Earlier this week, AP user The Gentry commented with what he claimed was inside information: "I've never had inside information before," The Gentry wrote, "but today I do. It's weird - and it was from out of the blue today - but I have it on good authority that Ryan Lilja is negotiating with the Chiefs to return for the 2013 season."
I don't know The Gentry and I can't vouch for his credibility so I didn't post anything on it. But I do know Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star and he's very credible. He writes today that the Chiefs have indeed approached Lilja about returning and that Lilja was "receptive" to the idea.
Check out Teicher's full article, which includes quotes from Lilja at the end of last year talking about his body wearing down.
Well then. This is very interesting.
Guard Jeff Allen slid into a starting role last year when Lilja moved over to center after Rodney Hudson's injury. He was a second round pick last year. The Chiefs have also signed offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, who has experience at guard. So there are options in place if Lilja does not return. It's unclear, however, what role he might play if he did return -- depth? Starter? I'm iffy on his status as a starter if he returns but he is the type of player I would want around the rest of my offensive lineman if it makes sense from a roster standpoint.
[Editor's note: AP reader 91BeastMode brings up a good point in the comments: Jeff Allen played offensive tackle at Illinois. Hmm...]
Most NFL players don't retire by choice. They retire because they can't play anymore, which is why the possibility of Lilja coming back isn't completely stunning to me. It always seemed a little early for him to retire at just 31 years old.