After signing right tackle Chris Bober to a new five year contract on Saturday, four of the five remaining ‘horsemen' will quickly help their new line mate in carrying on the tradition that has made the Chiefs offensive line the best in the NFL the last two years.
Those are the four who have graded out the highest the past two seasons. Individually no one from this group has missed a start since 2001 and in that group is two future Hall of Famers in Roaf and Shields. Together Roaf and Shields have a combined 18 trips to the Pro-Bowl and numerous All-Pro selections between them.
In the season-ending playoff loss to the Colts, Roaf had perhaps his best game in two seasons. For that matter, you could say so did the other Chiefs linemen as they were driving Indianapolis 15-20 yards off the ball on nearly every play.
Over the past two seasons Shields and Wiegmann have routinely pulled across the line of scrimmage and cleared the path for Priest Holmes on the ground as well as on screens. And during that time, the Chiefs had few worries about their offensive line.
But after declining to match the Chicago Bears 6-year $34 million dollar deal that included a cap hit of over $11.5 million this year, the Chiefs quickly ended any possible short-term worry about the right tackle position by agreeing to a five-year deal with the newest ‘horsemen' RT Chris Bober.
At 6-5 and weighing 310 pounds, the 27-year old Bober gives the Chiefs another tackle with good size and good feet. Bober, a former center who converted to right tackle while with the Giants, should fit in quite nicely with the Chiefs already star studded offensive line.
"We are very pleased to sign Chris Bober to a five-year contract. He has displayed versatility during his career with the NY Giants, starting at both right tackle and center," said Chiefs GM Carl Peterson.
"He is a young ascending player who we believe will be an excellent contributor to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2004 and beyond."
Bober, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, was signed as the starter, but expect second-year player Brett Williams to make a push for playing time either as a starter or backup through mini camp and training camp.
Williams, 6-5 321 pounds, was KC's fourth-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. Williams, a Florida State standout, did not see any regular season action, but Williams was impressive in the pre-season and can play either left or right tackle effectively. He could end up taking over for Roaf when he retires.