With the departure of guard Stefen Wisniewski in free agency and the release of swing tackle Cam Erving, the Kansas City Chiefs brought in a veteran offensive lineman to help bolster protection of their star quarterback.
Kansas City signed eight-year do-it-all offensive lineman Mike Remmers to a one-year, $1,187,500 contract with a $887,500 cap hit for 2020. Remmers played on a one-year deal in 2019 with the New York Giants where he started in 14 games at left tackle.
On a conference call with reporters last week, the 31-year-old said when the chance to suit up for the reigning Super Bowl champions presented itself, he couldn’t pass it up.
“Obviously it was a huge year for [the Chiefs] last year,” Remmers said. “When my agent called me and said we had an opportunity to play there, I jumped on it. I’m extremely excited to join the team and I’m excited to see what it is like in the meetings, in the locker room and on the field. I want to see what the chemistry is like in person. I’m excited to get down there and see what it’s all about.”
During his career, Remmers has started at every position on the line except center, providing some welcome flexibility for the Chiefs.
Before going to New York, Remmers played as a right guard for the Minnesota Vikings and spent time at both interior guard positions in 2017. Head coach Andy Reid said Remmers’ experience and versatility would be a positive for the Chiefs.
“He’s a good, talented little add,” Reid said. “He’s got good senior leadership [to add] to the offensive line group.”
“I think all three guys will help us and give us good depth,” Reid continued about his free-agent signings. “Remmers obviously has more NFL experience than the other guys so he’ll compete in that group.”
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman is listed as a tackle for the Chiefs but could compete for a starting guard position. Reid discussed Remmers’ possible movement across the line and how the Chiefs have made a habit of bringing in similar skill sets.
“We’ve talked about this quite a little bit over the years, I think it’s important,” Reid said. “You’ve seen we’ve drafted a lot of tackles and moved those guys around to guard and [offensive line coach] Andy [Heck] tries to teach most guys how to play center in case they need to work in that spot. Andy moves those guys all around and gives them an opportunity to play guard, tackle or center, right side or left side. It’s kind of paid off on that side.”
Remmers was an undrafted free agent in 2012 and was signed by the Denver Broncos following the draft, but was released in the final week of preseason. He said he remembers feeling like his career was over after the Broncos cut him, but that signing on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad gave him a new lease on his career. The Oregon State graduate recalled his time with the Buccaneers and said the year on the practice squad was big for his development, not only physically but mentally.
Although Remmers made his NFL debut with the AFC West rival San Diego Chargers, he has never suited up for a game at Arrowhead Stadium. Remmers told a story of watching the Chargers and Chiefs play from the visiting sideline as he made the trek to Kansas City only for San Diego to cut him after its Saturday walkthrough.
Instead of heading back on his own, the team told him to stay and watch the game from the sideline where the Chargers took a 41-38 victory in Alex Smith’s first season in Kansas City.
“Arrowhead Stadium is a super loud stadium and a heck of an environment,” Remmers said. ”I’m excited to be on the field out there.”
Remmers went from San Diego to Minnesota then to St. Louis before finding a spot with the Carolina Panthers in 2015 where he started in all 16 games for the Panthers, playing every offensive snap.
“Like a lot of guys, it took a couple of years to finally get an opportunity to play,” Remmers said. “Carolina was my opportunity and I tried to do the most to take advantage of that and thankfully it all went well.”
Now, Remmers is preparing for his ninth season under unusual circumstances. With the COVID-19 outbreak affecting schedules and possibly affecting play, Remmers said he is doing his part to make sure he is ready for his new team.
As the Chiefs are preparing to defend their title with odd offseason circumstances, Remmers has experience with a “Super Bowl hangover” season as a member of the Panthers in 2015-16. He said being a part of the down year after the Super Bowl appearance showed him the difficulty of continuous winning.
“It is so hard to win and be successful year after year,” Remmers said. “I’m sure everyone there understands that and realizes just because you won the Super Bowl last year, teams aren’t just going to give you the win. You’re going to have to go out there and win every single week again.”