Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Chiefs Have Talked Trades For OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif could be on the trade block. The Chiefs have received calls on the offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, reports Albert Breer of MMQB. Complicating a trade is the fact that Duvernay-Tardif has a no-trade clause, making it “more likely” that he’ll remain on Kansas City’s roster.

Although he was a full-time starter for the Chiefs from 2015-19, Duvernay-Tardif wasn’t guaranteed his old job back as the Chiefs focused on revamping their offensive line this past offseason. While the lineman started 14 games for Kansas City in 2019, he sat out the 2020 campaign as he helped fight COVID-19. The 30-year-old also suffered a broken bone in his hand earlier this month, and his recovery was going to cut it close for the start of the season.

After watching Patrick Mahomes run for his life in the Super Bowl against the Bucs’ ferocious pass-rush, the Chiefs made it a priority to overhaul their O-line. They traded for tackle Orlando Brown Jr., drafted center Creed Humphrey in the second-round, and signed veteran guards Austin Blythe and Kyle Long. Duvernay-Tardif was battling with sixth-round pick Trey Smith for the starting right guard gig, a job that the rookie likely secured following the veteran’s hand injury.

Still, considering Duvernay-Tardif’s starting experience, it’s not a surprise that teams would have interest in him. The former sixth-round pick has started 57 of his 60 games since entering the NFL in 2014.

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Chiefs’ Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Out 4-6 Weeks

The Chiefs are the latest team to suffer a significant injury in training camp. Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif broke a bone in his hand during practice and is out 4-6 weeks, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

The good news, as Rapsheet notes, is that the injury won’t require surgery, “which means the opener is a very real possibility.” This injury also might’ve been a bigger deal had Kansas City not dramatically upgraded their offensive line this offseason. After watching Patrick Mahomes run for his life in the Super Bowl against the Bucs’ ferocious pass-rush, the team made it a priority to overhaul his O-line.

They traded for tackle Orlando Brown Jr., drafted center Creed Humphrey in the second-round, and signed veteran guards Austin Blythe and Kyle Long. LDT, of course, is perhaps most notable for being a doctor when he’s not battling it out in the NFL trenches, and he opted out of the 2020 season to help fight COVID-19.

Although he was a full-time starter for the Chiefs from 2015-19, Duvernay-Tardif wasn’t guaranteed his old job back even if he was fully healthy. We heard last month that he was battling it out with sixth-round rookie Trey Smith for a starting spot. This injury would seem to give Smith a pretty big leg up in that competition, so it’s highly possible Duvernay-Tardif starts the season as depth.

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AFC Rumors: Chiefs, Sutton, Harry, Jaguars

Following Super Bowl LV’s blocking debacle, the Chiefs moved aggressively to bolster their offensive line. In addition to trading for Orlando Brown Jr. to play left tackle, Kansas City signed Joe Thuney to play left guard, added Kyle Long out of retirement and drafted Trey Smith in the sixth round. Longtime Chiefs right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is also back after his opt-out season, and the team placed an original-round RFA tender on Andrew Wylie and re-signed veteran Mike Remmers.

Though Wylie finished the season as an overmatched right tackle against Shaquil Barrett, he has started 35 games for the Chiefs over the past three years. But the Chiefs’ new guard glut now has the former UDFA on the roster bubble, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. Wylie’s best hope is a backup gig, with Teicher adding that it is Smith who is battling Duvernay-Tardif for the Chiefs’ starting right guard job. A blood clot issue hampered Smith at Tennessee, but he bounced back to earn first-team All-SEC acclaim at guard in 2019 and ’20. Smith’s past medical issue damaged his draft stock, but the Chiefs appear to be considering starting two rookies — Smith and second-round center Creed Humphrey — this season.

Here is the latest from around the AFC:

The Only NFL Players With No-Trade Clauses

It’s fairly common for disgruntled NFL players to give their teams a short list of acceptable trade destinations. However, it’s still quite rare for players to hold contractual veto power over a trade. Currently, there are only nine NFL players with a no-trade clause in their deals, as ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets

▪️ Drew Brees, QB (Saints)
▪️ Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OL (Chiefs)
▪️ Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers)
▪️ Jimmy Graham, TE (Bears)
▪️ DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals)
▪️ Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs)
▪️ Deshaun Watson, QB (Texans)
▪️ J.J. Watt, DL (Cardinals)
▪️ Russell Wilson, QB (Seahawks)

The Chiefs, who represent 25% of the list, furnished LDT with a NTC as a part of his contract restructure. Historically, there haven’t been many offensive lineman to secure the clause. However, Duvernay-Tardif had a bit of leverage in 2020 when the Chiefs needed extra cap room. He was scheduled to count for nearly $9MM, $6.45MM of which was comprised of base salary. Instead, he converted some of that money into a signing bonus over the remaining three years and came away with a perk typically reserved for quarterbacks.

Watson and Wilson are among the QBs who can block trades. They’re both putting it to use, albeit in different ways. Watson wants out — even after finally meeting with new head coach David Culley – and he’s steering himself towards a small group of teams, including the Dolphins and Panthers. Wilson, meanwhile, says that he doesn’t want to get traded and doesn’t expect to get traded. But, if the Seahawks do shop him, he wouldn’t mind joining up with the Bears, Cowboys, Saints or Raiders. In beating out several other teams for Watt, the Cardinals included the clause in the star defender’s contract.

Chiefs’ LDT, Damien Williams Likely To Return

The Chiefs found their way back to the Super Bowl, despite losing guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and running back Damien Williams to COVID-19 opt-outs. However, both players are expected to return for the 2021 season, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Chiefs, Eric Bieniemy Expected To Agree To Extension]

Duvernay-Tardif, a medical school graduate, was the first NFL player to exercise his right to opt out. Since then, he’s been volunteering at a long-term care facility in Quebec. Duvernay-Tardif was set to play on his five-year, $42.36MM deal. Instead, his contract has tolled, meaning that his deal will resume in 2021 and extend through the 2022 season. The Chiefs surely wish they could have him back today, given that they’re down multiple starters on the front five.

Williams, 29 in April, was inconsistent in the 2019 regular season, but he came up big in the playoffs. Williams scored six touchdowns in the postseason and could have won the Super Bowl LIV MVP award if not for Patrick Mahomes‘ performance. In that game, “Playoff Damien” managed133 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns en route to his first ring.

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2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Talks between the league and the union have pushed it to August 6.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. Scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Brad Seaton

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

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Chiefs’ Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Opts Out Of 2020 NFL Season

Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announced (via Twitter) that he will opt out of the upcoming season. Per the terms of the league’s agreement with the NFLPA, his decision is irrevocable. 

[RELATED: Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence Considering Opt Out]

Duvernay-Tardif, a medical school graduate, is the first player to exercise his right to opt out. He’s been volunteering at a long-term care facility in Quebec, Canada during the pandemic – after witnessing the impact of COVID-19 first-hand, LDT decided to play it safe and not play.

This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life, but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “That is why I have decided to take the opt-out option negotiated by the league and the NFLPA and officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season. Being at the front line during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system. I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus to our communities simply to play the sport I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.

I want to thank everyone in the Kansas City Chiefs organization for their support and understanding.”

Duvernay-Tardif was set to play on the five-year, $42.36MM extension he inked with the Chiefs following the 2016 season. Instead, his contract will toll, meaning that his deal will resume in 2021 and now extend through the 2022 season. This year, the Chiefs will undoubtedly miss having him up front. He’s been the club’s starter at right guard for the past five seasons, save for an injury-marred 2018.

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Chiefs Restructure G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s Deal

The Chiefs have restructured the contract of guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, per Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). There are not yet any details on the restructure, but it will create some much-needed cap room for cap-strapped KC.

LDT was scheduled to count for nearly $9MM against the Chiefs’ cap in 2020, $6.45MM of which was comprised of base salary. It’s possible that Kansas City converted some of that money into a signing bonus in order to spread out the hit over the remaining three years of Duvernay-Tardif’s deal.

The Quebec native was selected by Kansas City in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. By 2015, he had become the team’s full-time starter at right guard, and he inked a five-year, $42.36MM extension after the 2016 season. Though he missed a significant chunk of the 2018 campaign due to injury, he started all 14 regular season contests in which he appeared in 2019, and he also enjoyed perfect attendance in the team’s postseason run through Super Bowl LIV.

Though Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics didn’t love his 2019 performance, ranking him as just the 47th-best guard out of 81 qualified players, LDT is a key component of the Chiefs’ high-octane offense.

Chiefs Activate LDT, Cut Parker

The Chiefs activated guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in advance of Sunday’s AFC Championship tilt against the Patriots (Twitter link via Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star). To make room for him on the roster, the Chiefs cut safety Ron Parker

Duvernay-Tardif was forced to go on injured reserve in early October with a fractured fibula. In late December, however, he was designated for return.

Andrew Wylie has been Kansas City’s primary starter in Duvernay-Tardif’s absence. Things have gone well enough with Wylie in the front five, but the Chiefs’ best offensive line configuration has LDT, a recent medical school graduate, in the mix.

Parker, 31, has been with the Chiefs since 2013, although his KC run was briefly interruped in the offseason when he was released from a five-year, $30MM deal and later brought back at a lesser rate.

In the 2018 regular season, Parker wound up starting 14 of his 15 games and amassed 77 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack.

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Chiefs G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif To Return To Practice

The Chiefs’ offense may soon receive some additional help. Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will practice on Wednesday, Andy Reid said (via the Kansas City Star’s Brooke Pryor, on Twitter).

Duvernay-Tardif has been on IR since early October with a fractured fibula. He can be activated in advance of Sunday’s game, if the Chiefs choose. He has missed the required eight weeks of action. If LDT can return this season and take his place back at right guard, it would reform Kansas City’s starting offensive line.

Since Duvernay-Tardif was last on the field, the Chiefs cut Kareem Hunt and have been without Sammy Watkins and Spencer Ware. Attached to a high-end guard contract, Duvernay-Tardif would be a welcome addition for a Chiefs team that has lost its past two games and likely needs to beat the Raiders on Sunday to secure home-field advantage for the first time since 1997.

Teams can activate players from IR in the playoffs, so the Chiefs would not have to bring Duvernay-Tardif onto their active roster in time for Sunday’s game. He has three weeks to be activated.

Andrew Wylie has been Kansas City’s primary starter in Duvernay-Tardif’s absence. The 2014 sixth-round pick and recent medical school graduate has started since his rookie season. He signed a five-year, $41.26MM extension early in 2017.

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