The Kansas City Chiefs made a pair of shocking moves on Thursday by releasing former #1 overall pick offensive lineman Eric Fisher as well as veteran Mitchell Schwartz in moves that will free up more than $18 million in cap space, according to ESPN.
Kansas City needed to clear around $20 million from their salary cap prior to making these moves. Fisher, 30, and Schwartz, 31, have been key cogs along the Chiefs offensive line during their run of success in recent years, but both players missed the team’s Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to injuries.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Eric and Mitchell,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. “With Eric, obviously he was the very first player that we drafted when we got to Kansas City, and we were able to watch him grow into a solid tackle for us for many years. With Mitchell, his durability and toughness is remarkable and he certainly left his mark on our team. These decisions are never easy, especially with guys like these, but both of these players will forever be a part of our history.”
“I’d like to thank Eric and Mitch for all of their contributions over the years,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Every day both of these men came to work with the right attitude, ready to grind, both on the field and in the classroom. These guys are both dirty tough, but beyond that, they’re good people and I enjoyed coaching them. I wish them the best as they continue their careers.”
The Chiefs will now turn to the draft to try and rebuild their offensive line with more affordable options.