The new salary cap for NFL teams has been announced at roughly $130 million, giving the Kansas City Chiefs some wiggle room to make a couple of moves. One of the first things they need to do is get a deal in place with OL Geoff Schwartz before the free-agent market officially opens on March 11.
Now that the NFL Combine is over, talks between teams and their players who are heading into free agency tend to heat up. That is, if the team is interested in re-signing the player. The Chiefs are definitely interested in bringing back Schwartz, and he should be the first player they lock down.
It is a seller’s market for guards this year which is good news for Schwartz, but not the Chiefs. He is one of the top players available in a down year for availability at the position. If Kansas City’s front office lets him test the market, it could end up costing them. With almost no chance of the Chiefs bringing back left tackle Branden Albert, they need to sign Schwartz.
He’s not only one of the best guards available, he can also bring depth at tackle. Right now, Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson are the best two tackles under contract. While both showed a lot of potential last season, neither of them have proven themselves as a quality everyday starter quite yet. Schwartz’ versatility can give the Chiefs another option at tackle if Stephenson or Fisher either get hurt, or don’t play as well as they did down the stretch of the 2013 season.
Schwartz is definitely not the only addition Kansas City needs to make, but he is the most important. The Chiefs have a few other holes to fill, but not in markets with so few quality options. They need to take advantage of being able to meet with Schwartz before free agency opens and get something in place.