Andrew Wylie should be thankful to the K.C. Chiefs. While it’s yet unknown where exactly he will be playing, the good news is that his hard work will have paid off. The Chiefs have made him a rich man.
As Wylie heads into the offseason, he’s facing restricted free agency, which means that the Chiefs have until Thursday to tender him at a set level. If the Chiefs refuse to do so, he would become an unrestricted free agent and hit the market for whatever another team is willing to offer him. However, reports emerged on Tuesday saying the Chiefs were going to tender Wylie at some level, which means he is set to make at least $2.13 million in 2021.
The idea of the Chiefs tendering Wylie is not that meaningful to fans yet without knowing the exact level of tender given by the Chiefs. If a team places a first-round tender on a player, the player (e.g. Wylie) will be guaranteed a salary just south of $5 million. In return, that player would either play out a one-year deal for his team at that amount or play for another team who signs him away (likely at a higher amount). The tender amounts offer a way to guarantee a decent earnings floor. In any instance, the Chiefs have a right of first refusal.
What it means that the K.C. Chiefs have tendered Andrew Wylie.
On the Chiefs side of things, the amounts per round range from $4.766 million for a first-round tender to $3.384 million for a second-round tender to $2.13 million for all other tender offers. That’s how pricey Wylie could be for the Chiefs in 2021.
What this means is that any team who wants to sign Wylie on the open market must first give the Chiefs a chance to match that offer. In addition, it’s possible the Chiefs could recoup a first or second round draft pick if some team were to sign Wylie away (and he was tendered at that level). That’s not likely, however.
Wylie has been a serviceable and versatile player for the Chiefs who has filled in as a starter for a Super Bowl contender for long stretches. All of that looks very good on a resume. It’s also hard to see another team paying both Wylie and an early draft pick for his services.
What this means is that the likeliest scenario—and this is all conjecture—is that the Chiefs have given him the lowest tender possible, which means they will either pay Wylie just over $2 million to remain with the team or at least have the chance to match whatever offer he’s receiving from someone else. It provides the team with some security knowing they are in control there when it comes to Wylie while also not breaking the bank. They’re not making it hard for him to leave but they certainly seem open for him to stay.
As for Wylie, the chance to have teams bid for his services and land at least $2 million this next year to play the game he loves is a real achievement. As a former undrafted free agent, Wylie has been a heartening story as a guy who climbed the depth chart and earned a starting role after failed stints with other franchises. Wylie has started a total of 35 games left guard, right tackle, and right guard for the Chiefs over the last three years. It’s about time he’s rewarded for his efforts.