Aug 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs center Rodney Hudson (61) lines up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
The forgotten free agent, Hudson is scheduled to hit the market after the 2014 season. But, because of the contract talks between Smith and Justin Houston, many have forgotten the Chiefs starting center was in serious danger of being lost to free agency.
With the added cap room created by Flowers release, the Chiefs now have a better shot of retaining Hudson for the long-term. Much will be made about the money opened up for the 2014 and 2015 seasons but the key here is the money opened up in 2016. We can go ahead and assume Smith is going to be the immediate benefactor of the money opened up for 2014, so this would mean any deal with Hudson and/or Houston would be a true contract extension. And this makes sense given how small of a cap hit Houston and Hudson have for the 2014 season.
Opening up cap room for 2016 allows the Chiefs to give Houston a bigger number in 2015 and defer a potential contract with Hudson to 2016. It is not uncommon for players to take less money in the first year of their deal and defer the savings to the second or third year of their contract in order to help their team’s immediate salary cap needs. By 2016 the Chiefs should have an extreme amount of cap room available now that they’ve saved nearly $10 million in cap space by parting with Flowers. Big chunks of their salary cap that are presently occupied by Sean Smith, Chase Daniel, Mike DeVito, and Donnie Avery will also be off the books by 2016.
One would think it would be fair to say the Chiefs would rather trade Flowers age 30 season for Hudson’s age 26 season in 2016. Maintaining the consistency and quality of the offensive line is something the Chiefs desperately need and it is now something that is achievable with Flowers’ cap hit no longer on the books.