Here’s Why NFL Writer Isn’t High On Chiefs’ Contract For Joe Thuney

Thuney cashed in with the reigning AFC champs

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Joe Thuney, as seemingly everyone expected, left the Patriots in free agency and ultimately landed with arguably the team to beat in the AFC.

Thuney, one of the best interior offensive lineman available this offseason, joined the Kansas City Chiefs on a five-year deal worth up to $80 million. The Chiefs needed to bolster their O-line this spring and they handsomely paid Thuney in the process, giving the five-year pro north of $50 million in guaranteed dough.

Given Thuney’s track record, one might argue you can’t put a price tag on surrounding Patrick Mahomes with above-average protection. But NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal, for one, wasn’t crazy about the contract the Chiefs gave Thuney. In fact, Rosenthal believes it’s one of the worst deals given out this offseason to date.

“This isn’t about Thuney, who is clearly a quality guard. It’s about value and need and, maybe, using free agency as an emotional rebound after a devastating Super Bowl loss,” Rosenthal wrote for NFL.com. “In a year of relatively low prices on the market, Thuney earned more guaranteed money ($50.9 million) than Trent Williams ($45.1 million) or any other free agent available. The history of guards changing places in free agency and proceeding to earn their money is spotty. While this is true at most positions, guards still rely on teammates and coaches so much that even a good one can get lost without the right support.

“Part of my reasoning for listing Thuney here is that the Chiefs have done a laudable job coaching up and finding bargains at the position in the last five years. They paid for tackles, had big misses and some hits at guard and rode that to one of the best offenses in the league. When the tackles were injured this year, it all fell apart. But while the Chiefs’ general approach to pay on the edges made sense, Thuney’s signing this offseason only seemed to prevent the Chiefs from going the extra mile in their pursuit of Williams, who ended up sticking in San Francisco.”

As for Thuney’s now-former team, New England might not suffer from his departure in 2021. The Patriots managed to retain center David Andrews and reunited with both Trent Brown and Ted Karras at low costs. New England, even without Thuney, is poised to feature one of the better O-lines in football next season.

The Patriots had the money to keep Thuney in the fold, but Bill Belichick and Co. now are looking pretty smart for letting 28-year-old land a monster deal elsewhere while using their surplus of cash to address multiple roster needs.

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