Nate Taylor of The Athletic is reporting that Kansas City Chiefs right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will be an unrestricted free agent next year.
At this point, we’re not exactly sure what to make of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s future with the Kansas City Chiefs. All we know is that a contract that was recently restructured when it comes to the finances involved might have also been altered when it comes to the timeline as well.
Shortly before the NFL Draft, the Chiefs and Duvernay-Tardif’s representation were able to work out a newly restructured deal that provided the team with a bit more flexibility when it came to salary cap space. The move was much needed considering how close the Chiefs were up to the NFL’s limit. Given that the Chiefs needed money to sign a draft class among other moves, a move was obviously in the works and it turned out to be that of the starting right guard.
At the time, Duvernay-Tardif’s restructure was assumed to create immediate space for the sake of future earnings. The Chiefs get a bit of room this year by guaranteeing more money down the road. In fact, even a report from Nick Jacobs this morning verified the numbers involved—or so we thought.
Only one hour later, however, Nate Taylor of The Athletic had news of another kind. Instead of paying out even more for Duvernay-Tardif in the next two years, the Chiefs, he reported, won’t be paying LDT at all.
At this point, it’s hard to tell what to believe, because even within those two pieces of information, things get murky. If you read Over the Cap’s report of LDT’s new contract situation, it reads that the Chiefs are still on the hook for $4 million after this next year in bonus money yet unpaid. It also says, “He can now become a free agent in 2021.” (Our emphasis on the word “can” there.)
Does this mean that LDT has an option out of his contract as a reward for restructuring? Does this mean the Chiefs told him he was going to be cut so he agreed to lower his salary? Is Jacobs right that there are actually three full years left with reworked totals? It’s hard to know who to believe or what part of each to grab onto.
What we do know at this point is that the five-year, $41 million agreement signed by Duvernay-Tardif in 2017 looks like it’s going to change pretty significantly by the time it reaches its conclusion. Do the Chiefs still want LDT around long-term at a different price? Does LDT want a chance to reestablish his market? Are there concerns about injury or performance here? At this point it feels impossible to tell.