The Chiefs are reshuffling their offensive line, and their first addition is a big piece.
Kansas City has agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal with guard Joe Thuney, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team announced the move Thursday.
General manager Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid issued statements on Thuney's signing Thursday.
"We're very excited to add a proven player like Joe to our roster," Veach said. "He has a great deal of experience, including championships. He's been a highly durable, impact player, as both a pass protector and run blocker. He'll bring leadership and a different perspective to the offensive line group. I'd like to thank Joe and his agent, Mike McCartney, for their effort in getting this deal done. We look forward to welcoming Joe into Chiefs Kingdom."
Said Reid, "I'd like to congratulate Brett and his team on getting this deal done with Joe and his representatives. Joe is an impressive player. He's everything you want in an offensive lineman with his toughness and work ethic. He's also very intelligent and you can see that translate on the field. I know he's ready to get to work and we're happy to have him."
The contract includes $32.5 million in fully guaranteed money at signing over the first two years, plus an injury guarantee that converts to full in 2022, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source informed of the deal. The details bring the practical guarantee of the contract to $48 million, well over 50 percent of the total value of the deal, Pelissero added.
Thuney was in position to cash in on a long-term deal like this a year ago, but the Patriots didn't even think about risking such an outcome, franchise tagging Thuney to keep him in town. This time around, New England is saying goodbye to the top guard on the market, who at 28 years old will move west to protect a recent NFL MVP in Patrick Mahomes, and be well compensated to do so. Thuney's new deal will keep him atop the list of annual salaries for left guards at $16 million per season.
Upon learning of the news, Mahomes couldn't contain his excitement:
Thuney has started every game in his career, playing every snap from 2016-2018 and 99 and 97 percent of snaps in 2019 and 2020. He ranked eighth on Gregg Rosenthal's Top 101 Free Agents list and was the No. 10 guard in the entire league last season, per Pro Football Focus.
After spending much of Super Bowl LV running for his life, Mahomes is getting a much-needed and even more appreciated reinforcement for what projects to be the next half decade.