Based off of the comments from Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, both Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz could be back in 2021. However, there will still be a high priority of fixing the offensive line. The interior part will quite frankly be the area that needs to be addressed the most. And Veach will need to make moves in order to protect Patrick Mahomes moving forward. That brings us to today’s question for This Or That. Would you rather Kansas City sign Jon Feliciano in free agency? Or, would you rather they attempt to go after David Andrews in free agency?
Both players have long been dominant stalwarts across their NFL careers. Meanwhile, they are each going to be playing in 2021 at the same age (29 entering the season), and they are coming off of relatively low salaries from this past season. This duo certainly deserves a pay raise. But, their price tags may not be that crippling to the salary cap, even for a team like the Chiefs. They could certainly find ways to fit these guys into the puzzle, especially if the cap number goes back to an increasing figure year after year. Let’s look into each player’s play style, potential contract or market value and their overall fit with Kansas City.
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Starting off with Feliciano, he has experience at both guard spots. That added versatility could serve him well on the open market, making him a potential fit for a cap strapped team like the Chiefs. He provides a sense of nastiness to the blocking unit. Simply, that is something that Kansas City has not consistently had up front. At the end of the day, Feliciano is more competitive and tougher than his opposition. And he does not shy away from it. By bringing that to the table, Feliciano would help instill a fearless presence up front. The Chiefs need guys like this when they go up against quick and confident defensive fronts, like Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
On the other hand, Andrews can still be a scrappy blocker on the inside. Though, his best attributes include football IQ, awareness and leadership. Not every center can lead the group of five by himself. Nonetheless, Andrews has shown that he can direct and lead protections for other blockers, while simultaneously holding down the fort at center. He understands how to control or reset the line of scrimmage. To boot, Austin Reiter could be departing the Chiefs in free agency. The quarterback-center relationship may not always receive the proper attention. Pairing the great minds of both Andrews and Mahomes could only help Kansas City’s offensive line and offense as a whole, however.
Potential Contracts/Market Value
We mentioned how each of Feliciano and Andrews are coming off of low salaries in 2020. They were also extremely similar figures, as Andrews made $3 million and Feliciano made $2.65 million. According to Spotrac, each of these blockers could hold similar market values for their next contracts as well.
Spotrac projects Andrews’ average annual value per season at $7.1 million. Feliciano is projected for a bit more change, at $8.3 million per season. Again, those are not astronomical salaries. The Chiefs have to be smart and costly with every roster move they make, though. It is important to keep in mind, that these two players are roughly the same age, with Feliciano being seven months older. That part may not matter, regarding the potential contract differences between these two. Yet, the positions they employ could matter to a degree.
Elsewhere, these two have about the same experience across their NFL careers. Playing in right around 75 career games is no small feat for any player. Let alone a former fourth round pick in Feliciano, or an undrafted free agent at one point in Andrews. The former Patriot center has a lot more starts in his career than the former Bills and Raiders guard. But, each offensive lineman has missed time with injury. Andrews missed the entire 2019 season in particular, due to a pulmonary embolism. He thankfully returned this past season. Additionally, Feliciano has dealt with calf, shoulder and pectoral muscle injuries, forcing him to miss time on occasion. One wonders how those injury histories will impact their contracts as well.
Both Feliciano and Andrews are highly reliable veteran players. Moreover, they would each likely be able to handle multiple responsibilities for the Chiefs. If Veach is indeed set on Kansas City retaining both Fisher and Schwartz, one of these players could become a simple plug and play option. Largely, if Laurent Duvernay-Tardif slides back into the fold no problem from his opt out last season, the Chiefs suddenly have less holes to fill. Therefore, being able to sign a Feliciano or an Andrews would singlehandedly uplift Kansas City’s blocking unit immediately.
You cannot completely bank on Schwartz, Fisher or Duvernay-Tardif regaining form right away. But at the same time, the Chiefs have done well to get players performing at a high level right after an injury. If all goes as planned for the mainstays, and they can make a significant addition, suddenly the offensive line looks just as capable of getting the job done, compared to many other teams across the NFL.
Projecting potential contracts can be more difficult for offensive linemen, compared to other positions. Especially with the lowered salary cap and spending questions for many teams, who knows what interest there will be. With the help of Spotrac’s projected market values, we will throw out three year deals for each player. Would you rather the Chiefs sign Jon Feliciano for three years and $25.5 million? Or, would you rather the team go with David Andrews at three years and $21.5 million? You can go to the poll to cast your vote here: Sign Jon Feliciano or David Andrews?
These contracts are obviously very similar. But, the slightest change in total money could be more beneficial to the Chiefs at this point and time. Personally, I would vouch for signing Andrews of the two. Kansas City has made the Super Bowl the last two seasons. But of course, they want to remain in that spot. Andrews has plenty of big game and Super Bowl experience, having played with New England. Overall, the instinctiveness gives him the edge over Feliciano for me also. That would be advantageous to have on the Chiefs offensive line, as well as pairing that center with Mahomes as your QB. Two smart football players, who know how to win.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs This Or That hypothetical articles throughout this 2021 offseason. We will post them on Tuesday and Thursday. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.