Reports: Chiefs sign Kyle Long after 1-year retirement to bolster protection for Patrick Mahomes

Nick Bromberg
·3-min read

The Kansas City Chiefs added another veteran offensive lineman to help protect Patrick Mahomes.

Two days after reportedly agreeing to a deal with former New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney, the Chiefs have signed former Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long to a one-year deal, according to multiple media reports.

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Long, 32, spent the 2020 season in retirement after an injury-plagued 2019 season. He played in just four games in 2019 and in eight games in 2018. According to ESPN, the deal is worth up to $5 million.

Long, the son of Hall of Famer and Fox broadcaster Howie Long and the brother of former NFL defensive end Chris Long, is a three-time Pro Bowler. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons in the league from 2013-2015 and missed just one game in that span. Since then, Long has played in just 30 games over four seasons. 

While Long is over 30, a year away from football could be what he needed to get healthy and play a full season for the first time in over five years.

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Bears G Kyle Long (75) waits for the game to start during the Chicago Bears vs. Washington Redskins Monday Night Football game September 23, 2019 at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kyle Long played in 12 games over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Are Chiefs done remaking offensive line?

Anyone who watched the Super Bowl realized that the Chiefs' offensive line struggled mightily. And it's clear that the Chiefs realized that the issues up front needed to be addressed. The team agreed to a deal with Thuney — one of the best guards in the NFL — earlier this week. That contract came after the Chiefs released longtime starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Both players were injured and didn't play during the Super Bowl. Schwartz missed much of the 2020 season with a back injury and Fisher tore his right Achilles in the AFC championship game.

While former NFL lineman and current analyst Geoff Schwartz — Mitch's brother — believes Long could kick out to right tackle for the Chiefs, he has spent most of his NFL career at guard. And even if Long plays tackle for the Chiefs, K.C. is still in need of a left tackle.

Super Bowl starter Mike Remmers is currently a free agent. Third-round draft pick Lucas Niang could play tackle but he opted out of his rookie season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hasn't taken an NFL snap.

That hole at tackle is why the Chiefs were reportedly in the bidding to sign Trent Williams before Williams returned to the San Francisco 49ers in a deal that made him the highest-paid lineman ever. Look for the Chiefs to continue to address their needs on the offensive line throughout the rest of free agency and the draft.

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