Former Kansas City Chiefs guard Kelechi Osemele with the Raiders in 2016
The NFL’s nickname is the league “not for long” for a reason. When players struggle or lose time due to injury, they are often replaced by someone younger and cheaper.
For former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele, the 2021 campaign was a lost season after five starts with the Kansas City Chiefs the year before. It was the ninth season of the consummate blocker in the aforementioned league, and many thought it was the last.
Today, September 1, Osemele attempted to rewrite that narrative.
Osemele exercises for bears
NFL Network whistleblower Ian Rapoport was the first to know the story. “Interesting training today,” he tweeted. “Veteran and versatile OL Kelechi Osemele worked with the [Chicago] Bears, I’ve been told. Come back?”
That final word is Rapoport’s correct one. The last time anyone saw Osemele, he was being taken to the locker room after a non-contact injury. It turned out that the veteran guard tore the tendons in each knee, a devastating blow that instantly ended his season and, potentially, his career.
As NFL draft analyst Matt Miller noted, there is a connection to Chicago through general manager Ryan Poles, who worked as a superior in Kansas City in 2020.
#Bears coaching Kelechi Osemele, who didn’t play in 2021 but has experience with Ryan Poles from his 2020 season with the Chiefs.
With little salary cap space and talent, the Poles are considering all avenues at their disposal right now, a trait he learned from Chiefs general manager Brett Veach.
As for the flyers, Osemele is remarkable. He began the 101 appearances of his illustrious career that began in Baltimore and recorded more than 7,000 plays in total. There, he won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens but had his two Pro Bowl seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders, one of which earned First Team All-Pro honors.
The NFL community should know quickly whether Osemele’s workout went well or not. A signing means he did, while silence could end all hope of a return in 2022.
Chiefs IOL is as good as it gets
At the time of Osemele’s one-year contract, the Chiefs needed help on the inside. That’s no longer the case after Veach doled out a lot of money to bring in veteran Joe Thuney in the following offseason.
KC also hit the jackpot with draft picks Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith. Thus, the Chiefs improved their entire interior offensive line in the span of two months.
After another solid training camp, the trio appears to be one of the most underrated aspects of this Kansas City team. Much of Patrick Mahomes’ success came without a dominant offensive line.
They’ve had great pieces, don’t get me wrong. Mitchell Schwartz was a top-tier right tackle when Mahomes first entered the league and his counterpart at the opposite end Eric Fisher had a few above-average seasons.
With Orlando Brown Jr. getting more and more used to the blind side, that is the clear weak link of this unit.
That is the benefit of distributing money: equilibrium equals production.