KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs have seen tremendous upheaval to their offensive line in their three seasons under general manager John Dorsey. Nine linemen who started at least one game for the Chiefs the previous season departed as free agents over the past three seasons.
The result has been annual and significant change to their offensive line, something the Chiefs don’t want.
But the Chiefs could be headed into a period of relative stability for their offensive line. Of the top seven linemen on what would be a current depth chart, six are under contract at least through the 2017 season. The seventh is left tackle Eric Fisher, whose contract expires at the end of the coming season.
The Chiefs can exercise a fifth-year option on Fisher’s contract, locking him up through 2017. Dorsey recently talked about the possibility of extending Fisher’s contract beyond 2017. In either case, Dorsey sounded like the Chiefs plan to retain Fisher for the foreseeable future.
If the Chiefs merely exercise their option on Fisher’s contract for 2017, here’s the breakdown on how long they would be able to retain each of the top seven linemen on their existing deals:
Through 2020 – Tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
Injuries willing, it’s possible the Chiefs could go through the next two seasons with the same starting offensive line with already on their roster. It’s important to note that all of these players were acquired by the Chiefs since Dorsey arrived in 2013. The last of Scott Pioli’s linemen left through free agency this year when Donald Stephenson signed with the Denver Broncos and Jeff Allen joined the Houston Texans.
“I still think if you can get a group of guys that love the game of football, that are really good guys and come to work every day, day in, day out, you’re going to have something good," Dorsey said. “There [are] a lot of things that go on on the offensive line, but at the end of the day, it’s got to be a fist. It has to be five working parts bound together as one and that’s what we’re trying to achieve here.”
The Chiefs wouldn’t allow themselves to achieve that in any of the previous three years. The exit parade of offensive linemen started in 2014 with Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz. It continued last year with Rodney Hudson, Jeff Linkenbach and Mike McGlynn, and this year with Stephenson and Allen.
The Chiefs also recently released Ben Grubbs.
But it looks like stability could be ahead for the Chiefs and their offensive line.