With free agency about to heat up, who are some of the o-lineman the Chiefs should look towards signing in free agency?
Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This week is a bit different in format, but usually, this is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the aisle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we breakdown this week’s hot topic.
Free agency is just around the corner, and teams are more than ever ready to chase the best available on the market to bring their teams to the promised land: the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have to reload, and for the start of this reload, they need an offensive line. Mahomes can’t run for his life every single game; a strong pass-blocking line is needed for this offense to be more effective.
With that said, who is the offensive lineman the Chiefs should look toward signing in free agency? Usually, I’d state a player and then bounce off the positives and negatives, but this time, we’ll glance at some of the top free-agent offensive linemen briefly and break down their positives and negatives, along with some honorable mentions from the rest of the bunch. Let’s begin:
For reference, the list isn’t in any order of importance. I’ll be going through some of the top o-line free agents and see if the Chiefs should splurge some cash once the releases and restructures are finished. I will also have some honorable mentions the Chiefs should glance at this offseason.
Positives: Linsley was the best performer on the Packers’ offensive line last season that helped lead them to the NFC Championship. Along with the whole group only allowing 20 sacks all season, Linsley’s performance gave him 1st team All-Pro honors; he’s was also the highest-graded center according to PFF and had a pass-block grade in the low 80s, which is the third-best for a center. He even allowed zero pressures in ten of 15 games with the Packers this season.
His ability to bully the interior defensive lineman is unmatched, and while he is a great pass blocker, he can also pave the way for Helaire and the rest of the runningback group if he were to take a trip to Kansas City. He has shown time and time again that he possesses the elite skill to be able to erase tacklers from the play, along with creating holes for running backs. This also attributes to his pass blocking as well.
He also played 71% of offensive snaps in 13 regular season games along with all offensive snaps in the postseason. He is a dependable center to have.
Negatives: With him being the best center and one of the best offensive lineman in this free-agent class, he’s going to want to secure the bag, or get paid. The Chiefs don’t have the cap space to be dealing with that at this moment, and after they release who they want to and restructure who they want to, who knows how much he’ll really want. Also, the Chiefs still have Austin Reiter, who is a reliable center, so the chances of the Chiefs signing him are in the very low-end.
Positives: If you want any veteran offensive lineman to lead your line, this is the vet you want to sign; he has amassed eight straight Pro Bowls spanning from 2012 as a 10-year vet in the league. This season, he played 87% of offensive snaps in 14 games (957), which is a reputable number for any offensive lineman; moreover, he was the highest graded tackle by PFF this year. While his pass block rating was the lowest among the top three, he still gained the highest run block rating this season at 91.8.
If he is signed, this could fill in a hole that could be pioneered this offseason with the rumblings of dropping Fisher to save cap space and the likely retirement of Mitchell Schwartz. It’d be great to see Williams in a Chiefs uniform.
Negatives: Again, the cap is an issue as he’s coming off a $13.6 million contract year; plus, it seems as though it’s highly likely the 49ers are looking to resign him this year. Also, he is 32 years old, and while his skill hasn’t diminished, the Chiefs can’t take the risk of signing a high-value contract when they can sign and/or draft someone younger at the tackle spot.
Positives: One trait that immediately stands out is his reliability to stay healthy which is something the Chiefs are looking for this offseason. In his three years starting for the Panthers, he’s never missed a game, and last season he played every single offesnive snap at 1,033. He also only had one penalty on the year, which was a false start call that was declined.
Of course, what we need to look at is how good he can block, and let’s just say, he can do his job. He had an 81.2 grade by PFF, and while he did allow three sacks this season (T-28th in the league), he still has loads of room to improve his game. He also has spectacular athletic ability at the tackle position coupled with elite footwork and his heightened awareness.
Negatives: While Moton will be cheaper than the other two linemen previously mentioned, he will still need a decent payday to sign with the Chiefs; however, with the right moves, Moton could come aboard this offseason. Also, why he still has room to improve, he still has to heavily work on his pass blocking; he has the ability to bring it to an elite level, however,
- Daryl Williams, T, Buffalo Bills
- Lane Taylor, G, Green Bay Packers
- Cameron Fleming, T, New York Giants
- Matt Feiler, T, Pittsburg Steelers
Do you think the Chiefs will sign any of these free-agent offensive linemen this year? If so, who do you think will be signed? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.