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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