At this point, we're assuming Joe Thuney is more than just the "long shot" to play in Super Bowl LVIII as Andy Reid described him. The truth is that Thuney has a serious pectoral muscle injury and as tough and valuable as Thuney is, it's just likely not going to happen approximately three weeks after suffering the injury in the first place—the Divisional Round against the Buffalo Bills.
If Thuney remains out, then it's clear that Nick Allegretti will be the next man up once again. He already stepped into the game against the Bills and then started in the Chiefs' win over the Baltimore Ravens in the conference championship. Both of those were tough road games against hungry opponents and Allegretti kept pace with his talented linemates without much trouble.
Now Allegretti has two more weeks of prep and focus to take over for Thuney in the biggest game of all. Undoubtedly the Niners will try to create a mismatch along the line here if they perceive Allegretti as a weak spot, but that also gives the former Illinois product a real chance to show what he can do when targeted.
Last offseason, Allegretti signed a single-season deal with the Chiefs to stay in K.C. and make a repeat title bid. The total was $2.5 million, which signals that Allegretti was aware of some decent market value and still took something from the Chiefs. The fact that K.C. didn't try to go completely cheap among their OL backups was smart as well.
This offseason, however, Allegretti could easily pull a multi-year deal as a potential starter for a team looking for significant interior help. Allegretti's versatility also makes him an asset at center and he's going to join any new team, if he leaves, with multiple Super Bowl titles to his credit.
As a former seventh-round pick, he's already eclipsed any expectations on returns for the initial investment, but anyone who has watched Allegretti knows he could at least compete for a starting interior spot for upwards of 10 teams. A great postseason run could bring another million or two per year for more than one season and at least secure a bigger bag.