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Kerry Eggers on Sports: Veteran NFL lineman dreams of a second Super Bowl, this time with Kansas City

COURTESY PHOTO: MIKE REMMERS - Former Oregon State and Jesuit High star Mike Remmers signs a free-agent contract with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.These are eventful times for Mike Remmers.

Last week, the offensive lineman from Jesuit High and Oregon State signed a one-year free-agent contract with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Even bigger news: Any day now, Mike and his wife, Kelly, will add their third child.

"The due date is (Saturday)," Remmers said Friday from his home in Beaverton. "We're patiently waiting. We have our bags packed (for the hospital) and a little nursery all set up."

The Remmers have two children — Wyatt, who turns 4 in May, and Layla, 2. Will the new offspring be a boy or girl?

"We're keeping it a surprise," Mike said. "We're super excited. Can't wait."

Remmers might be one of the most unlikely success stories in NFL history.

He walked on at Oregon State, then went undrafted after his senior season in 2012. In his first two NFL seasons, he went through four teams without playing a regular-season game before finally sticking with Carolina in 2014.

Through it all, Remmers persevered.

"It's unreal to be going into my ninth NFL season," said Remmers, who turns 31 on April 11. "It's been an unbelievable, unforgettable adventure.

"When I got released from Denver (his first team, in 2012), I thought I was done and moving onto the next chapter of my life. I'd have been fine with that. But I always thought I could play in the NFL. It's been amazing to have an opportunity to continue to play, and now I'm with the champs."

After starting 14 games at right tackle last season for the New York Giants, the 6-5, 310-pound Remmers signed a veteran's minimum deal worth a little more than $1 million with Kansas City.

"I was hoping for a couple of years, but that's how it worked out," Remmers said. "I'm happy with it. After next season, I'll be a free agent again. Depending on how the year goes, it can work out really well for the following year.

"It helps your value coming into free agency if the team you're on is winning. If I'd just won the Super Bowl, it would have been a different market. We did not have a great season (4-12) with the Giants."

Other teams showed interest in Remmers, but he liked the Chiefs' pedigree.

"They're a heck of a team," he said. "It's freaking awesome to get a chance to play with those guys. I'm excited to get to work. "

When Remmers arrived on campus at Oregon State in 2007, he was a 225-pound freshman. After redshirting his first year, he proved his worth and durability, starting 44 straight games at tackle and earning all-Pac-10 honors as a junior.

It took him awhile to prove himself at the NFL level, but he broke into Carolina's starting lineup in 2014 and hasn't looked back. He now has 78 career starts — 37 with the Panthers (2014-16), 27 for Minnesota (2017-18) and 14 for the Giants. Remmers also has started seven playoff games, making it to Super Bowl 50 with Carolina, losing 24-10 to Denver in 2016.

Remmers has started in the regular season at every O-line position except center — and he was prepared for that possibility, too.

"I was the emergency center at Carolina," he said. "It was kind of cool. In our fourth preseason game in 2016, I started at center under (ex-Beaver) Derek Anderson. I got to play a series with him at quarterback. That was it. They just wanted to make sure I could do it in a game situation. I have about eight reps at center under my belt.

"It's nice to have that in your back pocket, that you can play more than one position. But I'm most comfortable at right tackle. I have the most experience there. That's my position."

Remmers isn't sure what he'll play with the Chiefs.

"I talked to (O-line coach Andy Heck) briefly about it," he said. "Their motto is, they're going to put the best five (O-linemen) out there. Whatever position it works out to be is fine. I'm very open."

With the coronavirus pandemic, Remmers isn't sure if training camp will open as scheduled in July.

"But it's fortunate for us that it's happening in our offseason," he said. "We just have to be ready to go whenever they tell us we can start."

Remmers said his offseason training has been "pretty much normal for me, since I'm usually at home at this time." He is training at home via FaceFime with his personal trainer, Jerod Warf.

Weight sets have sold out through the Portland area, so Remmers had to scramble.

"I was lucky enough to get a rack and a bar, borrowed some weights, got everything cleaned and sanitized and set it up in my garage," he said. "I'm adapting to a new situation and making the most of it."

Remmers is trying to look at the bright side. He doesn't have to drive to a fitness center.

"l walk from my house to the garage," he said. "It's like working at home. For me and all of the other pro athletes, it's important to stay on top of it — working out, running, staying in shape. If you take a week or two off, it's harder to get back to where you need to be."

Remmers admits he dreams of another Super Bowl appearance.

"That's the plan," he said, adding with a laugh, "but that's what every team in the NFL is thinking right now."

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@kerryeggers


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