In: Orlando Brown, Jr., Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Lucas Niang, Mike Remmers, Andrew Wylie, Nick Allegretti, Austin Blythe, Yasir Durant
Traded: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
Out: Wyatt Miller, Darryl Williams, Prince Tega Wanogho
What an incredible turnaround from last season. Last year, the Chiefs season ultimately collapsed after trying to hold things together up front with duct tape and blind luck. This offseason, the team has solid starters in the fold all across the second unit, which actually gives them the ironic fortunes of having too much talent up front.
After letting last year’s bookends walk with the release of Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, the Chiefs brought in a new left tackle in Orlando Brown Jr. via a blockbuster trade with the Baltimore Ravens. They also welcomed back Lucas Niang for his official rookie season after he opted out last year.
Across the interior, the Chiefs sunk major investments into an upgrade. Joe Thuney is the dynamic new left guard that Reid has never had, and Creed Humphrey is the best center since Mitch Morse. Trey Smith might be the most exciting of all as a late-round steal who somehow cemented himself as a starter from the outset.
Beyond all of that, several players here are automatic inclusions. Mike Remmers is a super sub who needs no introduction. Andrew Wylie can play several spots as well and comes ready-made to start if needed. Austin Blythe has started full seasons at guard and center as well and costs next to nothing. Nick Allegretti was a nice fill-in at left guard last season and can slide over to center if needed.
Beyond that, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif could be a nice addition as well, but he’s also redundant given that Kyle Long is also waiting in the wings to return from injury. That makes for an overcrowded scenario. For this reason, we think LDT is a good candidate to get traded. (He’s got a no-trade clause, but if a team wants him and gives him a chance to start, we think it’s possible here.)
Duvernay-Tardif is a top 10 salary cap hit in 2021 for the Chiefs, which makes no sense given that he has no understood role with so many other starting-caliber guards around. Because of his contract construction, the Chiefs receive nothing in relief if they release him outright, but if they trade him, they get a large portion of that money back in cap savings. Hence we think flipping LDT for a late-round pick makes a lot of sense. The Steelers, Bears, and Panthers all make sense here as teams potentially in need of a new interior starter (and a hell of a teammate).