Chiefs To Sign Joe Thuney

One of the most high profile free agents is off the board, and the Chiefs have made a big splash. Kansas City is signing guard Joe Thuney to a five-year deal, his agent Mike McCartney announced on Twitter.

Details soon trickled in, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweeting that the five-year pact is worth a whopping $80MM. The first two years are fully guaranteed at $32.5MM, and while the third year is initially only guaranteed for injury it becomes fully guaranteed in year two, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. As such, he writes that $48MM of the deal is “practically guaranteed.”

Patrick Mahomes was running for his life during this past Super Bowl, and the Chiefs immediately set out to aggressively remake the offensive line. They cut both of their starting tackles, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, and are expected to let starting center Austin Reiter walk in free agency.

At $16MM annually, Thuney is now the highest-paid guard in the league. Thuney was highly sought after, and we heard the Jets were preparing a push for the former Patriot. A third-round pick back in 2016, Thuney immediately became a starter in New England and has started all 80 possible games since entering the league.

That kind of durability must’ve been attractive to a Chiefs team that saw their O-line decimated by injuries last year. Thuney was a second-team All-Pro in 2019, and is one of the league’s best interior linemen. He has versatility, and started a couple of games at center for the Patriots in 2020.

Despite landing one of the big fishes on the market, Kansas City likely isn’t going to stop here with addressing Mahomes’ blockers. They’re also set to host the recently un-retired Kyle Long this week.

The Pats franchise tagged Thuney last offseason, but never got a long-term deal done. Minimal progress had been made right up until the point New England traded for Trent Brown, although Albert Breer of SI.com writes that “lines of communication” had recently reopened and that the Patriots had expressed interest in keeping Thuney.

Obviously nothing got done, and despite New England’s free-wheeling spending so far, Thuney got priced out of their range. It’s a big upgrade for the Chiefs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “Chiefs To Sign Joe Thuney

  1. bigeasye

    How on earth do the chiefs continue to afford top of the market players

    • I think their plan is to pay Frank Clark one more year and then release him…That will save them $13.4M in cap space in 2022. That will help them pay for salaries. I’ll assume Joe Thuney’s 2021 cap hit will be a fairly small amount.

    • joeshmoe11

      Hmm play with Patrick Mahomes or go to the Jets where who knows who will be under center and how long until they’re contending? I wanted him to come back to SW Ohio and sign with the Bengals but unless you offer SIGNIFICANTLY more $ you can’t beat a perennial SB contender

    • Why would Thuney even consider the loser Jets when he can join an historic team protecting a quarterback who is probably already the most talented QB to play the game (long term achievement is unclear but no one including Joe Montana or Aaron Rodgers has made the throws which Mahomes routinely makes). I’m sure that as soon as the Chiefs offer was within 20% of the Jets bid, Thuney didn’t even think about it (his agent probably dragged it out to protect Thuney’s interests).

      Thuney will be famous as the only offensive lineman to block in a Super Bowl win for Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.

  2. paly2124

    Laughable to sign a guard to a 16 million per year contract. KC has doomed themselves to mediocrity after this move. Seriously I cannot stop laughing. Not even bill o brien would sign a guard to that contract.

    • Mac Badger

      Yup. Destined for mediocrity. 8-8 for the foreseeable future. That’s how it works.

    • Pokeli

      Depends on the guard. A high-end LG or LT can make a mediocre QB look great

    • C-dubs

      What’s laughable is not understanding how this works. The contract is front loaded. Guaranteed $42mil in first two years. But what do we care? It’s not our money. He already in his 30s so we will get 2 good years out of him and cut him. That’s 2 years of Mahomes protection with a star studded team still. Pretty sure 8-8 is not in our future as long as #15 is healthy and Thuney will play a big part in keeping him healthy.

  3. smallball

    The chiefs are screwed after next year!! Hill and kelce gone, Ford and Matthieu gone. That might get them close to the cap line. Probably after reworking Mahomes again they will get there. 2012 Ravens all over again!

    • C-dubs

      Ford doesn’t play for us anymore. Kelce and Hill are signed BEYOND next year. Honey Badger is to I think, if not he likes it here so he might stay or he might be out of juice and we waive bye. Clark will be cut after next year which saves $13mil. So how are we screwed again? And EVEN if everything you said was true (which it’s not) that would free up a lot of money!

      Put down the pipe so you can think clearly.

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