Chiefs to bring Kyle Long out of retirement to help offensive line
The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to a $5 million contract for next season with three-time Pro Bowler Kyle Long, who will come out of retirement to help their rebuilt offensive line, the team confirmed Thursday morning.
The Chiefs also agreed to one-year deals to keep running back Darrel Williams, linebacker Ben Niemann and defensive end Taco Charlton, sources told The AP. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been announced. The Chiefs did announce Long's signing in a press release Thursday.
The Chiefs tendered wide receiver Byron Pringle and offensive lineman Andrew Wylie as well.
Long, whose deal was first reported by ESPN.com, went to three consecutive Pro Bowls with the Bears before injuries derailed his promising career. First came an ankle injury in 2016, then neck, shoulder and elbow injuries that hampered him the following season. In 2018, it was a foot injury that sidelined Long midway through the season, and a hip injury during the 2019 season landed him on injured reserve for what appeared to be the final time.
But after spending last season doing studio work for CBS, Long decided to make a comeback this offseason. He had visited with the AFC West-rival Raiders before agreeing to a contract with the Chiefs.
Earlier this week, they agreed to an $80 million, five-year contract with former Patriots offensive lineman Joe Thuney, giving them a pair of former Pro Bowl selections to anchor general manager Brett Veach's reshaped offensive line. The Chiefs confirmed the Thuney signing Thursday morning.
Kansas City was decimated by opt-outs and injuries last season and was ultimately exposed by Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl, making the boys protecting Patrick Mahomes an offseason priority. The rebuild began with releasing injured tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz to create salary cap space, then continued with landing Thuney for a guard spot.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is expected to return after opting out of last season, filling the other guard spot. But that still left the Chiefs in search of a center and two tackles. One of those jobs could belong to Lucas Niang, a third-round pick in last year's draft who opted out of his rookie season because of the pandemic, while it's possible Long could move to tackle. He started all 16 games on the right side for Chicago during the 2015 season.