Chiefs HC Andy Reid Takes Strong Stance on KC’s $80 Million Signing

Getty Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

The Kansas City Chiefs‘ biggest move this offseason has undoubtedly been the signing of offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor to a four-year, $80 million deal.

Taylor, who was a starting right tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars the last four seasons, is expected to undergo a position change in Kansas City — from right tackle to left tackle to become Orlando Brown Jr’s successor.

On April 17, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked about Taylor and his ability to make a key position switch.

Big Red spoke highly of the 2019 second-round pick.

“I liked him. I liked his tape,” Reid said during his press conference. “We saw him firsthand a couple of times too. Even though he’s on the right side, I think he can transfer over to the left side. He’s a really good athlete and I think he’s excited about that.

“That doesn’t mean he can’t play the right side. If you had another left tackle, he could play the right side, so he gives you flexibility,” Reid continued. “He could probably jump in at guard and he’s smart, so he could probably play center if he had to. He’s a pretty talented kid and we look forward to getting him in here. That was a great pick by (general manager) Brett [Veach].”

What to Know About Jawaan Taylor

Jawaan Taylor, 25, entered the NFL as a second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. He spent the last four seasons as a full-time starter for Jacksonville and surrendered a total of 149 pressures (108 QB hurries, 28 sacks, 4 QB hits) during that timeframe according to PFF.

During the 2022 season, Taylor surrendered a total of just 16 pressures (11 QB hurries, 5 sacks) in 17 regular season games played. In Jacksonville’s two playoff games, he surrendered 5 total pressures (4 QB hurries, 1 QB hit) but did not allow a sack.

According to Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star on March 18, Taylor is anticipated to make a switch to left tackle after playing all but 18 snaps at right tackle during his NFL career. Andy Reid confirmed that report on April 17 and did so while expressing optimism.

Instead of re-upping with Orlando Brown Jr., who signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chiefs are taking a risk by signing Taylor and switching him to a position he has rarely played at the NFL level. But if there’s one coaching staff that can help make it a smooth transition for Taylor, it’s Kansas City’s.

State of the Chiefs Offensive Line

Among the most notable departures among Chiefs players this offseason was the Washington Commanders signing former Kansas City starting right tackle Andrew Wylie to a three-year, $24 million deal. Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team was the first on the news on March 13.

With Wylie gone and Jawaan Taylor expected to slide into the starting left tackle spot, here is what the Chiefs starting offensive line looks like, going from left to right: Jawaan Taylor, Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Lucas Niang.

Niang, 24, is a former third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2020 who lost his starting job to Wylie after tearing his left patellar tendon in January 2022. Niang had started nine games during the 2021 season prior to being injured.

As it stands, Niang is “penciled in” as the starting right tackle for the Chiefs based on what general manager Brett Veach said about him at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine and the fact that the team has not signed another starting-caliber right tackle (other than Taylor) during free agency.

The Chiefs could, however, upgrade the starting right tackle spot through the draft, which begins on April 27.

“He lost a lot of weight (during his return last season), and I think we know he can do it,” Veach said of Niang at the Combine, according to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor. “We feel confident in him. If that’s the case, we’d go into the offseason (program) with Lucas penciled in there, and he’d have to show us that he’s back to his old form.”

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