With Nick Allegretti’s departure, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves in urgent need of bolstering their interior offensive line depth, whether through free agency or the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

While the free agent market has thinned out in recent weeks, Bleacher Report’s Matt Holder suggests that free agent offensive lineman Nick Gates could be a suitable addition for Kansas City. Holder goes as far as to propose that Gates has the potential to become a starter for the two-time defending Super Bowl champions.

In his analysis dated April 7th, Holder pointed out that the back-to-back Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, possess a formidable starting interior offensive line. However, the departure of Nick Allegretti to the Commanders has left a significant gap, particularly considering Allegretti’s valuable contributions during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl campaign, especially in place of Joe Thuney. With Allegretti gone, Kansas City is now left with only one backup guard.

Holder suggested that Nick Gates could be a potential solution for the Chiefs. Gates, who had a brief stint with Washington last fall, offers versatility by having experience playing four out of five positions along the offensive line. This versatility could make him a valuable second-string option for Kansas City.

Furthermore, Holder noted that Gates could also serve as a contingency plan for Trey Smith, who is entering the final year of his contract. If Smith opts to leave next offseason, Gates could step in as a potential replacement.



Nick Gates Played Multiple Positions While in the NFC East

Nick Gates began his NFL journey as an undrafted free agent from Nebraska in 2018, signing with the New York Giants in May of that year. However, he didn’t see any game action during his rookie season after the 2018 preseason.

Over four years with the Giants, Gates appeared in 44 regular-season games and started in 29 of them, showcasing his versatility by playing at various positions along the offensive line, as per PFF data.

Throughout his tenure with the Giants, now 28 years old, Gates allowed a total of 36 quarterback pressures (29 hurries, 5 hits, and 2 sacks) and incurred 12 penalties.

In the 2023 offseason, Gates entered free agency and secured a three-year, $16 million contract with the Washington Commanders. Serving as the team’s starting center last season, Gates surrendered 21 total quarterback pressures (10 hurries, 6 hits, 5 sacks) and was penalized four times across 10 games played.

However, Gates’ time with the Commanders was short-lived as he was released by the team on March 13, coinciding with the commencement of the legal tampering period of free agency.

Nick Gates Would Provide Quality Depth Along Offensive Line

Adding Nick Gates to the Chiefs’ roster in free agency could be a smart move, provided it’s at the right price. With his experience playing every position along the offensive line, Gates would bring valuable versatility to Kansas City, surpassing even Allegretti’s range, who has primarily featured at center and guard but not tackle.

Looking ahead, Gates could potentially slot in as the starting right guard if the Chiefs opt not to retain Trey Smith in 2025, offering long-term value to the team.

However, it’s likely that the Chiefs would wait until after the draft to pursue offensive line depth in free agency. Starting on May 2, free agent signings no longer impact the NFL’s compensatory pick formula. Additionally, the team might prefer to assess potential additions through the draft before making moves in free agency.

With approximately $19.2 million in cap space at present, according to Over The Cap, the Chiefs have some financial flexibility to explore free agency options.

Currently, the Chiefs’ backup offensive linemen consist of Mike Caliendo, Lucas Niang, and Chukwuebuka Godrick. Adding Gates would bolster their depth and provide additional options along the line.

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