Just one day after Kansas City Chiefs G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season, the defending Super Bowl champions have added a decorated veteran to fill his spot.
On Saturday night, the Chiefs agreed to a one-year contract with G Kelechi Osemele, per Yahoo Sports senior NFL writer Terez Paylor.
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Following a trade from the then-Oakland Raiders in 2019, the ninth-year pro most recently spent time with the New York Jets last season, where he started the first three regular season games prior to suffering a shoulder injury. Osemele was released this past October after having surgery to repair the ailing shoulder, which Jets’ medical personnel disputed.
A former Iowa State Cyclone, Osemele originally entered the league as a second-round draft pick (60th overall) of the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. After four seasons and 51 starts with the Ravens, Osemele headed west after signing a five-year, $60 million deal with the Raiders.
Listed at 6-foot-5-inches and 330 pounds, the 31-year-old is certainly on the back side of his pro career, but may still represent a starting-caliber option to protect QB Patrick Mahomes, at least in the short term while Kansas City grooms its youthful offseason additions such as Lucas Niang and Yasir Durant.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Osemele’s deal carries a maximum value of $2 million for the coming season.