What Lucas Niang opting out means for KC Chiefs in 2020

Kyle Hicks #21 runs the ball behind the blocking of Lucas Niang #77 of the TCU Horned Frogs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Kyle Hicks #21 runs the ball behind the blocking of Lucas Niang #77 of the TCU Horned Frogs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

KC Chiefs third round pick Lucas Niang won’t be taking the field this year.

The third member of the Kansas City Chiefs to opt out of the 2020 season is rookie offensive lineman Lucas Niang. The decision came early Thursday morning via Tom Pelissero.

Niang was drafted with the hopes of contributing along the offensive line as early as this year. He would have had to battle it out for one of the two guard spots and there was no guarantee that he’d have won one of those two positions, but there were a lot of optimistic Chiefs fans hoping that he would.

The Chiefs still have plenty of depth without Niang, but it’s a shame that the third round pick won’t get to truly play out his rookie season.

Terez Paylor tweeted his predicted Chiefs offensive line and had Eric Fisher, Kelechi Osemele, Austin Reiter, Andrew Wylie, and Mitchell Schwartz as the pegged starters. He wrote that he really liked Wylie at right guard, which is now vacant due to Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opting out two weeks ago (and being the first NFL player to do so).

The good news in all of this is that Niang not playing this year means the Chiefs will have him on his rookie deal a year longer, so instead of him being in the final year of his deal in 2023, it’ll take place in 2024 instead.

There was a lot of excitement surrounding Lucas Niang because he had a stellar career at TCU for the Horned Frogs, not allowing a single sack during his time there. The Chiefs straight up stole him in the third round and were hopeful that he’d be able to compete at the left guard position.

Perhaps going after Osemele was a smarter decision than any of us figured it’d be, as he’ll surely be a starter now. Paylor listed that Nick Allegretti, Martinas Rankin, and Mike Remmers will be the swing options and that’s a solid group, as Rankin looked good in six games last year and Remmers has been a journeyman during his career. We haven’t seen much, if any, out of Allegretti yet.

The Chiefs now have three players who have made the decision to opt out of the 2020 season, with all three coming on the offensive side of the ball. None of them have been detrimental losses yet, but it would have been fun to watch Niang dominate along the line.

That being said, Chiefs Kingdom should respect any player’s decision to opt out and not play in 2020 because these truly are strange times we’re living in.