In the aftermath of Super LV, the Kansa City Chiefs will be tasked with building a roster to get them back to the Super Bowl for a third consecutive year. Brett Veach will have a decision to make on a number of unrestricted free agents this season, many of whom contributed to the success of this franchise over the past two seasons. One of those players is starting center Austin Reiter.
Reiter was claimed off waivers ahead of the start of the 2018 season. At that point, he’d been released by two different teams and had very little starting experience. He’d start out as a reserve in Kansas City, working as an extra blocker on jumbo packages.
Eventually, an opportunity would arise when starting center Mitch Morse suffered a concussion in 2018. Reiter would start four games in place of Morse before he eventually returned to the lineup. Those four starts paved the way for Reiter’s development. It also paved the way for him to eventually become the starter in Kansas City, which he’s held down for the past two seasons.
In 2020, Reiter put together a career year in terms of his pass protection. Through a full 16-game season and three-game postseason, Reiter only allowed 11 total pressures. That includes the Super Bowl LV performance, which was by all accounts a bad one for the offensive line. You still have to go back to Super Bowl LIV to find the last time that Reiter allowed a sack. Some of that is on Patrick Mahomes and his ability to buy time inside and outside of the pocket, but more than enough credit goes to Reiter too.
The Chiefs could move on from Reiter this season and seek to replace him. Right now it seems like their decision here will be determined by what happens with Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz and Kelechi Osemele. If you need new starters at each of those positions, it might be wise to keep Reiter onboard. Potentially having to find four new starters on the offensive line is a daunting task, even for a group of evaluators as talented as the ones in Kansas City.
Reiter also has a good relationship with Patrick Mahomes and some of the other guys on the offensive line, so that’s not exactly something you’d want to disrupt. If Brett Veach can hammer out a two-year contract extension, Reiter could help anchor the offensive line for the Chiefs that’s expected to look quite different in 2021 and beyond.