The story of Nick Allegretti’s arrival with the Chiefs is a thread of a forgotten trade from years before.
In the spring of last year, the Kansas City Chiefs used the 216th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to take an interior offensive lineman by the name of Nick Allegretti.
Allegretti, a longtime starter at the University of Illinois, was a late-round addition intended to provide depth, youth and competition at a potential problem area, but it was also the culmination of a long-forgotten trade that goes back farther than most of us likely realized. The very move that would bring Allegretti to the Chiefs actually happened just as Allegretti was getting ready to begin his sophomore season with the Illini, in September, 2016.
Nearly six months earlier, as Allegretti was participating in spring practices, the Chiefs had signed an intriguing free agent wideout in Rod Streater. Jeremy Maclin was the team’s top wide receiver for the 2016 season, and the other primary wideout spot was a competition between Chris Conley and Albert Wilson at the time. Streater was a familiar face from his years with the Oakland Raiders who was a low-risk signing for former general manager John Dorsey.
Streater seemed like a worthy signing at the time. In 2013, his downfield speed and solid hands had turned in a 60 catch performance, good for 888 yards and 4 touchdowns. Injury-hampered seasons halted his momentum with the Raiders and the Chiefs were hoping to bolster their passing game with a nice bounce-back candidate. But Streater would never get that chance.
By the time active rosters were due, Dorsey felt better about his depth at the position than he did in the early spring. That’s because Dorsey had drafted names like Tyreek Hill and Demarcus Robinson in the draft. Suddenly the Chiefs had Maclin, Hill, Conley, Wilson, Robinson, and De’Anthony Thomas.
Fortunately Dorsey was able to flip Streater for something—although it didn’t look like it at the time. The San Francisco 49ers traded a conditional 7th round pick in 2019 to the Chiefs for a conditional 7th round pick in 2019 and Streater. Yep, that’s a late preseason flip of a wide receiver who wouldn’t make the team anyway for a seventh round pick in a draft that was, at the time, three drafts away. The whole thing sounds silly.
Streater would last a single season in San Francisco with 18 catches for 191 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Dorsey would add a nice bit of luck to the Chiefs for selecting 2019 as the draft in which to exchange picks. The Niners were selecting No. 2 overall in the draft, which meant that even their seventh round selection was closer to the sixth round than normal. The Chiefs would grab Allegretti at No. 216 overall which the Niners would wait until No. 243.
In the end, the Niners were able to flip that very pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for offensive tackle Shon Coleman. Coleman was unfortunately lost for all of last season due to injury, but he re-signed with San Francisco last spring for another season, so he should compete for a backup role behind Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey.
As for the Chiefs, Allegretti is now heading into his second season, ready to challenge Austin Reiter for the starting center role in training camp after a year of developing with the Chiefs strength and conditioning staff and significant time learning the offense. Even if Reiter wins the job outright, his contract is up after 2020, which puts Allegretti in solid position to compete for meaningful reps both now and later. And it’s all due to a forgotten trade made several years ago.