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Chiefs trade Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to Jets for tight end

Kansas City has traded its longtime guard to the New York Jets for tight end Dan Brown.

NFL: JAN 29 Super Bowl LIV - Chiefs Press Conference Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to an announcement posted on their official Twitter account on Tuesday, the Kansas City Chiefs have traded offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to the New York Jets for tight end Dan Brown.

Duvernay-Tardif, 30, originally joined the Chiefs after being drafted out of Montreal’s McGill University in the sixth round (200th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. Over his five-year Chiefs career, he appeared in 60 regular-season games (starting 57 of them) and was the starting right guard for the Chiefs when they won Super Bowl LIV following the 2019 season.

The NFL’s only medical doctor, Duvernay-Tardif earned his degree while playing for the Chiefs. In 2020, he became the NFL’s first player to opt-out of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, choosing to spend the year caring for COVID patients in a Canadian clinic.

As the league year began, there was some question about whether he would return to Kansas City for the final year of his contract in 2021. While he missed the voluntary parts of the team’s offseason program, Duvernay-Tardif reported on time for the final required sessions and training camp. But in early August, he broke a bone in his hand, putting him on the sidelines for 4-6 weeks. By the time he returned from the injury, rookie Trey Smith — another sixth-round draft pick — had won the starting job at right guard.

Duvernay-Tardif was inactive for the first seven weeks of the season. He was active for Kansas City’s Monday night win over the New York Giants but saw no action in the game.

Per Spotrac, getting the offensive lineman off their books opened $1.5 million of cap space for the Chiefs, who will retain $3.2 million in dead cap in 2021 — and another $2 million in 2022 — from Duvernay-Tardif’s previously-paid bonuses. Meanwhile, Brown’s existing contract brings a pro-rated value of $550,000 to Kansas City’s cap calculations, giving the Chiefs a gain of $977,000 in cap space.

With this trade — and the trade for Melvin Ingram — we estimate that the Chiefs currently have $2.5 million in cap space.

NFL: OCT 24 Jets at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Brown, 29, played his college ball at James Madison, joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. He bounced back and forth from their practice squad to their active roster until October 2016, when the Chicago Bears claimed him from the waiver wire.

Over the next two seasons, he appeared in 28 Bears games — starting two of them — before he joined the Jets in 2019. In New York, he appeared in every game up until the trade. Over his seven-year career, he’s appeared in 81 games — starting 12 of them — collecting 44 receptions for 420 yards and two touchdowns. More recently, he’s been a key special-teams player who was on the field for 74% of the Jets’ 2021 snaps in that phase.