Can Colts convince Mitchell Schwartz to spurn possible retirement?

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 10: Mitchell Schwartz #71 of the Kansas City Chiefs(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 10: Mitchell Schwartz #71 of the Kansas City Chiefs(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts have been searching high and low for an Anthony Castonzo replacement on the offensive line.

A perfect plan to replace the former first-rounder might have just dropped into their laps after the Kansas City Chiefs parted ways with right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.

Schwartz might not have made a Pro Bowl, but he was named an All-Pro in four consecutive seasons, as his stalwart blocking was one of the main reasons that Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes were able to have so much success in Kansas City.

Unfortunately, the cap crunch meant that Schwartz, who missed most of his age-32 season with a back injury that could force him into an early retirement, had to be let go.

That move put an elite tackle on the open market.

If Schwartz wants to play next year, and if the Colts can get medical assurance that his back troubles are a thing of the past, Indy should try to make him their right tackle while moving Braden Smith over to left tackle.

Mitchell Schwartz could give the Colts an elite tackle and fix their O-line issues.

Schwartz’s ability to pass block is what really sets him out, as he helped Mahomes stay mostly untouched despite facing a murderer’s row of pass rushers in the postseason in 2019. Only a cursory examination of Kansas City’s film this year shows the gulf in talent between Schwartz and whichever warm body lined up at right tackle.

At this point in his career, Schwartz will only get out of bed for contenders that can offer him a chance to make it to the postseason again. If he comes to Indianapolis, given the coaching infrastructure spearheaded by Frank Reich and roster led by new quarterback Carson Wentz, that wish could become a reality.

If Schwartz comes in to play right tackle, and Smith teams up with Quenton Nelson on the left side, the Colts would have the best offensive line in the AFC. Wentz can struggle with pressure at times, but building him a wall with Schwartz at right tackle, Smith at left tackle, and the combo of Nelson and Ryan Kelly up the middle would keep him in good hands.

Schwartz has his championship, his money, and his individual accolades, so it might be tough to convince him to play in 2021. However, Indianapolis might be too good to pass up, especially on something like a two-year deal, as Schwartz could land with another top contender after his release.