Chiefs release starting linemen Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz after Super Bowl implosion

·2-min read

The Kansas City Chiefs' offensive line depth was exposed during the team's 31-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. The Chiefs responded to that loss Thursday by ... cutting two of their best offensive linemen.

Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz were let go Thursday, the team confirmed. Fisher, selected No. 1 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, is coming off his second Pro Bowl appearance. After starting every game the first eight years of his career with the Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, Schwartz missed 10 games in 2020 due to a back injury.

The moves come as a pretty big surprise, especially considering the way the Chiefs were defeated in the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers put immense pressure on Patrick Mahomes, and when they didn't get to him, they forced him out of the pocket and disrupted his timing with his receivers. Mahomes was constantly scrambling to try and avoid opposing pass rushers.

Fisher and Schwartz had nothing to do with those struggles, as they both missed Super Bowl LV due to injuries. Schwartz went down in Week 6 due to a back injury. He had surgery to correct the issue in February. Fisher tore his Achilles against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship game.

Fisher thanked the city and its fans on Instagram on Thursday, saying "All good things must come to an end."

Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz should have value on market

Those injuries make Fisher and Schwartz question marks in 2021, but it's still surprising to see the Chiefs part ways with both players. It's possible the moves had salary cap implications. The NFL reportedly set its salary cap at $182.5 million Wednesday. It's the first time the cap has decreased since 2011. The decrease is a result of revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and teams have until March 17 to get under the new cap.

Despite the injuries, Fisher and Schwartz should draw attention on the market. Both players have been excellent over their careers, and deserve the opportunity to prove they can still play at a high level once they are healthy again.

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