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Geoff Schwartz became invaluable up front toward the end of last season.
The Chiefs are apparently aware of just how valuable Geoff Schwartz is to their offensive line. They have reportedly already met with his agent to discuss a new deal, according to Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star.
Schwartz is versatile enough to play multiple positions along the interior, as well as sliding out to right tackle. The performance of the O-line improved considerably when he was on the field in 2013.
But Paylor has a note of caution about the veteran blocker's chances of remaining in Kansas City:
Andy Levitre, Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 free-agent guard in 2012 with a grade of plus-17.3, signed a multi-year deal with Tennessee that paid him a base salary of $2.5 million last season and $6.5 million this year.
The No. 4 guard, Louis Vasquez of Denver (plus-12.7), signed for base salaries of $2 million in 2013 and $3 million in 2014. The No. 5 guard, Donald Thomas (plus-11.2), signed with Indianapolis for base salaries of $2.5 million in 2013 and $3.5 million in 2014.
Those are hardly prohibitive salaries in today’s NFL, but as it stands, the Chiefs will need to free up cap room to be a player in free agency. The league has set the 2014 salary cap at $133 million, which should give the Chiefs roughly $9.62 million in cap space, according to salary cap expert Joel Corry.
However, the Chiefs must also fit upcoming draft picks under the cap — which will take roughly $5.5 million, according to Corry — and it remains to be seen if they’re willing to pay what it might take to retain Schwartz.
The figures Paylor quotes may appear daunting, but Schwartz is too useful to let him walk. Sliding him out to right tackle and shifting 2013 No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher to the left would allow the team to comfortably let fellow free agent Branden Albert walk.