Kansas City Chiefs Salary Cap Questions: What To Expect From The Chiefs In February
By Ben Nielsen
Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Donnie Avery (17) before the start of the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
THE (SEEMINGLY) OBVIOUS CUTS
There are some players on the Chiefs’ roster we can be fairly certain are not going to be around next season based on their performance and their estimated salary cap numbers. We can also come to some of these conclusions based on what was said by John Dorsey and Andy Reid at the end of the season, specifically with the offensive line and the wide receivers.
Wide receiver is a clear position group where the Chiefs can shed some salary cap space and not worry about losing anything in terms of talent. We can be pretty certain there will be a lot of turnover with a group that simply wasn’t very explosive and could make plays when Alex Smith needed them to do so.
Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins would appear to be likely cap casualties in the next four weeks. The two of them combined to take up an estimated $4,887,390 in salary cap space, and neither produced much on the field in their time in Kansas City. Avery seemed to have lost his job after his groin injury to Albert Wilson, and Jenkins could find the field even when he was healthy.
Chase Daniel would appear to be the next cap casualty even with the injury to Tyler Bray. KC already has Aaron Murray and Terrelle Pryor under contract as backups to Alex Smith, which means the need for Daniel isn’t as great as it was two years ago. Parting ways with Daniel would open up an estimated $3.8 million in salary cap space.
Inside linebacker Joe Mays is next on the chopping block. One of Kansas City’s defensive projects will be rebuilding an inside linebacker corps that has basically consisted of just Derrick Johnson for the last decade. DJ is coming off injury and in the final year of his contract. Josh Mauga is a pending free agent, and most of what is behind him is replacement level at best. KC has to rebuild, no question.
Mays missed most of the season due to injury and played only 122 snaps on defense this year for Kansas City. His salary cap number is projected at $4 million and releasing him would save the Chiefs $3 million. One would imagine his departure would ensure the Chiefs spend at least one draft pick on an inside linebacker in the draft.
These four cuts represent an estimated $11,687,390 savings towards the salary cap. Depending on where the actually salary cap number is for the league and for the Chiefs, that savings should be enough to ensure at least one of Houston or Hudson is under contract either with a new deal or with the franchise tag. But it’s probably not enough to get both of them under plus leave room for other offseason addition.
This is where the questions become more complicated and painful.
Next: Next Round Of Cap Casualties