The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping to avoid a repeat of Super Bowl LV next season, and they've made a huge splash in free agency to help protect franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Former All-Pro left guard Joe Thuney is leaving the New England Patriots to sign with the AFC champion Chiefs, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reports Thuney's deal is for five years and worth $80 million.
Mahomes seems pretty excited about the move, judging by the following tweet:
This contract is the largest long-term deal for a guard in league history, per Breer. It's a well-deserved contract, too. Thuney has been one of the best players at left guard for several years. He also was a key player on two Super Bowl-winning teams in New England.
Thuney spent the first five seasons of his career with the Patriots after they selected him out of North Carolina State in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He's the first of the Patriots' important free agents to move elsewhere.
The Chiefs' offensive line was dominated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV last month, and Mahomes was running for his life throughout the game. He was sacked three times and hit 10 times.
Kansas City released both of its starting tackles last week in Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fischer in a move that freed up nearly $20 million in salary cap space. The Chiefs had to make a splash in free agency and did so with the Thuney addition. The Chiefs still need a few offensive tackles, but their offensive line will be better with Thuney in the fold.