The Kansas City Chiefs’ interior offensive line has undergone a facelift in recent days following the big-name free agent additions of Joe Thuney and Kyle Long. However, the moves have left many in Chiefs Kingdom wondering when and how the team will address arguably the most important position of need up front: offensive tackle.
On Thursday, some questions were answered.
According to his agent Brett Tessler, veteran tackle Mike Remmers will return to Kansas City on a new one-year deal that sets him up to be the team’s starting right tackle.
Confirming the report, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also tweeted that Remmers is indeed “their starter.”
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Remmers Gets $3.3 Million of Guaranteed Money
Shortly after the initial announcement, Nate Taylor, Chiefs beat reporter for The Athletic, shared some of the financial terms of the new contract, which includes $3.3 million guaranteed.
“The Chiefs have signed Mike Remmers to a 1-year deal worth up to $6.8 million with $3.3 million guaranteed, a source confirmed. Remmers will be at right tackle, likely in a competition with rookie Lucas Niang. And yes, the Chiefs are still pursuing a veteran left tackle,” Taylor wrote on Twitter.
Remmers, who will turn 32 years old on April 11, was a pivotal acquisition for the AFC champions last offseason, eventually finding himself as the team’s starting left tackle in Super Bowl LV.
Originally brought in as a depth piece on a one-year, $1.2 million deal last March, the 10th-year veteran wound up starting 10-of-13 games, plus all three postseason games, after former All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz exited with a back injury in Week 6, never to return all season.
Remmers did an admirable job in 2020, earning him a 71.3 grade from Pro Football Focus (38th best among eligible tackles). Now, the performance nets him a healthy raise and the chance to protect Patrick Mahomes full-time once again.
Niang Likely to Remain at Right Tackle
Taylor’s tweet also answered another popular question amongst Chiefs fans this offseason: where will Niang play? It appears now that last year’s third-rounder — dubbed one of the biggest steals of the 2020 NFL Draft — will have a chance to compete and potentially win the starting job to Mahomes’ right. Given his athletic profile and three years of starting experience on the right side for TCU, the 22-year-old Niang is an unlikely bet to flip to left tackle at the NFL level.
Four days into free agency, Mahomes’ blindside remains a question mark until another veteran is brought in. Kansas City was aggressive in their pursuit of San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, and according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, were “in it to the end” before the Niners won out with a five-year, $80 million megadeal on Wednesday. A few notable veterans — Alejandro Villanueva, Riley Reiff and Russell Okung — are also still available, however, the Chiefs’ level of interest remains unknown.
April’s draft also presents the team an opportunity to be aggressive in securing more young talent across the frontline. That will include at center, where the Chiefs’ front office remains interested in bringing back 2020 starter Austin Reiter despite a report last week that he was expected to land elsewhere.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!