John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs Could Bring Ryan Lilja Out Of Retirement

According to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Chiefs are trying to coax former guard Ryan Lilja out of retirement.

And Lilja is listening.

From the KC Star:

The Chiefs have approached Ryan Lilja about playing another season, and the veteran offensive lineman was receptive to the idea, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Lilja, who played in high school at Shawnee Mission Northwest and in college at Kansas State, said immediately after the end of last season that he would retire. Lilja, 31, has played nine NFL seasons, six for Indianapolis and the last three for the Chiefs.

The three-year contract Lilja signed when he joined the Chiefs has expired, and he is an unrestricted free agent.


Personally, I think this is a tremendously smart move. Lilja is a very good player and he can bring some versatility to the Chiefs’ offensive line. Remember, last season, Lilja played center after youngster Rodney Hudson went down to injury. With Hudson being largely unproven, it is wise that KC would want to bring in a player that could step in if need be.

KC has also brought n free agent Geoff Schwartz, who many believe has Pro Bowl potential as a guard. Still, it is always wise to have multiple options.

What do you think, Addicts? Do you want Lilja to come back to KC?

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Jason Seibel

    As long as they practice snaps between Lilja and Alex during training camp just in case, I would absolutely be okay with him coming back!

    • Da Menace

      I remember when we let him go to Indy everyone thought he was a prospect then. He’s got good experience and better than average but I always heard people knocking him the past couple years . Could it be that we just didn’t have the continuity to make him stand out?

    • dominicscarlatti

      Veteran insurance for the interior OL. Hudson is coming off a broken leg and who knows, maybe Reid/Dorsey want Schwartz to play ORT.

      • KCMikeG

        I think the OL competition is going to be great in camp and we still have more than likely 2 or 3 more OL coming in the draft. I could see Schwartz or Stephenson at RT. Allen concerns me as he struggled mightily at LG last year. IMO Hudson will be strong at C but could be even stronger at LG to give Allen a chance to develop further. I would like to see us draft C/G/T Barrett Jones in the 3rd round, C/G Quessenberry or my personal favorite C/G/T 6’3″ 314# of attitude in Brian Schwenke.

        I would love to see Lilja transition into a coaching position. He is technically great and has always been a class act – size was his only limitation.

        • dominicscarlatti

          Agree completely, Michael. If not for the injury, Barrett Jones would have been a first-rounder. He may be available, I imagine, early in the third, and maybe Quessenberry, another highly versatile OL, would be there for our second pick at the back of the third round.

          I like Lilja, too. Last season was painful for him, and for anyone watching him, but he would a nice choice for an ‘éminence grise’ role in the locker room and on the practice field. With a suitable pre-season to practice the C-QB exchange, he could fill in at G or C, if the need arose. Native Kansas Citian, great technical understanding, high performer at Indy – might make for a nice OL coaching prospect…

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I suppose that would give them some insurance along the line, but I’d prefer they got their depth in the draft. I don’t like the idea of talking players out of retirement.

    • KCPauly

      well if he played last year then it would be more like prolonging retirement than coming out of retirement…just sayin

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I get that, but it still comes down to asking a guy to play another year after he decided he was done. I’d prefer to have guys who still have that fire for the game.

        • David Fritch

          He probably just didn’t want to go through another year of Pioli-Hell. The man must have a little pride and who can blame him? But Now with the way things have turned around KC is not the same team. Just saying he might see some light at the end of the tunnel now!

    • krayfish

      agreed not thrilled about this

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I’m not really upset about it either. It gives the team some much needed depth, if nothing else. Clearly the new regime isn’t very high on Rodney Hudson though. That or his injury situation is still very serious.

        • Spencer

          or they just like depth and don’t care for any of the draft pick evaluations at the center where they are looking to draft a center personally???

          (it’s not always just eww, they are scared of Hudson…they might just not like the prospects at c/or guard compared to where we will be drafting and where they want to draft a c/g) Remember after Schwartz also we are EXTREMELY thin at guard, it goes Asamoah, Schwartz, Allen and then no one with experience/unless a rookie who will be a late 6-7th rnd pick…

          Its a good pick up either way, 1 for depth at Guard and Center, and 2 for EXPERIENCED depth at the Guard and center…

          Sorry but the whole “rant” on Hudson…just don’t like how people are so assumptive on just 1 view rather then multiple…benn bugging me of recent and just had to “say/type”something^^

  • krayfish

    I smell Pioli

    • Patrick Allen


  • KCPauly

    yeah bring him back

  • KCMikeG

    I think Lilja is a great guy but our interior OL has been the biggest issue next to our QB and actually impacted the QB play significantly. If they are thinking depth for injury and/or to mentor/coach the young guys great. If they are thinking as a starter then no. He is only 285 pounds and I hear comments all the time about people being concerned with Hudson at 299. He really wore down last year and isn’t any younger. There is great depth at interior OL in the draft that would cost less and have tons more upside.

    • Danny W

      What Mike said^

  • Bosco Cletus

    I never really believed he would stay away, last season was probably just a little too much for him to take after winning non stop in Indy.

  • Jamie Denton

    I posted about this last night on some of the other Chiefs stories and got a lot of positive reactions from fans, but only if the price was right and he was used as a depth/mentor guy for the younger players! But I myself think he would be great to have back with his experience at G/C and his Indy playoff/SB experience, and who better for coach Reid to pick their brain and learn more about the “Great Peyton Manning” (Sarcasm) although when he is out of Denver I will gladly put him in that category than Ryan Lylja! Come on back Ryan I’ll be cheering for ya!!

  • Leslie Clawson

    It would great to see him back at guard. . .He was a terrible center. Not that it was his fault, the man doesn’t play center and hadn’t snapped a ball since grade school. It was the Chiefs fault for not having a proper backup. Good on him for trying, but he was still terrible at it.

    • P Heitman

      PFF had Lilja as the 14th ranked center.

      • chiefridgy

        Not too bad for someone who is not a center

        • P Heitman

          Well he played it last year. Just sayin.

          • chiefridgy

            I know. He didn’t do too bad. That’s what I was saying. But he’s not a center.

          • David Fritch

            Anyone who is the 14th best at any position in the NFL for a year (especially on a horrible team)….”plays that position” :-)

          • P Heitman

            Gotcha. Well I only said that to Leslie, because the original comment claimed he was a “terrible center.” Which, in all reality, he wasn’t. Do I think he was great? Of course not. But he wasn’t terrible.

  • P Heitman

    I would have retired after last season, too…

  • Jim Harper

    Yeah, this is a real head scratcher to me. Why would you want to go older? I like Lilja, but he was never an all pro. I just don’t get it.

  • David Fritch

    I’m confused on something….PFF has Winston rated higher than Albert last year at 15.1 yet we cut him and nobody has picked him up yet… there something I’m missing?

    • Troy Utt

      Not sure if there is truth to the injury rumors that were floating around, or the “you just need to keep your yap shut”… But I agree… There has to be something more to it!

      • KCMikeG

        I heard something about an injury a while back but there has to be more than that to warrant two teams in a row to let him go.

        • Troy Utt

          I agree… Thus the there has to be something more to it! I know there more to the story than what we are hearing… Especially when you look at the other teams sitting out there with available cap space, in need of a RT, and yet no offers are being made… HMMM… Did you wind up finding that ticket for the Draft Party?

          • KCMikeG

            No I still am looking. Can you help or know someone who can?

            I can’t believe Andre Smith is still out there?? Even though they are getting older Clabo and McKinnie are quality options too.

          • Troy Utt

            I would think we could expect R&D to be making some type of cap clearing/contract moves pretty soon… As we will need the $$ to sign rookies &/or that RT. I wouldn’t scoff if they made a run at Dansby,but not sure we can afford it!
            I left my # on your FB page… had extra tickets at work for the Draft Party…How many do you need?

          • KCMikeG

            I think they will sign Albert at a better price than $9.8M.
            I don’t see it on my FB page? I need one for my daughter. THANKS!!!

          • Troy Utt

            Let me check if still available… Last I knew there were still 4!

          • KCMikeG

            Thanks! I really appreciate your help!

          • KCMikeG

            Hey Troy. I sent you a friend request on FB – unless there is another Troy Utt in the Kingdom. Let me know if there are any of those tickets left. Thanks!

  • Darkwolf1414

    Frankly, this surprises me. Lilja has always been considered somewhat undersized. His good technique is what has kept him around. He doesn’t fit the mold of the kind of O-lineman Reid likes. People were saying Albert is too small for Andy to like him as an LT but now let’s bring back Lilja? Just doesn’t make sense. I like Lilja and if they can get him to come back then I think it’s a good move. I just don’t get why Reid would be interested. Also, Albert was bigger before Haley came. Haley had him lose weight and use better technique than just use his weight to lean on defenders. Albert could gain back some weight and better fit the mold of what Reid wants. Unfortunately, that weight could also cause more issues with back spasms.

  • cyberry

    I don’t know, I do believe he was let go in Indy because they moved away from a zone blocking and wanted bigger lineman.. I was under the impression that the Chiefs where planning to do also..

  • Ryan Pinczer

    Might be for the best..Especially if they draft another young lineman! No true vets on the line except alberts and who can really say whats gonna happen with that! Be a great vet presense for allen and hudson to help them along!

  • redchiefs

    Lilja should come back to give BA a Jethro Gibbs to Tony Denoso slap to the back of the head. He could remind BA that Andy Reid has a 70% winning percentage, and that doesn’t happen to many coaches.

  • micah stephenson

    If that old man comes back i will really start to wonder about R&D. Lilja is to old, too small, & too weak!

  • cd3382

    He wouldn’t be to bad to have for depth though… but ummm…that’s about it.

  • Adrian Morales

    Please dont come back, please