Chiefs Sign T Donovan Smith

The Chiefs have potentially found their starting left tackle for 2023, signing former Buccaneers tackle Donovan Smith, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Smith will reportedly be agreeing to a one-year contract worth up to $9MM.

The reigning Super Bowl champions watched blindside tackle Orlando Brown walk in free agency after failing to reach a long-term deal, leaving a hole on the left end of the offensive line. While many expected Kansas City’s big offseason free agent addition Jawaan Taylor to fill in the left tackle slot, it makes much more sense to keep him where he played during his time in Jacksonville and allow Smith, who has played his entire career at left tackle, to take over for Brown.

Smith has played in Tampa Bay for his entire eight-year career. The $9MM deal will be the least Smith has averaged annually in a contract since his rookie deal, but it’s still a formidable contract for a tackle about to turn 30 who missed multiple games for the first time in his career last season.

With some changes in the receiving corps and on either end of the offensive line, quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be at the helm of a bit of a different-looking attack then last year. The Chiefs did a good job of replacing Brown and Andrew Wylie with Smith and Taylor and invested some draft capital in second-round wide receiver Rashee Rice to help offset the loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Smith provides Mahomes and company with a veteran presence who’s used to playing in big games. If he can avoid double-digit penalties, something he’s struggled with over his career, he should be a serviceable replacement for the four-time Pro Bowler for whom he’s filling in.

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