Kansas City Chiefs Salary Cap: Hitting The Magical $30 Million Number

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Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) and wide receiver Jason Avant (81) after a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The first wave of cuts seem pretty obvious – wide receiver.

John Dorsey made it clear at his end-of-season press conference that a wide receiver overhaul is coming. Here’s some of what he told the media.

"“I think that the stats speak for themselves and we’re going to have to do some work there.” “Well, we’ve always said all along we’re going to do our due diligence to try to get as good of a player as we can in here. Sometimes you take a swing of the bat and miss it and you have to move on. You can’t hit a home run every time.”"

Change is coming.

Junior Hemingway and Frankie Hammond Jr. are potential free agents but one would think KC will at least bring them back for the 90-man roster to give them one last chance to compete for a roster spot. One would think at least one of them does not make the 53-man roster next season.

Jason Avant is also a free agent and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back on a one-year deal.

Four players are still under contract: Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins and Albert Wilson. Wilson seems like the only lock to be back next season as he showed promise over the last month of the season. As with all young players he still has things to work on but the ability to stretch the field and run Reid’s offense is definitely there.

More telling about Wilson was his ability to start over Avery, who was a healthy scratch for the last quarter of the season. This seems to spell out is future with the Chiefs as being over.

Then there is Bowe, who can be designated as a June 1 cut and save the Chiefs a lot of money against the cap. He’s the team’s only reliable receiver but his production does not match what his cap hit is to the team. Restructuring his deal is possible but it is unlikely Kansas City would save enough money to justify keeping him. The further we get away from the season, the more it seems Bowe’s time in Kansas City is done.

In the journey towards the $30 million cap space mark, Bowe, Avery, and Jenkins play a big role. Both seem to be on the outs and both would open up a significant amount of cap space.

AVERY: $3.55 million in savings

BOWE: $11 million in savings

JENKINS: $1,337,390 million in savings

Releasing those three players would save the Chiefs $15,887,390 in salary cap space, and for the most part the Chiefs would being losing much in production. Yes, Bowe is the team’s best receiver, so it is odd to say the Chiefs wouldn’t be losing much. But in the grand scheme of things the team wasn’t doing much on the outside with him in the lineup. Attacking with De’Anthony Thomas (who is listed as a running back), Wilson, a draft pick, and a free agent acquisition should at least be able to match what the Chiefs did at wide receiver in 2014 and do so at a significantly less cap hit.

Considering Dorsey’s comments, these cuts seem like a forgone conclusion.