Andrew Wylie

Chiefs To Re-Sign OL Andrew Wylie

Although the Chiefs reconfigured their offensive line after Super Bowl LV, they still depended on Andrew Wylie frequently as a substitute last season. They will bring back the veteran for 2022.

The Chiefs reached a one-year, $2.5MM agreement to re-sign Wylie, Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus tweets. Wylie sought a Kansas City return, per the KC Star’s Herbie Teope (on Twitter), and this will be the versatile blocker’s fifth season with the team.

A UDFA addition in 2018, Wylie worked as a near-full-time starter at guard from 2018-20. The Chiefs used Wylie at guard in Super Bowl LIV but needed him to play right tackle in Super Bowl LV. The Buccaneers’ pass rush made most Chiefs O-linemen’s nights miserable in that game, but the Chiefs kept Wylie on a one-year, $920K deal in 2021. Wylie, 27, started games at both guard spots and right tackle last season.

While Wylie has been unable to turn his extensive first-string work into a lucrative contract, he has been a regular despite coming into the league undrafted out of a mid-major program (Eastern Michigan). The Chiefs have locked-in starters at four of their five spots (Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith) but still have questions at right tackle. Wylie’s experience here figures to make him a swing option, at worst, for 2022.

Chiefs’ OL Lucas Niang Out For Rest Of Season

According to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Andy Reid informed reporters, after the Chiefs’ loss to the Bengals today, that tackle Lucas Niang suffered a torn patellar tendon. Worries were high for the second-year lineman when he needed to be carted off early in the first quarter. Unfortunately, this type of injury not only prevents Niang from returning this year, but, even after extensive rehabilitation, it could hamper Niang for years to come.

Niang was a third-round pick for the Chiefs two years ago, but was one of several players who opted out of the 2020-21 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns. In what is effectively his rookie season, Niang has been a key player on the line, starting 8 games this season while dealing with some injuries and spending some time on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Kansas City was already short their other starting tackle, Orlando Brown, as he was scratched early this morning with a calf injury. The Chiefs pushed guard Joe Thuney to left tackle and relied on Andrew Wylie at right tackle. Wylie has been filling in for Niang this year and Kansas City will likely continue to depend on him into the playoffs. The loss of Brown is much more concerning for the immediate future and they will hope to get him back in time for a January run.

As for Niang, a speedy and efficient recovery is the best hope. Tears of the patellar tendon have a penchant for ruining careers. While players have been known to rehab and return, few have looked like their former selves after. Players like former Giants’ receiver Victor Cruz and former Buccaneers’ running back Cadillac Williams have returned to play only to look like shadows of their former selves. Longtime former Patriots’ linebacker Jerod Mayo retired shortly after his diagnosis.

Bears’ tight end Jimmy Graham is a rare example of a player who returned to play and continued being his dominant self. After Graham was traded to the Seahawks, he never quite reached the thousand-yards-receiving-coupled-with-double-digit-touchdown seasons of his days with the Saints, but, after tearing his right patellar tendon in his first season in Seattle, Graham returned to Pro Bowl play each of the next two years and set a Seahawks’ franchise record for single season touchdowns by a tight end with 10 in 2017.

We obviously hope for a best case scenario outcome like this as Niang deals with one of football’s biggest nemeses. Torn patellar tendons have ruined too many careers before they began. Our hopes go out to Lucas as he prepares to tackle a daunting injury and we wish him a long and healthy career.

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:

Chiefs’ Andrew Wylie Signs RFA Tender

Much has changed on the Chiefs’ offensive line since Andrew Wylie suited up for Super Bowl LV. Despite the team’s near-complete overhaul up front, Wylie will be back in the fold.

The three-year veteran signed his restricted free agent tender Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Barring an extension, Wylie will earn $2.133MM this season. The Chiefs gave Wylie an original-round tender in March.

Since extending that tender offer, the AFC champions have been busy up front. While Wylie has been a primary guard starter in each of his three Chiefs seasons, the team gave Joe Thuney a guard-record contract and brought former Pro Bowler Kyle Long out of retirement. Longtime right guard starter Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is also expected to play in 2021. A doctor, Duvernay-Tardif was the first NFLer to opt out of last season; he focused on his other career amid the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chiefs also drafted Tennessee prospect Trey Smith in Round 6. Smith was widely viewed as a player whose talent warranted a higher-round selection, but medical red flags pushed him down the draft board.

While each of these non-Thuney cogs bring some uncertainty, the Chiefs have beefed up this position considerably this offseason. Wylie, 26, has started 35 games as a pro. Pro Football Focus graded the Eastern Michigan product as a top-30 guard in 2018 and ’19 but slotted him near the bottom at the position last season.

The Chiefs plugged Wylie in at right tackle for Super Bowl LV, following Eric Fisher‘s Achilles tear. That did not go well. But Wylie will have an opportunity to re-establish his value in 2021, ahead of a potential unrestricted free agency bid next year.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/16/21

Tomorrow is the deadline for NFL teams to extend tender offers to their own restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:

RFAs

Tendered: 

Non-Tendered:

West Notes: Cards, Hawks, Raiders, Lindsay

The Cardinals‘ defensive resurgence will be tested this week. Budda Baker is dealing with a torn thumb UCL, and Kliff Kingsbury expects the high-priced safety to undergo surgery soon, Howard Balzer of SI.com notes. Baker is expected to miss at least Sunday’s game against the Panthers, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, but given that this injury sidelined Drew Brees five weeks and will shelve Jalen Reagor longer, a multiweek absence would not be surprising. Baker confirmed surgery is in the cards (Twitter link). The fourth-year safety, however, played all but one of the Cards’ defensive snaps against the Lions — despite having sustained this injury previously.

An interesting name has surfaced as a possible replacement. The Cardinals brought in T.J. Ward for a workout, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Ward interestingly played three seasons with the Broncos, serving as one of the anchors for Denver’s No Fly Zone Super Bowl-winning secondary, but did not make their 53-man roster in Vance Joseph‘s first year as the team’s head coach. The then-Joseph-led Broncos cut the veteran safety in 2017, leading Ward to the Buccaneers. Joseph is now the Cardinals’ DC. Ward, 33, has not played since the 2017 season.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Pete Carroll said during a radio interview Chris Carson has a Grade 1 knee sprain, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter) the Seahawks‘ starting running back is in line to miss one or two games. A questionable tackle from Cowboys defensive lineman Trysten Hill, which included a post-play twist of Carson’s leg, led to the injury. Carson has dealt with injuries during his time as Seattle’s starter — including a broken leg in 2017 and a season-ending hip malady last year — but has only missed three games over the past two seasons. The Seahawks have Rashaad Penny on their PUP list, leaving free agent addition Carlos Hyde as the next man up.
  • Seahawks first-round rookie Jordyn Brooks suffered a knee injury as well, but he did not suffer ACL damage and should return this season. Brooks is recovering from an MCL sprain, per Rapoport (on Twitter). The first-year linebacker will likely miss a game or two.
  • Raiders first-round cornerback Damon Arnette is visiting a thumb specialist Tuesday, and Rapoport notes he could miss up to six weeks (Twitter link). This was an aggravation of a previous injury, with Arnette having broken his thumb prior to the regular season’s outset. Arnette fell awkwardly on the injured thumb during Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
  • Second-year Raiders safety Johnathan Abram played through an AC joint sprain Sunday, but questions about the injury persist. Abram collided with a TV cart during the Raiders’ Week 2 win over the Saints, and the NFL has engaged in discussions with ESPN about where the network’s carts can be during games, per Pelissero and Rapoport. The cart was closer to the field because of the COVID-19 pandemic restricting cheerleaders, photographers and other personnel from the sideline. Abram missed almost all of last season following an injury during the Raiders’ Week 1 game on a Monday night.
  • The Broncos are now down five of their six Pro Bowlers, after Jurrell Casey‘s season-ending biceps tear. But that number of injured standouts could be reduced to four soon. Phillip Lindsay returned to practice last week and may be on track to face the Jets on Thursday, Mike Klis of 9News notes. Lindsay has been battling turf toe since suffering the injury during Denver’s opener.
  • The stomach pains that caused Chiefs guard Andrew Wylie to be transported to the hospital prior to Monday night’s Chiefs-Ravens game are believed to have stemmed from appendicitis and not a COVID-related concern, Pelissero tweets.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/16/20

Monday’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions will be posted below. Deals will be updated throughout the day.

RFAs

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Non-tendered:

  • Chiefs: TE David Wells

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/9/18

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

  • DL Collin Bevins

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

  • DB Shaquille Richardson

Philadelphia Eagles

  • C Jon Toth

Washington Redskins

Chargers Place TE Hunter Henry On IR

The Chargers announced that they have placed tight end Hunter Henry on injured reserve due to a small laceration on his kidney. In related moves, the Bolts promoted guard Brett Boyko to the active roster and signed tackle Andrew Wylie to the practice squad. Hunter Henry (vertical)

Henry suffered the painful injury during Saturday night’s game against the Chiefs. It’s a tough loss for the Chargers as they try and fight their way into the playoffs. The Chargers face long odds of winning the AFC West, but they have a slightly better chance of securing the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. In order to have any chance at the postseason, the Chargers will have to beat the Jekyll-and-Hyde Jets this weekend.

Henry’s year ends with 45 catches for 611 yards and four touchdowns. As of this writing, he is tied for second with Melvin Gordon in team receiving TDs, and third in catches and yards. The advanced metrics were also a huge fan of his work. Henry placed third amongst all tight ends in performance this year, according to Pro Football Focus.