KANSAS CITY – The Kansas City Chiefs need help protecting Patrick Mahomes. They officially signed veteran offensive linemen Kyle Long and Joe Thune on Thursday. The deals had previously been reported by multiple media outlets, but weren’t solidified until after the NFL Free Agency officially began on Wednesday afternoon.
Thune joins the Chiefs after starting every game of his 5 seasons NFL career with the New England Patriots. He is one of the least-punished offensive linemen in the NFL during this period (2016-2020). Thune has only approved 7.5 sacks in its five-year career. He said Wednesday that the atmosphere he saw at Arrowhead and the potential of the chief’s offense led him to sign with Kansas City.
“Just watch from the side, such an explosive offense. Never out of the game, never out of a fight, always got a chance, can score from anywhere on the field, it seems, “said Thune.” It’s just a very strong, dangerous offense. “
It was a third round of the Patriots in 2016 and started on guard for the first four years before tackling it in 2020. Thune said Thursday it was still uncertain where he would play in the Chiefs’ offensive line
“I just want to help the team wherever I can, in every role. I just want to contribute to victory, and that’s really my main thing. Wherever that is, that’s fine with me.”
Kyle Long is coming out of partial retirement to join the Chiefs. Long resigned from the game with Chicago after two injury-related seasons in 2018 and 2019, and later said on social media that he was “fired”. Long only played 12 games together in 2018 and 2019, and only 29 games in total in his last four seasons. He was a Pro Bowl selection for his first three years with the Bears from 2013 to 2015, after Chicago moved him to 20th overall in 2013.
Long says he feels good and is ready to return to football after injuries to the labrum, shoulder, foot, ankle, and triceps.
“It was an opportunity for me to regain physical, mental, and emotional serenity and get my feet back under myself,” said Long. “I knew as soon as I was fired in Chicago that I would be back and I had to do everything in my power to get back to where I knew I could come in and play the level of football that I could know I can play it. ” ”
Long said he not only worked with former offensive lineman Olin Kreutz of Bears All-Pro, but he also trained and worked in Scottsdale, Arizona, to increase his body size after falling to 270 pounds.
“I understand what it takes to play in this game and have success and not relative success,” added Long. “I know what it would take and I was ready to get the job done and now I have a second opportunity here.”
The Chiefs began an offensive line rebuild this off-season after releasing veterans Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher last week. Kansas City is also planning to welcome back Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who started 57 games on the Chiefs offensive line from 2015 to 2019 but signed off from the 2020 season to use his medical degree to help COVID-19 patients in his home country, Canada to help.