Chiefs headlines for Friday, March 26
OG Nick Allegretti, Kansas City Chiefs
This past season, Nick Allegretti started nine games at left guard. With the addition or return of multiple offensive linemen, he seems like a long shot to retain his role in 2021.
The Kansas City Chiefs added a surefire starter and depth to their offensive line group, signing Joe Thuney, and Kyle Long and re-upping Mike Remmers. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out of the 2020 campaign, but he’ll be suiting up next season.
Kansas City signed Thuney to a five-year, $80 million contract, so pen his name into a starting position. Primarily a left guard, he hasn’t missed a start since the New England Patriots selected him in the third round of the 2016 draft.
The coaching staff can shift Allegretti to the right side, but he’d compete with Duvernay-Tardif, who started in 57 contests for the Chiefs between 2015 and 2019. Long has extensive experience at right guard, and Remmers has played both interior positions in his career.
According to the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope, the Chiefs want to re-sign Austin Reiter, who became a full-time starter at center in 2019. His return would leave no room for competition at the pivot.
With Thuney locked into one of the guard spots, Allegretti could battle against at least three more experienced teammates for a starting position at training camp.
Chiefs fans may have made the expectations too high when Mahomes restructured his contract to clear up a boatload of salary cap space — which was done to help the front office sign significant players in free agency. The Chiefs took care of business, prioritizing the offensive line by getting Joe Thuney to sign a five-year, $80 million deal and Kyle Long agreeing to a one-year, $5 million deal.
Those two moves made Kansas City significantly better on the offensive line, but the Chiefs just missed on the biggest prize in Trent Williams. Kansas City made a hard push to land Williams in free agency, but the Pro Bowl left tackle agreed to stay with the San Francisco 49ers — signing the biggest contract for an offensive lineman in NFL history. Williams was enticed by the Chiefs’ offer (saying they made a “good push”), but told 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan he would come to him first no matter the offer.
4. Priest Holmes, Kansas City Chiefs; 2001
For sheer production out of free agency (non-Brees/Manning division), the Chiefs found a hidden superstar. The Ravens taking Jamal Lewis in the 2000 first-round ended Holmes’ middling Baltimore stint; he signed a five-year, $8.4 million Chiefs contract. From 2001-03, Holmes totaled 6,566 scrimmage yards and 61 touchdowns. He led the NFL in scrimmage yards in 2002 in just 14 games, with an injury halting a likely record. The Chiefs assembled an all-time offensive line, igniting Holmes, but injuries brought down their star back beginning in 2004. While Tony Gonzalez was here too, Holmes catalyzed these elite offenses.
Andy Dalton for the Chicago Bears is Alex Smith for the Kansas City Chiefs
Now that the Mitch Trubisky experiment is over, Nagy now has his chance to recreate this plan. He brought in his “Alex Smith” without actually bringing in the banged-up version of Smith right now. He got Andy Dalton as essentially his bridge quarterback on a one-year contract.
But why Dalton? Dalton, like Smith, brings a sense of security to a position that has been so volatile the past few seasons due to injuries and inconsistencies. The best way to describe the Red Rifle is that he is consistently average. He likely won’t wow you some games looking borderline elite, but he also won’t look completely horrible in some games as well. With Dalton, you know exactly what you’re getting.
Around the NFL
A late-season addition to the team in 2020, Dunlap is re-signing with the Seahawks on a two-year deal worth $16.6 million with $8.5 million guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported via Dunlap’s agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Acquired via trade with the Bengals last season, Dunlap was released earlier this offseason by Seattle as he came with a $14 million cap hit, but he’s back in the fold on an eventful Thursday for the Seahawks’ defensive front, as Seattle is also set to part ways with longtime starter Jarran Reed.
Arizona has agreed to terms with veteran corner Malcolm Butler on a one-year deal, the team announced. Butler’s contract is worth up to $6 million, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Butler became a free agent when the Tennessee Titans released him to clear cap space following a solid 2020 season in Nashville. The free agent market at the position wasn’t especially deep, but at 31 years old, Butler wasn’t the most coveted corner available.
Butler does bring immediate value to the Cardinals, though, who were looking to fill the void left by the departure of Peterson, who signed with the Vikings after 10 seasons in the desert. He’ll be expected to step into a starting role opposite Robert Alford, with Byron Murphy returning as nickel corner.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Robinson, 26, will be beginning his sixth NFL season — all of it with the Chiefs. He started nine games in 2020, catching 45 passes on 59 targets for 466 yards and three touchdowns. Over his career, Robinson has appeared in all 80 regular-season contests, starting 32 games while gaining 1,415 yards (and scoring 11 touchdowns) on 120 receptions.
While terms of the deal are not yet known, Robinson played last year on a version of the NFL’s veteran salary benefit (VSB) deal — the so-called “four-year qualifying contract” — in which he earned $2.3 million, but had a cap hit of just over $1 million.
For those types of contracts, teams are permitted to pay $1.25 million more than the minimum salary for which the player is eligible — plus a signing bonus of up to $137,500 — while carrying a cap charge consisting only of the player’s minimum salary and signing bonus. Teams may issue only two such contracts in each season — and spend a total of no more than $1.25 million over minimum salary for the two contracts combined.
A tweet to make you think
The Chiefs signed DRob for vet minimum last year and he still outsnapped a second round pick by over 200 snaps.
What makes us think that changes this year? https://t.co/jmDaITfufw
— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) March 25, 2021
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