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:
- An in-season extension for Courtland Sutton could be on the Broncos‘ radar. The former second-round pick is going into a contract year but coming off an ACL tear. Sutton’s performance level in September and October may determine how the Broncos address his future, with the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran writing that a start in which Sutton moves past his injury issue could move the team to extend him. New GM George Paton identified Sutton as a core player the team wants to keep around long-term. The Broncos did in-season extensions for Chris Harris, Derek Wolfe, Darian Stewart and Garett Bolles (in 2020) during John Elway‘s regime, but it remains to be seen how Paton’s negotiating timetable will look.
- Former first-round pick Taven Bryan has dropped onto the Jaguars‘ roster bubble, according to ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco, who adds that the ex-Florida Gators defensive tackle’s struggles with the mental aspects of the NFL game have made him a cut candidate. The Jags benched Bryan for UDFA Doug Costin last year and signed Malcom Brown this offseason. Bryan will be used at defensive end at times in Jacksonville’s new 3-4 defense, DiRocco adds. The Jags did not pick up his fifth-year option in May.
- N’Keal Harry surfaced in trade rumors this offseason, and the Patriots may be ready to cut the cord. The 2019 first-round pick is behind additions Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne on New England’s depth chart, with ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss adding that Jakobi Meyers is playing ahead of Harry as well. Harry may be battling return man Gunner Olszewski and ex-UDFA Isaiah Zuber for a backup role. It would cost the Pats $4.8MM in dead money if they waived Harry, however. That may well give the inconsistent Arizona State product another chance — if the Pats do not end up trading him.