When Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid addressed the media on May 8 amid rookie minicamp, he was asked about veteran signing Donovan Smith — a former long-time left tackle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“He’s been at left tackle at a high level,” Big Red began, explaining the transaction. “Last year he was hurt, the year before that he was one of the top-rated left tackles in the league and we’ve had a chance to play against him a couple of times.”
In a follow-up question, Coach Reid confirmed that the plan is to start Smith on the blindside and move fellow newcomer Jawaan Taylor to right tackle. Fans were split on the Smith addition, which signaled that 2023’s big-money acquisition would be switched back to RT even before Reid commented on the matter. Now, some have grown frustrated on social media.
“$60 mil guaranteed to your RT. Wild,” Chiefs podcaster Lance Twidwell of “The Spoken” tweeted after hearing the news on May 8, prompting a viral response from former All-Pro right tackle and Super Bowl champion Mitchell Schwartz.
“He only has to block *checks notes* Maxx Crosby and Joey Bosa twice a year, why bother investing in the position,” Schwartz sounded off sarcastically to the tune of 2.2K likes and counting. Would you look at that, the big man is still blocking for Kansas City, even in retirement!
Chiefs Invest Big Money in Offensive Tackles Jawaan Taylor & Donovan Smith
Schwartz’s argument is sound. As long as the Chiefs have the best five blockers in front of MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, what does it matter who plays where?
As one fan pointed out in the comments, left tackle and right tackle are “no different” in the modern-day NFL. “Narrative is ridiculous,” the KC supporter went on. “It mattered way more when QB’s were statues.”
Either way, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spent huge money on the offensive tackle position, and that should be the takeaway here. He wasn’t satisfied with Lucas Niang or rookie Wanya Morris starting in Week 1 — and let’s be honest, was anyone?
Instead, Veach shored up a key position with an experienced veteran that has won a Super Bowl over Kansas City in Tampa Bay.
He spent $9 million to do so, according to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, along with another $80 million ($60 million in guarantees as Twidwell noted) to secure a long-term blocker that can start at either role. Is that bad business, or covering your bases and protecting your most important asset in Mahomes?
Chiefs Kingdom may debate this decision for some time but for now, the starting offensive line looks better than it did in April. That, in itself, is a win for the Kansas City organization.
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs Offensive Line Could Lead KC to Victory in 2023
Another hot topic among fans is the lack of experienced wide receivers in Kansas City. Having said that, Veach clearly valued offensive line over his skill positions.
With Mahomes throwing the football behind a blocking unit that flaunts one of the best interior trios in football — as well as a reliable one-two punch of Smith and Taylor on the outside — magic is bound to happen for KC. With enough time to operate, the prolific signal-caller has proven that throughout his career.
Plus, it’s not like the Chiefs have no options. Travis Kelce is still wearing red and gold, not to mention Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, the always-reliable Jerick McKinnon and more.
Reid could look to pound the rock a little bit more behind Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire in 2023 as well, considering the investments on the offensive line. This ever-changing offense might look different again in Mahomes’ seventh season in the league but one thing’s still a near-certainty — KC will find ways to score points. That’s never an issue.