Few Kansas City Chiefs players had the roller coaster campaign that right tackle Andrew Wylie had in 2023.
The veteran blocker began the season with a rough stretch of games, to the point where fans were calling for him to be replaced by Lucas Niang once healthy. By the time the Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl, however, Wylie had corrected his form — rewarding head coach Andy Reid for his midseason faith. Then finally, against the Philadelphia Eagles, he flat-out dominated.
“Let me just say this: ANDREW. MF’ING. WYLIE,” ex-KC right tackle Mitchell Schwartz praised on Twitter at the time. “You guys threw shade at him all year and I said he was way better than you all thought. He just threw a freaking shutout against this vaunted DL after hearing about [Haason] Reddick for two straight weeks. HUGE congrats to @RealAndrewWylie!!!!”
On March 4, USA Today reporter and lead-writer for Chiefs Wire Charles Goldman agreed, naming Wylie as the main free agent Kansas City should re-sign.
Chiefs Writer Urges KC to Reward Homegrown Starter Andrew Wylie in NFL Free Agency
Goldman explained himself after choosing Wylie over bigger free agent names like wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back Jerick McKinnon.
“RB Jerick McKinnon and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster might be the obvious answers, but the Chiefs should want to re-sign RT Andrew Wylie,” Goldman began. “Wylie is the definition of a homegrown player. He came to Kansas City in January of 2017 after bouncing around on a few different practice squads as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Michigan. He’s done everything the Chiefs have asked of him along the way, playing left and right guard before eventually finding a home at right tackle.”
“After he was a weak link on the offensive line in Super Bowl LV, Wylie came back and dominated the competition in Super Bowl LVII, shutting out Haason Reddick,” Goldman continued, concluding: “That’s the type of guy you want to reward with a long-term contract extension and it would certainly be good for team morale moving forward.”
General manager Brett Veach has chosen to part ways with veteran starters in the past when they’ve looked for a raise in free agency or via extension. Will Wylie be the next performer that finds his payday elsewhere?
If he does choose to walk, the Chiefs will need to replace him with questionable offensive tackle depth to begin with. They could look to do so in the draft, or perhaps they’ll scour free agency for a more affordable replacement — or an equally priced one with a stronger track record.
Ahead of the 2023 playoffs, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell called Wylie “underappreciated,” predicting that he expects the right tackle to cash in with another franchise. Perhaps, the long-time ESPN writer was right.
Free agency technically begins on March 15, although the legal tampering period starts on March 13. If Wylie truly is a hot commodity — or the Chiefs decide they want to make him a priority — we should find out pretty quickly whether or not he’s re-signing in Kansas City after Super Bowl ring No. 2.
Super Bowl Performance Could Raise Andrew Wylie’s Price
With versatile offensive linemen few and far between around the league, Wylie was always going to make a decent chunk of change once he solidified himself as a starter. After shutting down Reddick in the Super Bowl, however, his price may have ballooned.
Arrowhead Pride film analyst Caleb James broke down a few of his top plays during the championship game. Here’s a rep where Wylie “mirrors” Reddick perfectly, defending an inside spin move.
Here is another moment where Wylie knocks Reddick off balance as he tries to accelerate around him off the edge.
Finally, The Athletic’s Seth Keysor shared a play where Wylie totally buries Reddick and punishes him on the turf. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II then scrambles through the hole after slipping initially.