Salary Cap Digest: Breaking Down Kansas City Chiefs Biggest Cap Hits

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Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) makes a catch while being defended by Indianapolis Colts defensive back Josh Gordy (27), but was unable to keep in bounds during the fourth quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) makes a catch while being defended by Indianapolis Colts defensive back Josh Gordy (27), but was unable to keep in bounds during the fourth quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports


2014 Cap Hit: $12 million
Potential Cap Savings If Cut/Traded: negative-$4,250,00
Remaining Contract: Four years, $52 million

Here’s something interesting to know about Dwayne Bowe: He made “only” $750,000 in base salary next year. Granted, it is easy to do that when you know an $8 million pay raise is coming in the following year, but it does say something about Bowe’s willingness to help the team.

I mention this because there is a very, very low probability Bowe’s cap cost will be lowered for the 2014. Should Kansas City cut or trade Bowe they would actually lose salary cap space. This is obviously counterproductive to what they are trying to do. Bowe is going to be a Chiefs no matter what in 2014.

Bowe’s contract construction suggests the Chiefs made the deal knowing what they were up against in 2014 and beyond in terms of the cap. This means the Chiefs were perfectly okay with Bowe taking up $12 million in space in 2014. Instead of trying to create room for 2014, they wanted to be sure they could fit everyone they could into 2013.

Something to keep in mind with Bowe is he can be cut as soon as next offseason. While his contract has four years remaining, the important thing is the guaranteed money. By the end of 2014 the Chiefs will have paid off a significant amount of the guaranteed money owed to Bowe, which will allow the team to save $5 million against the cap if they decided to cut him next offseason (his cap number is $14 million for 2015). What is more likely is the Chiefs window to cut him beings after the 2015 season, but it is important to note the Chiefs really only committed themselves to two years of Bowe, with 2014 being the second year.

The likelihood of a restructure is low because Bowe just signed last offseason, but it isn’t completely out of the question. Expect for Bowe to remain at the $12 million mark for the 2014 season.

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Tags: Alex Smith Brandon Flowers Dwayne Bowe Eric Berry Kansas City Chiefs Tamba Hali

  • Jarad

    And this great post has arrived! I for one am not extremely down on Flowers like a lot of fans. He didnt have a good year by any means, but id rather KC keep him at least for this year. By low and sell high. He just had his worst statistical year in a new defense. Let him knock Welker on his A$$ a couple more times and see if he raises his stock or proves he can play in this scheme. Hes then a year older, but hes not going to play any worse, and it makes sense financially to wait a year. Im not worried at all about Berry or Smith. They both should get extended. The use of Berry is another topic. Cant wait to see it pan out. Good info as always AA

  • Hawthorne

    Great article. I’d been an advocate of trading Flowers this year, but knowing a bit more about the cap situation I think next year would be a better time to move him. It should also give us a year to develop a rookie like Pierre Desir or Keith McGill to take his spot.

  • andyred

    Ive heard chiefs fans saying we should cut hali, DJ, flowers, and berry to re sign Kendrick Lewis long term…then I woke up from my nightmare :)

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Flowers isn’t an ideal corner for this scheme. He’s going to continue to struggle. That said, if he’s willing to take a pay cut and you can’t trade him, welcome back B Dot.

    • Jarad

      I dont think he’s ideal either, BUT its just not a good time to try and ship him out. And im not sure there are better options at point. Lets see how this year pans out, and hope he raises his stock.

  • Chuck Burrell

    Thanks for the breakdown. I’m not ready to give up on flowers yet. Houston should be extended immediately so he’s not tempted to test fa after ’14. Sadly I think tambas contract will play out and he may be done. It would be great to have berry extended to make him a career chief. A friend of mine put this into my head yesterday; What are your thoughts on Pollard reuniting with the chiefs and completing a very physical defensive backfield (I’m hoping sutton stresses bump and run coverage with the corners this offseason).

  • toperspective

    Great write-up. I just hope Dorsey doesn’t kick the can and burden future years. Flowers and hali are overpaid and they’ll need to just bite the bullet in 14.

  • Calchiefsfan

    Solid post Ben. Know having a better idea of the Chiefs options it will be interesting to see what Dorsey does to improve this team in the off season. Looks like he’s earning his money.

    I’m anxious to see how Sutton deals with the secondary game planning for next year. I don’t have a lot of confidence but one can hope. I am of the belief that Flower’s drop off in play was more due to the schemes the defense ran than his abilities. There was a very good article on how the Seahawks played Manning in the Super Bowl. It really showed how the Chiefs just didn’t scheme very well and never made the right adjustments to correct it. Maybe if the Chiefs can correct that they won’t have to spend a ton of money to fix the talent pool on defense.

  • Tristian

    Interesting article. Berry cannot make more than$8 mimillion per year thats too high for any saftey that has coverage problems against the great or athletic tight ends. Which btw denver and san Diego have 3 between them thats 4 games a year. I hate to say thus but in my opinion after this season Hali is likely to be cut. The wear and tear he showed and ineffectiveness after the first half of the season was highly concerning. Im sorry but when you make the big bucks and you are in a playoff chase u expect your highest paid players to come through in high pressure situations. Its tough no matter what though because some guys should just retire as Chiefs. I think Hali may be one of those guys but I dunno. Im not jumping on Hali specifically because berry was a different player 2nd half player too along with everybody on the d. But the impact players gotta b impact players. You know it appears people still arent sold on Alex Smith. Even the writer said “if the chiefs find the next russell wilson.” And thers articles out there saying the chiefs should draft a qb first round next year? Adam Teicher we all know dosent like Smith either. Why would Smith be terrible next year or in future years? And lets be honest here. Every so called good backup QB Reid has ever had excluding Michael Vick hasnt been a good backup qb at all. AJ feely Kevin Kolb and our current offensive coordinator Doug Pedersen? Need I go on? Nick foles without the running game has been pedestrian in philly. Anyways chirfs have to find a way to fix this cap situation. It is the only thing holding the team back potentially

  • Tony Parker

    Great article Ben, I learned some things I didn’t know. As far as Alex Smiths contract goes I think it would make more sense to let him play under his current deal of $7.5m for this year, then give him a contract next year with the higher cap # we will see. We need money this year and a new contract would eat into that money. By doing this we could save some cap room with him over the next few years by back loading the contract, by that time we may have a new QB in Bray or elsewhere and would not have to pay out the balance of his backloaded contract if he was released or traded.
    Lets see how he does in year 2 before handing him a bigger contract….imo.

  • jimfromkcj

    The Chiefs should quit drafting midgits. they should set their sights at nobody shorter than 6′ and preferably taller. QB’s are getting more accurate all the time and the really good ones can put the ball where the guys who have a height advantage can make the catch. flowers is at a terrible dis advantage when we play Denver an San Diego. so trade him and get the best deal possible.The only one of these guys I think we should retain is Alex. Even Berry playing as well as he does at times is not a game changer and is making more than we ought to be paying a safty. Also I looked at over the cap and our top 10 players cap wise are taking 79 million dollars of our cap. With the cap ging to be less tha 130 mill this year you can see how much we have to pay the rest of the team with. This restructuring is just wishful thinking and putting off the bad deals that have already been made. It is like pouring water into a mole hill. Useless?