Chiefs open to exercising fifth-year option on LT Eric Fisher

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Dec. 13, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher (72) blocks San Diego Chargers defensive end Ricardo Mathews at Arrowhead Stadium. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Dec. 13, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher (72) blocks San Diego Chargers defensive end Ricardo Mathews at Arrowhead Stadium. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Left tackle Eric Fisher enters the final year of his rookie contract since the Chiefs selected him as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

The Chiefs, however, have an opportunity to exercise a fifth-year option on the 25-year-old Fisher before the league-wide deadline on May 2.

And that scenario is on the table between the Chiefs and Fisher’s agent ahead of the NFL Draft, which occurs April 28-30.

“We have had very positive discussions with regards to his option here,” general manager John Dorsey said Tuesday in a conference call with Chiefs beat writers. “We’ve got plenty of time here … We have had discussions with regards to this. Let us get close up to the draft here and let’s see where we are.”

The fifth-year option for Fisher carries an $11.096 million price tag, according to text message from Joel Corry, a former NFL agent and current salary cap/contract expert with CBS Sports.

While the Chiefs currently have $5.7 million in available cap space, Dorsey is also open to potentially signing Fisher, who is currently scheduled to earn a base salary of $675,000 in 2015, to a contract extension.

“That’s part of the discussion,” Dorsey said. “When I say we have discussions with his representatives, those are the types of things that come up during these discussions. We will continue to have discussions moving forward here.”

The 6-7, 315-pound Fisher has appeared in 46 regular-season games with 43 starts (26 at left tackle) since arriving from Central Michigan.

He battled an ankle injury suffered in training camp last year and saw limited action in the first two regular-season games before returning to the starting lineup at right tackle in Week 2. Fisher logged four straight starts at right tackle, and then moved to his natural position at left tackle in Week 7.

The free-agent signing of right tackle Mitchell Schwartz virtually ensures Fisher will hold down the left side, and the Chiefs appear willing to go with Schwartz and Fisher as bookends on the offensive line.

Dorsey has been encouraged by Fisher’s growth over the past three seasons, especially the consistency Fisher displayed in the second half of the 2015 campaign.

“The good ones, you always see, they begin to exercise their will on defenders,” Dorsey said. “I think, as you saw Eric as he went along in the second half of the season, you saw steady improvement.

“We said all along it was going to be Year Three coming from where he came from, he was going to begin to make steady strides and he’s been making steady strides all along.”

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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