Indications point to Jamaal Charles holding out of training camp at least for a little while in order earn a contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. Spotrac, a site dedicated to sports contract information, took a stab at what they think will be the value of a Charles extension.
Spotrac took the deals earned by Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Ray Rice, and Matt Forte, and then followed with a statistical comparison. The idea was to attempt to establish Charles’ value, while also trying to determine the projected decline in Charles’ play using some of the models we already have available to us. By the end this is what Spotrac determined:
A three-year, $30,461,315 extension to his current deal with $12,1850,000 in guaranteed money.
Should all of the $12 million in guaranteed money be put into a signing bonus, the Chiefs would see Charles’ cap number rise by $2.4 million both this season and next season. It is safe to assume not all of the money will be guaranteed, and Charles may request for the two years left on his present deal to be restructured to make it more expensive. Structure does matter in this case.
But working with a $2.4 million cap hit increase, it would mean there would be somewhere between $6.6 million and $7.6 million remain in this season’s cap to use toward extensions for Justin Houston and Alex Smith. Additionally, the Chiefs would be down to only $11 million in cap room (estimated) for the 2015 season to absorb Smith’s and Houston’s deals and sign any other pending free agents.
Basically what a Jamaal Charles extension means is any chance of an Alex Smith franchise tag is probably out the window. Kansas City simply cannot take a $17-20 million cap hit on Smith for one season and also retain guys like Houston and Rodney Hudson. It is in the best interest of the Chiefs, assuming they want to keep all of their talent, to extend Houston and Smith so they can control their cap costs in 2015.
Charles may be the most deserving player on the team to receive a pay increase, but the timing of all of this does complicate matters a great deal. Should Charles, Houston, and Smith all receive new contracts in the next few weeks then there will be a trickle-down effect on the roster — for better or for worse. Either the Chiefs are going to have a huge hole to fill at outside linebacker or quarterback or have less money than last offseason to try to improve their roster. John Dorsey certainly has his hands full.