KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former New England Patriots left guard Joe Thuney is signing with the Kansas City Chiefs. Thuney’s agent, Mike McCartney, said Monday the deal is for five years in a post on Twitter.
Thuney's deal reportedly is worth $80 million overall, or $16 million per season, according to NFL Network report Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
As much as $48 million is guaranteed, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero.
New #Chiefs guard Joe Thuney’s five-year, $80 million contract includes $32.5M fully guaranteed at signing over the first two years, plus an injury guarantee that converts to full in 2022, per source. That brings the practical guarantee at signing to a whipping $48 million. 💰💰— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2021
The deal can’t become official until after 3 p.m. on Wednesday when the NFL’s free-agent signing period officially begins, but franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes seemed to approve of the news.
Fisher's ruptured Achilles in the AFC Championship Game exposed the Chiefs' lack of depth up front and left Mahomes hung out to dry behind a patchwork offensive line in the Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so shoring up his protection was a critical offseason goal for General Manager Brett Veach.
Thuney is a versatile offensive lineman. While he primarily played left guard during his time with New England, he started two games at center in 2020.
Center is a position of need for the Chiefs, who are not expected to bring back Austin Reiter or Daniel Kilgore from last season’s roster.
Kelechi Osemele’s knee injuries early last season also left a vacancy at left guard.
While the move doesn’t address the Chiefs’ glaring need at left and right tackle after releasing Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz last week, it does substantially upgrade the interior of the offensive line.
Thuney has never missed a game in five seasons since New England drafted him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s also appeared in 10 playoff games for the Patriots during that time.
Thuney is a two-time Super Bowl champion, who has started nearly every offensive snap since entering the league. He was a second-team All-Pro and didn’t commit a single penalty on 1,140 offensive snaps in 2019, according to The Associated Press and Pro Football Focus.
According to “4th & 1” podcast host Nick Jacobs, Thuney “is the most polished of the free agents available, has good hands, good technique and a solid pull.”
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