KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have signed free agent guard Joe Thuney to a five-year deal, multiple reports say, as they work to build up their offensive line after releasing two veterans last week.
The 28-year-old former New England Patriots player’s new deal is reportedly worth $80 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Patriots drafted Thuney in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he started every game for them since then, a strong sign of his durability in the NFL. He won two Super Bowls with the team.
He was a highly sought after free agent this spring with multiple teams interested in signing him. Ultimately, it appears the Chiefs won out.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was quick to react to the news of Thuney’s signing on Twitter, tweeting several smiley faces.
It’s good news for Kansas City and its offensive line, which needs some support after it was piecemealed together this past season. Between injuries and players sitting out during the pandemic, several starting offensive linemen were actually late-round draft picks and backups.
Now, the 2021 salary cap is forcing teams and players to make big decisions.
Last week, the Chiefs released tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz to free up space in the salary cap. Both Fisher and Schwartz were unavailable in the Super Bowl due to injury.
Multiple reports also say the Chiefs’ starting center Austin Reiter is not expected to re-sign with the team, though nothing has been made official yet. That would be another piece of the Chiefs’ offensive line they’d need to rebuild this offseason.
Mahomes has reportedly restructured his contract to free up space in the cap. The Chiefs QB was slated to receive a $21.7 million roster bonus, and the Chiefs are expected to convert that to a signing bonus. The conversion would save Kansas City $17 million in cap space.
In other Chiefs offseason news, two weeks ago, fullback Anthony Sherman also announced his retirement.