Kansas City Chiefs Salary Cap Questions: What To Expect From The Chiefs In February

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Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (29) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports


What is probably more likely to happen in the next four weeks are some decisions on Tamba Hali and Eric Berry.

Hali’s situation may be the easiest to figure out. The all-Pro has made it clear he would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant the Chiefs could retain Justin Houston. His motivation to stay in Kansas City plus his willingness to restructure his contract suggests some kind of deal will get worked out in the next month. Depending on how the deal is structure, KC could save up to $8 million in salary cap space with a restructured Hali contract. That, plus a the four cuts, should be enough for KC to navigate Houston and Hudson’s contract situations.

Things are far more complicated with Berry.

Berry is in the final year of his rookie contract and an $8-plus million cap charge for 2015. Given his health situation, it would seem unlikely he plays much if at all this season. So what do the Chiefs do?

There are some options, some of which we’ve already discussed, but timing is crucial here. Acting now means the Chiefs will have cap space open to spend on trying to replace Berry’s production in the short term while also looking for some long term solutions via the draft. Given Ron Parker’s contract demands, Dorsey is going to need as many pennies as possible to reconstruct the safety position in Berry’s absence.

But acting now also means you’re effectively ending Berry’s 2015 season. Is that risk the Chiefs want to take?

KC could wait until the summer to make a decision on Berry but by then the opportunity to fill the void potentially left by Berry will have passed. If Berry can’t play and the Chiefs have a gaping hole at safety (Parker, Kurt Coleman, Kelcie McCray, and Chris Owens are free agents; Sanders Commings is coming off another injury) then KC is in a lot of trouble.

I fear there really isn’t a good or most optimal answer when it comes to the Berry situation. I’d imagine something gets done with Berry but my guess is it won’t be before March 10.

Next: Houston and Hudson