Austin Reiter was another hidden gem for KC Chiefs general manager Brett Veach
Brett Veach has a penchant for unearthing the hidden gem for the Chiefs KC. This lies in the emergence of an undrafted defensive tackle like Turk Wharton or the ability to land a potential locking corner like L’Jarius Sneed at the bottom of the fourth round. It shows in Nick Allegretti’s ability to take on a long-term starting role after being a seventh-round selection, and Darrel Williams’ ability to step up and provide productive reps in the backfield.
It has also been illustrated for two years by the presence of Austin reiter to the central position.
As the Chiefs headed into the 2018 season, Veach shuffled his second-string linemen at the last second. He traded Parker Ehinger for cornerback Charvarius Ward, and he provided an inside assist to Ike Better of the Buffalo Bills and called on Reiter on the Cleveland Browns’ waivers. Former Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey was cleaning the house in his new Ohio home, and Veach tried his luck on a young cross.
While Better didn’t last long at KC, Reiter would end up signing a contract extension with the team within three months to stay another two years. It was clear the team loved Reiter’s potential behind Mitch Morse, and that will be proven when Morse leaves to sign a four-year deal with Buffalo.
Austin Reiter was another hidden gem discovered by Brett Veach.
It wasn’t the first time Reiter had turned heads. The Washington Redskins freed Reiter early in the 2016 season and the Browns ripped him off. It wasn’t long before Cam Erving – yes, Cameron Erving – got hurt and Reiter had shown enough to earn a starting point. He looked impressive in that one game and got fans excited for a split second, but an ACL injury would rob him of that chance to lean into the role for the long haul. In the next offseason, the Browns hired JC Tretter to play the role and the starting gate was closed.
Over the past two years, Reiter has given the Chiefs a low-cost start option at center with 28 total starts, except for four games this season in which the Chiefs have decided to watch veteran Daniel Kilgore in the role (with a week 17 day off). This switcheroo made it clear that the team weren’t too happy with the quality of play up front, or the mix of players, for one reason or another, but all that movement also took a lot of credit away from the player. Reiter in the treat.
The Washington Redskins made Reiter their seventh-round pick in South Florida in the 2015 NFL Draft because of the ability of a decider in the room who saw he had the potential to NFL. It might have taken a while and a different team to get there, but that initial push was right. It’s possible that a healthy season could have kept him at Cleveland for a while, but Reiter deserves credit for not letting a lost opportunity rob him of a solid NFL career.
Right now, Reiter is on the precipice of a living wage in free agency as a two-year indoor starter for a Super Bowl team. While KC reportedly decided to leave Reiter this offseason, it shouldn’t hurt what the player has provided after serving as a once-forgettable waiver request. It’s also further proof that Brett Veach has a real knack for finding unexpected value in names that are often overlooked throughout the deal.