When the Chiefs’ Mitchell Schwartz was told after Sunday’s Chiefs practice that he was no longer the highest-paid offensive lineman, he let out a chuckle.
After all, playing on the opposite side of the line from left tackle Eric Fisher, he’s happy for him. Schwartz, the starting right tackle, is now the second highest-paid offensive lineman on the team with a five-year, $33 million contract, coming in under Fisher’s deal which is worth $63 million over six years.
“Everyone’s really excited for him, it’s a really cool thing,” Schwartz said. “From the public's perspective, he's taken stuff in his first couple of years, and it's extremely hard to come in from day one and be that guy at left tackle.”
Fisher will be expected to do just that, just as he did down the stretch in 2016. Fisher and Schwartz will be relied on to anchor the offensive line.
According to numbers from Over the Cap, the tackle duo of Fisher and Schwartz is the third-highest paid in the league based on average money per year, bringing in $17.1 million on average until they both become free agents in 2021. First is the Eagles’ Lane Johnson and Jason Peters, who combine to average almost $21 million per year.
It was just four months ago when Schwartz became the Chiefs’ highest paid offensive lineman with his second NFL contract after his rookie deal with the Browns. So he knows what this means for Fisher, both setting him up for the future, and to understand your place in the league as a veteran.
“You sense some validation that you did things right for your first three or four or five years,” Schwartz said. “That's kind of the thing that, if you're looking for monetary goal, that's kind of the thing that can set yourself up and your family, and be able to kind of take some of the pressure off of them.
“It’s kind of a way to see if (other teams) respect you or not and how you're viewed. So it's also kind of way to see how the league views you and whether the best decision makers think you're a good player or not.”
Christian Hardy: 816-234-4208, @ByHardy