The KC Chiefs signed former Bears guard Kyle Long to a one-year deal worth $5 million. Long retired after the 2019 season but decided to return to football.
After missing out on Trent Williams (and for that amount of money, they’re probably better off without him), the Kansas City Chiefs signed another offensive guard to their roster. This time, it’s Kyle Long, who came out of retirement this offseason.
Prior to retiring, Long spent his entire career with the Chicago Bears, who drafted him with the No. 20 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Long is 32 years old and won’t turn 33 until the end of the 2021 season. He has seven years of experience playing on an NFL offensive line, but what can Chiefs fans realistically expect from Long?
Truthfully, Long might not end up being anything more than a backup for this team. Kansas City has its left guard in Joe Thuney (who they paid a pretty penny for), Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is probably starting at right guard (more on this in a bit), and Lucas Niang projects as the starting right tackle.
That being said, Long has played right tackle before, so maybe the Chiefs’ worst-case scenario is having Long play right tackle and trying Niang out at left tackle. Hopefully this isn’t the plan though, as the Chiefs need experience at left tackle. Former Chiefs o-lineman Geoff Schwartz said he thought both right guard and right tackle were in play for Long in KC.
Kyle Long has played right guard and right tackle in his career and the KC Chiefs have question marks at both of those positions.
Bringing Long — a well-established right guard — to KC makes me wonder if the team maybe has doubts about LDT. He and Long are in similar situations, as neither played in 2020 (for different reasons) and have both battled injuries throughout their career. Maybe the Chiefs plan to make a competition out of this and see who earns the starting right guard job.
Some might not have liked this move because of Long’s situation (retiring and not playing for a year plus his age and injury history), but he’s depth in an area that the Chiefs absolutely need depth at. He hasn’t played in a full regular-season since 2015 — a year in which he played right tackle — and was named to the Pro Bowl that year.
Long, when healthy, is an incredible player, but I definitely understand the skeptics. Still, it’s hard to be upset at the Chiefs for bringing in-depth at a position of need.