Since the Chiefs just traded for Orlando Brown Jr., they’re clearly not bringing Fisher back — and didn’t want to take a risk on a first-year left tackle, even though the 2021 NFL Draft class is thought to be rife with quality options at the position.
Nevertheless, Fisher is drawing interest from multiple teams as a free agent, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. The former No. 1 overall pick was tasked with protecting Patrick Mahomes‘ blind side in Kansas City. He did well enough to help the team win Super Bowl LIV, and made the Pro Bowl in two of his last three seasons.
Thus, it’s worth exploring Fisher’s best potential destinations, as he’ll almost certainly sign somewhere soon after the draft.
Eric Fisher to Indianapolis Colts
Less than two weeks before Fisher was released, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said the 30-year-old veteran could return by mid-August. That’d be just enough time for the Indianapolis Colts to break Fisher in as their new starting left tackle.
The retirement of Anthony Castonzo leaves a big void on the Colts’ offensive line. They do have the 21st overall pick in the draft, yet counting on a rookie to fill that important spot, especially with new quarterback Carson Wentz coming off a nightmarish 2020 campaign, doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.
Fisher has an opportunity to start right when he’s healthy if he lands in Indy. The question is whether or not the Colts will be patient enough to wait on him, or be averse to taking such a risk when Fisher’s form upon return is a complete unknown.
What would help Fisher knock off some rust is the presence of All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson right next to him. Any slip in performance as Fisher gets his sea legs back under him could be made up for by Nelson’s elite prowess.
Eric Fisher to Minnesota Vikings
It’s unclear what Minnesota’s plan is for the left side of its offensive line. While the zone-based running scheme is going to always help the big men up front, the Vikings’ talent level at left tackle and left guard aren’t going to get the job done, even for a special back like Dalvin Cook. Plus, QB Kirk Cousins can’t create off-schedule, so he needs strong pass protection.
Fisher has the smooth, easy athleticism to thrive in Minnesota’s scheme and also serve as an excellent pass protector for Cousins. In Kansas City, Fisher often had a tougher task to block for a unique superstar in Mahomes, who loves to freelance, extend plays with his legs, and even capitalize on his phenomenal arm talent by taking super deep dropbacks.
Cousins is very much someone who executes within the structure of the offense, which would be a great change of pace for Fisher. The chance to pave the way for a special tailback like Cook is also appealing.
By acquiring Fisher instead of drafting a rookie tackle, the Vikings could focus on adding a blue-chip defender with their 14th overall pick.
Eric Fisher to Los Angeles Chargers
Certainly a juicy storyline if Fisher were to stay in the AFC West, block for another great, young QB in Justin Herbert and help dethrone the Chiefs.
Offensive line is going to be an area the Chargers definitely target early in the draft, but if they have assurances that Fisher will be ready by Week 1, they can focus more on adding the best player available in Round 1 and building out the interior of the o-line thereafter.
An ideal scenario for Los Angeles would be to land Fisher and select someone like USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker on Day 1 of the draft. The Bolts shouldn’t be shy about aggressively investing even more in this unit, as it ranked dead-last in the NFL last season, per Pro Football Focus.
With Fisher, Vera-Tucker or a rookie in that mold, and newly acquired center Corey Linsley, Herbert would be in prime position to lift the Chargers into the playoffs in 2021.