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

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Dec 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) prepares to throw the ball as Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) and outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) defend during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There is an old adage that says it is better to get rid of a player one year too early than one year too late. This saying may need to be applied to Tamba Hali.

Hali is running out of gas and it started to show a bit in December. In his final four games he accumulated a -0.1 overall grade, and recorded only two sacks in his final 10 games. Hali’s +5.8 pass rush grade for 2014 was the worst pass rush grade of his career.

Dee Ford is waiting in the wings to replace him, and the Chiefs could desperately use the $9 million in cap space Hali would net them if the team parted ways with him. The writing seems to be on the wall for Hali, as tough as that may sound.

A restructured deal is possible with Hali but it would have to be in the form of Hali taking a pay cut as adding years to his deal wouldn’t be wise at this stage of his career. Does Hali want to take a pay cut big enough to give back as much of that $9 million in cap space as possible? Hali is owed a $2 million roster bonus and has a base salary of $6.75 million. It’s hard to see a scenario where the Chiefs could restructure and get enough cap space back in return.

It’ll be a sad day but the likelihood is Hali will not be with the Chiefs next season.

With the $9 million saved from cutting Hali, the Chiefs’ cap space would increased to about: