March 11 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs released starting offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz on Thursday, creating more than $18 million in salary-cap space.
The reigning AFC champions needed to create about $20 million in cap space before parting ways with Fisher and Schwartz. The pair of offensive linemen have been fixtures along the Chiefs' line, but neither of them suited up in the team's Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month due to injuries.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Eric and Mitchell," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. "With Eric, obviously he was the very first player that we drafted when we got to Kansas City, and we were able to watch him grow into a solid tackle for us for many years.
"With Mitchell, his durability and toughness is remarkable and he certainly left his mark on our team. These decisions are never easy, especially with guys like these, but both of these players will forever be a part of our history."
The 30-year-old Fisher missed the Super Bowl after tearing his Achilles tendon during the Chiefs' AFC Championship Game win over the Buffalo Bills. Schwartz, 31, missed the last three months of the season because of back issues.
Shortly after the Chiefs announced the roster moves, Fisher posted a farewell message on social media, writing: "All good things must come to an end."
The Chiefs selected Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 draft. The two-time Pro Bowl selection struggled early in his NFL career, but he began to find his footing in recent years. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2018 and 2020.
Schwartz joined the Chiefs as a free agent in 2016 after spending four seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He had a streak of 7,894 consecutive offensive snaps to start his career before being knocked out of a mid-season game in 2019.
Schwartz started 134 straight games before leaving a Week 6 matchup against the Bills this season with the back injury.