Cap Breakdown: Restructures And Roster Cuts For The Kansas City Chiefs

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Potential Cuts (Part Two)

Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Donnie Avery (17) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Donnie Avery

Cutting Avery is a no-brainer. He’s a limited No. 3 receiver masquerading as a No. 2, and he’s due 4.05 million next year.

In six games (three starts) this season—he missed the remainder due to injury—Avery reeled in just 15 catches for 176 yards.

Last year, PFF ranked him No. 210 of 216 total wideouts. And in 2012, a year in which he received 112 targets as a member of the Colts, Avery tied for the fourth-most drops (12 total) in the league.

His production doesn’t warrant anything in the vicinity of his 2015 price tag, and axing him from the roster would lead to $3.55 million in spending money.

Joe Mays

There’s a misconception that inside linebackers are interchangeable; in the Chiefs’ scheme, they’re not.

Mays is a strong-side inside linebacker (SILB), which essentially means that he lines up on the side of center that packs the most potential blockers. On a normal down, his primary role is to nullify lead blocks and free up his weak-side cohort, who is typically a more athletic playmaker (e.g. Johnson).

“And every now and again, Jenkins flashes the potential that deemed him a first-round pick. But right now, he’s the fifth-best wideout on a receiving corps that starts Donnie Avery.”

In other words, if Mays were to be cut, you can’t plug Mauga in and expect success. And since James-Michael Johnson struggled last season—among qualified inside linebackers, PFF ranked him 55th (of 60) in run defense—releasing Mays would leave the roster with a glaring void.

Considering that SILBs only take the field on running downs, they’re not the most valued players; Dorsey isn’t wasting an early pick on one. However, waiting until later rounds can result in a case like Nico Johnson’s, where a player is plucked from the practice squad.

If Kansas City signs a serviceable replacement, Mays will be out the door. Until then, though, his roster spot is secure.

A.J. Jenkins

For whatever reason, Jenkins has never resembled the guy from college film.

When it comes to intangibles, I’m not the “Trade for Tebow! He sweats holy water!!!” type. However, Jenkins looks like someone sapped of confidence, which was anything but the case during his time at Illinois.

Unlike Jon Baldwin, his scouting report wasn’t littered with caution flags. And every now and again, Jenkins flashes the potential that deemed him a first-round pick.

But right now, he’s the fifth-best wideout on a receiving corps that starts Donnie Avery.

Vance Walker

When put into context, Walker offered the most bang for the buck (statistically speaking) among Kansas City’s defensive ends. For example, while he netted just two sacks, said sacks stemmed from only 141 pass-rushing attempts. On average, he corralled the quarterback once per 70.5 pass rushes; Hali did so once per 79.7.

Furthermore, among 3-4 defensive ends, PFF ranked Walker 13th against the run and 16th overall. No other Chiefs defensive end (excluding DeVito) graded out in the top 50.

The sparseness of his snaps remains a mystery. But when his name was called upon last season, he made the most of his opportunities.

One of the four ends—Kevin Vickerson is a free agent—is bound to receive walking papers.

Due to his recent extension, the Chiefs would actually lose money by cutting Allen Bailey, and Jaye Howard’s upside easily outweighs his $660,000 salary.

While DeVito is a run-stuffing road block, he’s three years older than Walker and rehabbing a torn Achilles. He also carries a heftier price tag—his departure would create $4 million in cap space—while Walker’s release would amount to just $1.75 million in additional room.

If Dorsey finds himself in a pinch and coaches have faith that Walker can handle a heavier workload, DeVito may end up the odd man out.

Contract information provided by Over the Cap. Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) and