Mitchell Schwartz

Chiefs Place Mitchell Schwartz On IR

Mitchell Schwartz has seen his iron-man run stop this season, having missed time due to injury. The Chiefs will now be without their ace right tackle for a while.

Kansas City placed Schwartz on IR Saturday. This move will sideline the All-Pro blocker for at least three more games. Schwartz is dealing with a back injury — one that has shelved him since Week 6.

Prior to the October injury, Schwartz had not missed a game in eight seasons. He had started four years with the Browns and another four with the Chiefs. Kansas City gave Schwartz an extension in the process, relying on his stability as Eric Fisher underwent surgery last season. Both Fisher and Schwartz landed on Kansas City’s reserve/COVID-19 list recently, but Fisher will be back in action against Las Vegas. Schwartz will not.

The Chiefs also removed Mecole Hardman from their reserve/COVID list. They had placed the second-year wideout on the virus list last week. Hardman should play a key role against the Raiders, with Sammy Watkins set to miss the AFC West rivals’ Week 11 rematch.

Kansas City is also activating Alex Okafor and defensive back L’Jarius Sneed from IR. Okafor worked as a starter last season, but a midseason injury knocked him out for the team’s Super Bowl push. A hamstring injury sidelined Okafor this season. A fourth-round rookie, Sneed played well early this year but suffered a broken collarbone in September. Okafor will help out a Chiefs pass rush that will be without Taco Charlton for a while. The Chiefs placed the offseason acquisition on IR Saturday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/19/20

Here are the most recent NFL minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Placed on IR: CB C.J. Henderson

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: FB C.J. Ham

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/16/20

We’ll put all of today’s minor moves here:

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans 

Fortunately it looks like all these COVID-19 list placements were due to contacts and not positive tests, meaning the Chiefs will likely have both of their starting tackles available on Sunday assuming they don’t test positive between now and then.

Chiefs Place DE Alex Okafor On IR

While they cannot match their Sunday opponent for impactful injuries, the Chiefs will enter Week 7 missing some key players.

Alex Okafor will miss Sunday’s tilt in Denver and at least two more contests. The Chiefs placed the veteran defensive end on IR Saturday. Okafor has encountered a hamstring issue.

Okafor, All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and wideout Sammy Watkins are out Sunday for the Chiefs. Okafor will land on IR for the second straight season. The Chiefs placed the 2019 free agent acquisition on IR after 10 games last season, with a torn pec preventing the veteran pass rusher from playing during the team’s Super Bowl push.

Okafor’s latest injury is not as severe, but it will test Kansas City’s depth a bit. The Chiefs are also without 2020 free agent get Taco Charlton this week. The defending Super Bowl champs have used contract-year defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon ahead of Okafor on their depth chart this season. After Okafor started nine games in 2019, he has worked as a rotational rusher this year. Okafor has a half-sack in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Notes: Hill, Fisher, Williams, McCoy

Tyreek Hill‘s three-year, $54MM Chiefs extension comes with a host of conditions that protect the team, and more Chiefs-friendly stipulations in the controversial wide receiver’s deal have come to light. The All-Pro talent received $22MM-plus in full guarantees, but this contract would allow the Chiefs to void those if any additional trouble comes Hill’s way, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Were Hill to be suspended or placed on the commissioner’s exempt list at any point, his guarantees will void. Hill’s fully guaranteed figure ranks behind 11 wideouts’, including Sammy Watkins‘ $30MM.

The Chiefs have made this a year-to-year proposition, with Hill’s deal calling for league-minimum base salaries from 2019-21. The bulk of this deal’s money stands to come via bonuses. Hill has a $15.2MM roster bonus for the 2020 season, but JLC notes that money is not due until February 2021 — near the end of the 2020 league year. This would allow the team to avoid that bonus payment, should Hill encounter more off-field issues. The same structure is in place in 2021, with a $9.75MM roster bonus due in February 2022. The Chiefs hold an option for Hill’s 2022 season.

Hill pleaded guilty to striking his pregnant girlfriend, Crystal Espinal, while at Oklahoma State and fell to the fifth round as a result. The Chiefs were set to negotiate what would almost certainly have been a more player-friendly deal in March of this year, but Hill’s ensuing trouble (for which he was not suspended) sidetracked those plans and led to this complex contract.

Here is the latest out of Kansas City:

  • Eric Fisher will miss his first start in six years on Sunday. The Chiefs left tackle underwent core muscle surgery this week in Philadelphia, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com tweets. Fisher, who suffered a groin injury in practice last week but started against the Raiders, will miss Sunday’s game against the Ravens and likely more time as he recovers. He has not been placed on IR. Cam Erving will start at left tackle against the Ravens, though Andy Reid has said standout right tackle Mitchell Schwartz could move to the left edge if need be. The 2013 No. 1 overall pick, Fisher has not missed a start since his rookie season.
  • Damien Williams has now missed two practices with a knee injury, pointing to either a Week 3 absence or a game-time decision. Making matters more complicated for the three-time defending AFC West champions, LeSean McCoy is also battling an injury. Shady is dealing with ankle trouble and did not practice Wednesday. He looks to have a better chance of playing Sunday, however. The Chiefs have Darrel Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson on their roster as well.
  • The Chiefs are one of a few teams that have made “substantive inquiries” on Jalen Ramsey.

Chiefs Sign Mitchell Schwartz To Extension

The Chiefs and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz agreed to terms on a one-year extension, according to an announcement from his agent. With the add-on, Schwartz will be under contract with Kansas City through the 2021 season. 

Schwartz, 30, joined the Chiefs on a five-year, $33MM deal prior to the 2016 season. Since then, he’s lived up to his contract by continuing the strong play he exhibited over the first four years of his career with the Browns.

Schwartz has yet to miss a game in his NFL career and, last year, he earned his first ever First-Team All-Pro nod. It was a banner year for Schwartz, and the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus supported that. Schwartz finished out with an overall grade of 83.6, good for fourth among all offensive tackles, stationing him behind only David Bakhtiari, Terron Armstead, and Andrew Whitworth.

Exact terms of the additional year are not yet known. In each of the next two seasons, Schwartz will carry a reasonable $8MM cap figure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Sign Mitchell Schwartz

THURSDAY, 4:05pm: The Chiefs announced that they have officially signed Schwartz.

WEDNESDAY, 8:18pm: Schwartz’s five-year pact is worth up to $33MM, including $15MM guaranteed, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). It also features a $7MM signing bonus and salaries of $750K, $4.9MM, $5.7MM, and then $6MM for the final two years. His base salaries for 2016 and 2017 are fully guaranteed, while his 2018 salary will be guaranteed if he’s injured. If Schwartz is healthy in 2018 and still on the roster by the third day of the league year, his salary will be guaranteed (Twitter link via Wilson).

4:18pm: The Chiefs have agreed in principle to a deal with offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, tweets Rand Getlin of NFL.com. It will be a five-year deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Mitchell Schwartz

It had been quite a day regarding rumors surrounding Schwartz, as dueling reports indicated that Schwartz was at various stages of negotiation to remain with the Browns. When Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that Cleveland had pulled its offer to Schwartz, it was fair to wonder if the club was merely posturing, trying to force Schwartz into accepting their latest offer.

Whatever the case, Schwartz will not be returning to the Browns, and he’ll instead head to Kansas City, which has already lost two of its own offensive lineman to free agency in the past 24 hours. Donald Stephenson, who played both left and right tackle for the Chiefs, has agreed to join the division-rival Broncos, while Jeff Allen — primarily a guard, but he can play tackle as well — will latch on with the Texans.

Schwartz, though, is clearly a superior talent to both of those players — PFR ranked Schwartz as the No. 19 overall free agent, and the No. 2 offensive tackle, behind only Russell Okung. An extremely durable player, Schwartz hasn’t missed a single start since entering the league in 2012. He’d been productive in past seasons, but 2015 was truly his coming out party, as he ranked as the sixth-best tackle in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.

As noted, the Chiefs have lost a few players to free agency, but they’ve also kept one, agreeing to a new deal with defender Tamba Hali. They’re also in the mix to retain corner Sean Smith, and are negotiating to re-sign Derrick Johnson. The Browns, meanwhile, have now lost both Schwartz and Alex Mack from their offensive line, as well as receiver Travis Benjamin.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Pull Offer To Mitchell Schwartz

The Browns are on the verge of losing center Alex Mack to the Falcons, and now their negotiations with another one of their free agent offensive lineman could be hitting a wall. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link), Cleveland has pulled its offer to right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.Mitchell Schwartz

Less than an hour ago, conflicting reports popped up regarding Schwartz’s status, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported that Schwartz had a decent chance to return to the Browns at a salary around $7.5MM, while Mike Silver of NFL.com disagreed, saying the Schwartz would not return to Cleveland. Suffice it so stay, the situation appears fluid, and it’s probably premature to assume that Schwartz’s tenure is definitely complete.

As Florio notes in his tweet, the Browns could be merely posturing by rescinding their offer to Schwartz. It’s possible that the club believes it’s negotiating against itself, or at least offering more money than other interested clubs. By pulling the offer, Cleveland could be hoping to back Schwartz into accepting whatever price was most recently on the table.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Schwartz, Boykin, Falcons

Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz has a decent chance of returning to the Browns, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer tweets. Schwartz’s deal could fall in the neighborhood of $7.5MM, she adds. Meanwhile, Michael Silver of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears that Schwartz likely won’t return to the Browns.

While we wait to see how Schwartz’s free agency plays out, check out this roundup of the latest free agent rumors:

  • There’s not much momentum between the Steelers and Brandon Boykin, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Falcons, however, are among the teams with interest in the cornerback.
  • Defensive end Chris Clemons is on his way to visit the Seahawks, Albert Breer of NFL.com tweets. If things go well, he could sign and make his return to Seattle.
  • Defensive end William Hayes is in play for the Dolphins, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets. Hayes, along with new acquisition Mario Williams, would boost the defensive line if Olivier Vernon leaves in free agency as expected.
  • Chiefs free agent wide receiver Jason Avant says that he isn’t done yet and wants to continue his career, as Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star writes. Avant caught 15 passes for 119 yards during the regular season. In the Chiefs’ 27-20 AFC divisional-round loss to the Patriots, Avant caught four passes for 69 yards.
  • Left tackle Donald Penn has talked with the Seahawks, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets.
  • The Cowboys and Seahawks are among the teams interested in defensive lineman Cedric Thornton, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • Mike Harris is now considering a one-year deal with the Vikings, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. Harris could battle with Brandon Fusco at right guard, Tomasson adds.

Free Agent Rumors: Osweiler, Texans, Ivory

The Broncos and Texans are shaping up as the two primary potential landing spots for free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Broncos have reportedly offered Osweiler a three-year contract worth ~$39MM, but the Texans are also expected to make a competitive offer. Could they offer up more than Denver? While we await the answer, here’s more of the latest free agent news:

  • Chris Ivory is on the Texans‘ radar as the new league year approaches, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. Ivory, who will celebrate his 28th birthday in a few weeks, set career highs last season in carries (247), rushing yards (1,070), and total touchdowns (eight). If the Jets do not retain Ivory, he will stand as one of the more appealing free agent running back options of the offseason.
  • The Vikings are not pursuing Browns free agent tackle Mitchell Schwartz, per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). It was reported on Monday that the Vikings were pursuing Schwartz along with the Buccaneers, Giants, and Falcons. Since the Browns took Schwartz in the second round of the 2012 draft, he has appeared in and started 64 straight games. For his work last season, the 26-year-old ranked sixth out of 77 qualifying tackles by Pro Football Focus’ standards (subscription required).
  • Marcus Sherels wants to return to the Vikings and the interest is mutual, though it has to be at the right price for Minnesota, Tomasson tweets. However, there’s no agreement yet and a few teams are eyeing the cornerback.
  • The Saints are working to bring back running back Tim Hightower, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Hightower started three games for the Saints last year after being years removed from the NFL.
  • Linebacker Junior Galette took to Twitter earlier today and shot down a follower’s suggestion that he should sign a deal for the veteran’s minimum with big incentives. Galette also restated his interest in playing for Washington.