On the weekly mailbag edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory, we were asked how many offensive linemen from this year’s Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl roster will be on the roster in 2021.
It’s an interesting question in light of what we witnessed on Sunday — a drubbing up front at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The majority of that line normally doesn’t see time on offense unless it’s the third quarter of a preseason game. Even some staples of the Chiefs’ original starting group could be upgraded.
Center Austin Reiter — a starter for the vast majority of the year — is a free agent, and it remains to be seen how great his market is and if the Chiefs will be involved. If the number comes in low enough, you may see him return. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach may value some continuity with the question marks along the line. I would guess he does not return.
Guard Andrew Wylie is a restricted free agent this season, and the Chiefs have the ability to retain him by tendering him a contract. The type of tender they place on him will tell us what they think about him. If they place an original-round tender — they’re essentially letting a team match or exceed their offer without any return, as he’s an undrafted free agent. If they place a second-round tender — they’re likely more intent on keeping him, as there would be compensation attached to him. I believe he’ll be back as a depth piece but will be replaced in the starting lineup.
Nick Allegretti spent most of the year at left guard and will likely be back in Week 1 as an interior depth piece. The competition to maintain his spot should be more intense than you would guess, as there are several depth spots that could be competitive if Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang all return. He and Yasir Durant could be competing for opportunities to stick on the roster if the Chiefs value him at guard.
Center Daniel Kilgore and guard Stefen Wisniewski are likely not back due to the return of healthy depth. The two in-season signings could be looking for an opportunity elsewhere.
Do-it-all veteran Mike Remmers would be a valuable piece to return given his experience and inside/outside versatility. I hope the Chiefs bring him back — especially now having been in Andy Reid’s offense for a season.
Martinas Rankin is a former top-100 selection who has shown promise in the past but has struggled to stay healthy. He was put behind the 8-ball with a pectoral injury that kept him from participating in camp. His first contact came midseason in practice — a tough task for someone to acclimate quickly enough to be relied upon. This is an important offseason for him — and he’ll need to play well so that he may earn a spot on next year’s roster. The talent is undeniable there — he just needs to stay healthy and have a full offseason.
The Chiefs have only three of these players under contract — with Wylie (a restricted free agent) as the fourth. I could see four or five ending up on the Week 1 roster in 2021 — with perhaps not one of them starting.
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