We have an official salary cap number for the 2014 season: $133 million.
So the cap, at $133.0 million, is $9.4 million over what it was in ’13. And I’m told it’s projected to rise by more than $10 million in ’15.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 28, 2014
This is about $7 million more than the projected $126 million we heard at the end of the season, which is great news for the cap-needy Chiefs. Using Over the Cap’s cap numbers and adding the $2.3 million in cap rollover from 2013, the Chiefs should have about $12.4 million in cap space to work with without any restructured deals, cuts, or extensions.
In more good news, the Chiefs should expect another $10 million cap jump in 2015, which should give the team some room to re-sign pending free agent Justin Houston. There is virtually no downside for the Chiefs in the cap being raised. The players who will benefit from this most were probably not going to be targets for the Chiefs anyway, and it gives the team some room to add key reserve pieces on the roster.
It also makes the offseason two years from now very interesting. Most speculation has the cap rising above $150 million for the 2016 seasons. Kansas City has only 15 guys under contract so far for 2016, not including the two drafts that will take place before the 2016 off-season. Assuming a $150 million cap, this gives the Chiefs nearly $101 million in cap space to work with.
Not included on the 2016 roster are Alex Smith, Eric Berry and Houston, three players the Chiefs can hopefully lock up soon. But even with their sure to be huge cap numbers, Kansas City will still have a lot of cap space. Also consider the Chiefs can save $19.65 million in 2016 cap space by removing Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Flowers, and Anthony Fasano from the roster.
This is a long way of saying that if the Chiefs navigate their salary obligations well the next two off-seasons, they should have a whole lot of room to work with starting in 2016. It would make a lot of sense for the Chiefs to sign guys on one or two-year deals this off-season so they can leave open the window to make long-term investments in 2015 and 2016.