Chiefs Release Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz

The Chiefs have released left tackle Eric Fisher and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, per a club announcement. Together, the moves will save the Chiefs upwards of $18MM. 

Both players finished the year on injured reserve and missed the team’s most recent Super Bowl. Schwartz was lost to back injury in October that ended his streak of 134 consecutive regular-season starts. He underwent back surgery just a couple of weeks ago, but should be back on the field no later than Week 1 of the 2021 season. He has never made a Pro Bowl and has just one First Team All-Pro nod to his credit, but Pro Bowl nods often elude elite right tackles. Schwartz has been one of the best right tackles in the league since he entered the NFL as a second-round pick of the Browns in 2012.

Fisher tore his Achilles in the AFC Championship Game, leaving them extra thin in the front five. Even before Schwartz’s injury, they lost interior standout Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and rookie tackle Lucas Niang to COVID opt-outs. They also lost left guard Kelechi Osemele in October — none of that has stopped the Chiefs’ world-class offense from reaching the championship game. Fisher started 113 games for the Chiefs across eight years for the Chiefs.

Even while the Chiefs were $20MM over the salary cap, GM Brett Veach was still looking for ways to keep the offensive line together.

From the offset here, the draft looks to be really talented on the offensive line,” Veach said earlier this year. “So I think it’ll be a combination of what we have in-house and blending that in with some new talent. Potentially in free agency and potentially in the draft.

Ultimately, the numbers crunch was too much, forcing the Chiefs to move on from their top outside protectors.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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29 comments on “Chiefs Release Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz

    • Technically correct

      For 2022? I know they said Fisher was targeting mid-August return after Jan 29th surgery, but that seems really aggressive post Achilles.

      link to penntoday.upenn.edu

      “People who rupture their Achilles tendon generally are back walking—whether they have surgery or don’t have surgery—in about three months. But usually the muscle hasn’t recovered enough strength to get back to jogging until around six months, sometimes even longer. Then the explosive maneuvers like jumping and pivoting and landing, those things take the additional time that gets people up to a nine-to-12-month recovery to return to high-level sports.”

  1. cobbalicious

    I want Schwartz to come back plz! Fisher can leave but please resign Schwartz!

  2. bobsnoot

    honestly id say colts as well because they have alot of cap but i could see him go to new york and play for either the jets or giants. he would have a huge market and could make more money with a team where he could be the most valuable offensive lineman on the team

    • arty!

      Jags should trade for Balt’s OT Brown, & release their ‘franchise OT’. Get a proven tackle for the new QB.

  3. htbnm57

    Eagles should be on the phone ASAP to see if the Chiefs would offer a draft pick for Andre Dillard. Jordon Mailata’s development has made him expendable for them.

  4. Didn’t the Chiefs notice what happened when Fisher and Schwartz got hurt and weren’t able to play in the Super Bowl? Seems to me that they’d have made them a priority, but apparently quality tackles are easy to replace cheaply

    • fredziffel78

      Thought the same thing, but it’s also possible that neither of these players could be ready for the start of upcoming season.

    • Ak185

      The injuries are the reasons for the respective releases, but yeah, those two being out was the primary reason KC’s offense sputtered in the Super Bowl. Whomever Veach considers quality in the draft might be able to replace Fisher (who was good of course), but Schwartz was a truly great right tackle and replacing his production and reliability will be more difficult.

    • The doctor will be back next year and the rookie that sit out last year will be back next year as well. They are both tackles! That’s a really good start right there! Plus I guarantee that they draft at least one and might sign a veteran for a low price.

    • gogoblue

      …who happens to be the best QB in NFL right now. And NFL is QB driven league. Mahomes’s salary is well justified. KC will just have to rely more on draft and hit home runs with bargain bin free agents.

      • CoachWe

        I think you are correct about Mahomes, but there are only 3-4 QB’s in that category, not 10-15. I think the argument is giving $30+ mill to good, not great QB’s who are not in the same league as Mahomes. That being said, we will see what Mahomes does with a compromised OL in 2021, and fewer weapons starting in 2022.

    • CoachWe

      Bingo. Teams will be crying this year. The hidden market is for mid range QB’s surrounded by a great supporting cast. Every team has the same Cap, and there is nothing wrong with putting the money in other areas like OL, DL, TE & DB etc. the Mitch Trubiski’s and Fitzpatricks will become more valuable.

      • earmbrister

        Fitzpatrick is an excellent back-up QB, but will not be QB1 for most teams. Mitch Trubisky is about to lose his job in Chicago. Apparently the Bears don’t see the value …

    • cka2nd

      Who’s cap hit this year is only the 11th highest for a QB this year, and not even the highest on the club. KC has three defenders who are at #1, #2 or #3 in 2021 cap hits for their positions: Mathieu, Clark and Jones, all Pro Bowlers and the first a 3x All-Pro, although PFF has been down on Clark the last couple years, and graded Mathieu as below average this year.

      • Ak185

        Maybe not this year, but it will be high eventually. And then you won’t be able to afford any tackles, much less a Tyrann Mathieu or Chris Jones. Clark is replaceable, but those other two are singular players. The cap doesn’t change depending on where you put your money. Big contracts will always end up hurting you or being evened out through re-negotiation.

  5. CoachWe

    And it begins. Gotta make room for that massive QB contract. Within 2 seasons Mahomes will be pissed (like Wilson in Seattle). Teams signed these huge contracts, and some players deserve big contracts (like Mahomes), but it simply means that other important pieces will be missing. Gathering a volume of draft picks will be more important than ever. Gotta have a tone of rookie contracts to offset the big ones.

    • cka2nd

      Frank Clark has a higher cap hit than Mahomes this year, behind only Khalil Mack among edge rushers. Tyrann Mathieu has by far the highest cap hit of a safety this year at close to $20 million. Chris Jones? Third highest cap hit among interior D linemen this year.

      Mahomes has the 11th highest cap hit for a QB this year. His contract is not the problem for handling the 2021 salary cap.

      • Ak185

        Maybe not this year, but it will be high eventually. And then you won’t be able to afford any tackles, much less a Tyrann Mathieu or Chris Jones. Clark is replaceable, but those other two are singular players. The cap doesn’t change depending on where you put your money. Big contracts will always end up hurting you or being evened out through re-negotiation.

  6. MileHighFan

    Back surgery is often not that successful – even on people who don’t push around 300lb people for a living.

  7. cka2nd

    Not gonna happen, but I’d love to see a Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers reunion in Kansas City for less than what Fisher and Schwartz would have made. They both improved their pass rushing last year, with Remmers coming in as tenth best in the league in pass block win rate, per ESPN.

  8. thebare54

    I was for Orlando Brown trade but Fisher was my pick when coming out of College . Go Bears. Leno right Tackle keep the 5 OL we ended with looked good.

  9. Yep it is

    A lot of people have the injury Fisher does injure the other. Schwartz with his back problems could be back cheaper. Lots of O linemen out there currently.

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