Why the Kansas City Chiefs need Eric Fisher to step up in 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15: Tackle Eric Fisher
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15: Tackle Eric Fisher /

The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of potential on offense. But the offensive line must have a good season. That includes Eric Fisher.

It has not been the most ideal run in the NFL for Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher. After being taken first overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, Fisher’s performance has not matched what was expected from him when drafted. Not even close.

According to STATS, Fisher has allowed 36 sacks in his five-year career. With only two missed games in his career, Fisher has allowed more than seven sacks per season on average.

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Fisher is coming off a 2017 season where he allowed seven sacks. Pro Football Focus rated him 38th among tackles in the league last year.

Following the 2015 season, then-Chiefs general manager John Dorsey signed Fisher to a four-year extension, which keeps him in Kansas City through the 2021 season.

While it would be ideal for current Chiefs general manager Brett Veach to release or trade Fisher after 2018 if he continues to underperform, it is much easier said than done due to Fisher’s contract. According to Spotrac, Fisher has cap hits of $13.95 million in 2018, $13.15 in 2019, $12.05 in 2020 and $11.5 in 2021. He will become an unrestricted free agent at 31-years-old after the 2021 season.

Because of the hefty contract Dorsey gave Fisher, the Chiefs would suffer a massive cap hit. In order to avoid a big cap hit, the Chiefs can only cut him after June 1 of 2020.

Fisher’s highlights and success have been limited since being drafted by the Chiefs. Although he was voted as a Pro Bowl alternate left tackle in 2016, Fisher surrendered six sacks while committing eight penalties, the second most of his career in a single season.

In five seasons under Andy Reid’s guidance, there has been little progress for Fisher during his career. It is uncertain exactly why his development is taking so long. But if there is one player who Chiefs fans are hoping to see improve the most for the Chiefs, it should be Fisher. He must start playing up to his contract, and the offensive line will be key for the Chiefs to succeed in 2018. His contract won’t be easy to get out of, unless he agrees to restructure it.

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With Pat Mahomes coming in as the primary quarterback for the Chiefs this year, surrounded by a stacked group of skill position players, he will need all of the help he can get up front with the offensive line.