Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, starting offensive tackles for the Kansas City Chiefs, have both been released by the team as of Thursday morning, Adam Schefter reports. The Chiefs have needed to find available cap space ahead of the start of the new league year on March 17th. Their release has freed up around $18 million, which does help their cause.
Fisher was the team’s No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and was an integral part of the Chiefs’ path to Super Bowl 55 prior to suffering a ruptured Achilles against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship. Considering the injury, Fisher is unlikely to contribute much in 2021, at least early on in the season.
Schwartz was selected by the Browns in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft prior to joining the Chiefs in the 2016 season. He played just six games in the 2020 season prior to suffering a back injury which landed him on injured reserve in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills.
The Chiefs still sit $3 million over the cap ahead of the new league year. The team does have the option to sign these players back to new (and more cost-effective) deals, though given their injuries in 2020, their future remains uncertain.
The fantasy football fallout
The most notable impact for the Chiefs without two star offensive lineman is bound to be its effect on Patrick Mahomes. We saw a brief glimpse of that in Super Bowl 55, where their OL absolutely struggled in the absence of Eric Fisher who suffered an Achilles injury in the AFC Championship game.
Mahomes spent the entire game under duress as the team slid Mike Remmers over from right tackle (where he had filled in for Mitchell Schwartz in 2020) over to left tackle. He struggled to protect the blind side, allowing one sack and six total pressures throughout the game.
Though Mahomes is often able to make something out of nothing on the field, it didn’t work in Super Bowl 55. On plays where Mahomes held the ball for more than 2.5 seconds, he averaged a completion rate of 36.7% and NFL passer rating of 23.5, throwing just 11 completions, 0 TDs and 2 INTs. It’s a stark contrast to his performance in the 17 games leading up to the Super Bowl when holding the ball for more than 2.5 seconds, where he averaged a 55.9% completion rate, threw for 21 TDs, just 5 INTs and had an NFL passer rating of 98.4.
Mahomes totaled just 12.1 fantasy points on DraftKings in Super Bowl 55 — the lowest he’s had yet in his career. He was managing an injury, too, but it’s safe to say that the offensive line has a significant impact on the way he is able to extend plays. The Chiefs will need to piece something together if we’re to see Mahomes perform as the elite quarterback we know he is — both for the Chiefs and our fantasy football teams.