6-Year NFL Vet Listed as Chiefs’ Top Trade Asset at NFL Deadline

Andy Reid

Getty Head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach will have some tough decisions to make at the trade deadline in 2021.

The Kansas City Chiefs are most likely going to be buyers at the trade deadline in 2021, but that doesn’t mean they won’t sell off an asset here or there in the process.

General manager Brett Veach struck gold during this year’s draft at one position group, in particular, interior offensive line. He drafted center Creed Humphrey in the second round and guard Trey Smith in the sixth.

Since then, Humphrey has gone on to rank first for all NFL centers on Pro Football Focus and Smith has been solid in his own right, as a strength of this offensive line. That made a recent 2021 signing somewhat moot, and that player could now become an asset at the deadline.

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Austin Blythe Featured as NFL Target

Some Chiefs fans might forget that Veach brought in Austin Blythe this offseason, but the six-year NFL veteran and three-year starter with the Los Angeles Rams was a fantastic insurance policy for both rookies.

Blythe can play center or right guard with efficiency, excelling as a run-blocker with a 70.3 grade from PFF in 2018 and a 74.2 grade in 2020. His pass protection was not as strong at center, but it was decent at right guard, allowing just three sacks in 31 games from 2018-19.

Now the versatile veteran might be expendable according to Chiefs ESPN beat reporter Adam Teicher in an NFL Nation trade deadline primer:

Blythe has been inactive for each of the first six games, and the prospects of him getting into a game aren’t good with rookie Creed Humphrey playing so well. But he might be of interest to a team that needs help at an interior line position. He also can play guard.

It’s true, Blythe has not even been active for games, nor has he registered a snap. At the same time, with injuries and inefficiency around the league, there are teams that need help on the interior of their blocking unit.

This would be a win-win for the Chiefs, who could flip emergency depth away for draft capital based on their strengths at center and guard.

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What Could Blythe Get in Return?

The former Rams starter signed with Kansas City at a bargain of one year, $990,000. Now, this can be looked at as both a good thing and a bad thing when determining his trade value.

In one sense, Blythe’s contract is affordable, meaning cap-strapped teams might be interested. In another, he wasn’t highly sought after in free agency so he might not be highly sought after now. Generally speaking though, value rises around the NFL as teams become more desperate mid-season.

If Veach can spin this signing into a late-round pick like a conditional sixth or a seventh, this is still a win for the Chiefs. Players like Nick Allegretti, Andrew Wylie and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (also rumored in trades) could provide enough cover behind the three starting interior linemen.

Plus, it’s always nice to have extra picks to work with. You can include them in a corresponding move or save them and take a chance on a flyer in 2022. After all, who knows what prospect could end up falling to you late in the draft — the Chiefs starting right guard was a sixth-rounder in 2021.


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