” Reid said.
Even with all the shifts, Patrick Mahomes is confident with the offensive line room.
“Guys that are ready to compete, guys that played last year and guys that have a lot of experience coming in and that breeds competition and you love that. That’s in every room in this locker room is competition and you’re going to go out there and compete and try to earn your way to earning a spot and try to find a way to be the best player you can be to try to get us to the Super Bowl,” Mahomes said.
As time inches closer for the 2021 NFL Draft, the Chiefs are expected to make moves to support their offensive line, but Reid said they’re open to anything.
“I wouldn’t tell you at any position that we’re done looking. We’re always going to keep our eyes open and try to make ourselves better, which we need to do. We’ve got to do that. When you’re sitting in our position you’re not just striving to stay the same, you’re trying to get yourself better,” Reid said.
The Chiefs hold the 31st pick out of eight selections in the NFL Draft, which kicks off with Round 1 on April 29 at 7 p.m.