For our third installment of this series, lets take a look at a newcomer this past season who may have earned himself a multiyear deal: guard/tackle Geoff Schwartz.
Player: Geoff Schwartz
Status: Unrestricted free agent
Situation: Schwartz began the season as a reserve but ended up earning a spot as a starter on the offensive line as the year progressed.
Schwartz was signed to a one year deal last offseason and wasn’t even a lock to make the club. He was a journeyman who possessed excellent size but never seemed to put it all together. Well, it’s safe to say Schwartz has exceeded expectations. He played tremendously early on and eventually forced his way atop the depth chart.
Schwartz is an especially valuable commodity because he can play both guard and tackle. This could prove to be particularly useful if the Chiefs let Branden Albert walk in free agency. Schwartz provides a veteran presence on the youngest offensive line in football and played marginally (and at times significantly) better than Jon Asamoah, who represents the alternative if Schwartz is let go. Asamoah is coincidentally also a free agent (stay tuned!), so the Chiefs have a decision to make.
Schwartz has publicly stated his desire for a multiyear deal and there’s little doubt he’ll finally land that this offseason, the only question is where. I like Schwartz and personally prefer him to Asamoah, he simply was the better player this season, but there’s certainly risk involved here. This is the same guy who was waived by two teams previously. Although he had a tremendous year, it’s at least reasonable to wonder if 2013 was just an anomaly.
Despite the potential concerns, however, I’d still sign Schwartz. While he’s certainly earned a raise, his demands should be fairly reasonable considering his age (27) among other factors. A contract in the neighborhood of three years makes sense, which would give Schwartz the security he wants but also limits the Chiefs’ financial commitment should he regress. I also believe he’ll be flexible in negotiations considering the Chiefs gave him the opportunity to prove his worth when others didn’t.
Additionally, Schwartz has perhaps the best Twitter account of any Chiefs player. Here’s to hoping he’s tweeting about the Super Bowl this time next year.