The Chiefs signed offensive lineman Bryan Witzmann to an extension on Thursday, the team announced.
The extension is for one year, a source told The Star, and should keep Witzmann under contract through the 2018 season.
Numbers for the deal remain unclear, but Witzmann, 27, was slated to have a cap number of $540,000 in 2017.
Witzmann, a 6-foot-7, 320-pound guard/tackle, was claimed off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys after the 53-man roster deadline last September. He only went on to log four offensive snaps and 49 special teams snaps (as a lineman on field goals and extra points) in 2016, but with two accrued seasons already under his belt, he was on track to be a restricted free agent in March 2018.
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This scenario would have allowed another team to potentially offer Witzmann a contract that would have been difficult to match during free agency, especially if the Chiefs cannot quickly rectify their cap problems, and Witzmann goes on to have breakout campaign.
The latter, by the way, is certainly possible, as it appears Witzmann could be in line for more playing time in 2017.
He actually split some first-team reps at left guard with Zach Fulton during organized team activities this spring, and with projected starter Parker Ehinger still recovering from a serious knee injury — and Fulton slated to be a free agent after this season — it’s not unreasonable to think Witzmann could hold down the fort at the position with a strong camp. At the very least, he could contribute as a swing lineman.
But while the deal protects the Chiefs from potentially losing Witzmann before next season, it also provides Witzmann some security while lining his pockets with a little extra money.
In addition, the extension still keeps him on track to hit unrestricted free agency after the 2018 season, where the real payday potentially lies.