KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mitchell Schwartz is the modern iron man of the NFL.
Dating back to his days at Cal, the Chiefs right tackle started all 51 games.
The 30-year-old has never missed a start in 112 games. He has played more than 7,000 consecutive careers snaps, a mark he surpassed in November.
Fresh off a new payday in the form of a one-year, $11.255 million extension that keeps him with the Chiefs through 2021, the organization knows it’s well deserved.
“You appreciate doing something for a guy like that who’s never missed a snap. Working in practice, in games, that’s what he’s done,” coach Andy Reid sia.d “He’s a great professional and loves playing the game and does it the right way.”
He was graded as the No. 4 tackle last season by Pro Football Focus, seen as the top counter to pass rushers of Von Miller’s stature with the ability to be a bull in the run game. He’s consistently remained atop the league as a tackle since signing a five-year deal with the Chiefs in 2016.
“There’s only so many things that they can actually do to show how much they appreciate you and obviously contracts are really the main way that the teams can do it,” Schwartz said. “So getting it done, it shows a lot. … I love being here, it’s been an awesome three years, and now I’ve got three more and I’m looking forward to those.
“We’ve done some good things, but we want to do better these next few years.”
With Schwartz set to make just $6 million each of the next two years — half the salary of Eric Fisher — the Chiefs are rewarding him with a more-than-deserved stash of cash. The deal will make him 33 at the time his contract runs up, and there are goals in sight for this group.
“I think obviously the team goal is to win a Super Bowl here,” Schwartz said. “That’s all we’re looking forward to. After that, I’m sure the goal is to win another.
“Three years feels really far away, so who knows what’s going to happen down the road, but I’m looking forward to the season for sure.”
With the duty of keeping second-year starter Patrick Mahomes upright in his MVP defense, he’s also leading the charge for an offensive line working to come together. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif missed time with a leg injury last season, as did center Mitch Morse. Multiple faces played at left guard, a position appeared to by Andrew Wylie’s to lose.
With Austin Reiter on track to be the starter at center in replacement of Morse, and he sees the benefits of having Schwartz out there leading the group.
“It’s like another quarterback out there. It’s awesome,” Reiter said. “Pat’s a generational player, and I think the same thing of Mitch.”
But before the team hits the field, the line must build the chemistry that will keep the generational quarterback and the backfield competing at their top level.
“I never had the chance to play with Austin (Rieter), so we’re kind of building that chemistry right now — building that footwork to make sure that we can share space and be at the right spot in the right moment,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “This is great, great work — specifically for the offensive line.