Another in our series on potential Kansas City Chiefs free agents, this time with a look at a starting offensive lineman.
Five NFL seasons, one with the Chiefs. Will be 28 when next season begins.
Chiefs career: The Chiefs signed Schwartz to a one-year contract last season because of his ability to play either guard or right tackle. He opened the season as a reserve, but when a shoulder injury forced right guard Jon Asamoah out of the lineup for a late-November game against San Diego, Schwartz took his spot. He played so well the Chiefs left him in the lineup even after Asamoah’s return. The Chiefs started scoring more points starting with the San Diego game, and while it’s a stretch to connect that to Schwartz’s presence in the starting lineup, he certainly didn’t hurt.
Argument for keeping Schwartz: He was arguably the Chiefs' best offensive lineman over the season’s final six games. Asamoah is also a potential free agent and the Chiefs don’t have the depth to survive the loss of both players.
Argument for letting Schwartz go: Schwartz wants to be a starter and wants to be paid like one. Can’t blame him for that but the Chiefs don’t have unlimited funds. It might make more sense to re-sign Asamoah, who is two years younger than Schwartz. The Chiefs could then pair Asamoah with Jeff Allen as their starting guards.
What should happen: The Chiefs shouldn’t be in the business of setting their top offensive linemen free. They will probably lose left tackle Branden Albert to free agency, and if they lose Schwartz as well, they’ll watch arguably their two best offensive linemen from last season walk out the door. That’s no way to build a powerful offense or a championship team. The Chiefs need to find a way to re-sign Schwartz.