Dontari Poe is likely gone


The Kansas City Chiefs are going to pay huge money if they want to keep Dontari Poe.

On Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Fletcher Cox a six-year deal for $103 million with a whopping $63 million guaranteed. While Cox plays defensive end in the 3-4 scheme and Poe is a nose tackle, the money still correlates to some degree.

With Poe set to hit free agency after this year, there is a good chance that he goes to market looking to break the bank. Kansas City does have some leverage, however, with the franchise tag looming. After exercising Eric Fisher’s 2017 option and extending Travis Kelce, general manager John Dorsey can tag Poe without fear of losing anybody else of consequence.

All that said, the Chiefs are in a tough financial spot. Kansas City only has $4.684 million in cap space next year, and that doesn’t include Eric Berry’s eventual number. When that happens, the Chiefs will be over the cap by approximately $6 million.

So, we reach the business side of things. Kansas City just drafted Chris Jones and Jaye Howard is 335 pounds. The Chiefs could very well put Howard at nose tackle and let Jones and Allen Bailey start on the ends. Poe is simply going to be very expensive and Kansas City doesn’t have the cash unless it releases a ton of players.

For example, the Chiefs could do the following to open up space. They could cut Jamaal Charles and Dustin Colquitt, saving $11 million. They could also extend Fisher’s contract and likely lower his cap hit by another $7 million. If they do those things, the Chiefs would have roughly $12 million in space, with $5 million going to the draft class.

In other words, you only have $7 million left and still not enough to get Poe done while signing other guys to fill out the team.

My guess is the following: Josh Mauga gets cut for a $3 million savings. Anthony Sherman gets cut to save $1.8 million. Fisher gets extended and saves the team $7 million. Tyler Bray gets released to save $1.2 million. Charles gets an extension of one year to bring his number down by $4 million. Colquitt gets released and saves $4.1 million.

All told, that would put Kansas City at $15 million under the cap. The Chiefs could then sign the draft class and sign Poe if he agrees to a deal with a low number in 2017. If not, he’ll be long gone.