Jamaal Charles: Will Chiefs cut him?


The Kansas City Chiefs desperately need salary cap room. Will they cut Jamaal Charles to get it?

Everyone knows the Chiefs are financially strapped. Right now, according to Over The Cap, Kansas City has 1.2 million of space to work with. That amount ranks the Chiefs dead last in the National Football League.

So, it begs the question, should general manager John Dorsey cut Charles to save cap space?

On the surface, the answer is no. The Chiefs need Charles for their championship push and can create space by signing Eric Berry, who currently is holding up $10.8 million on the franchise tag. If Berry signs long-term, the Chiefs would likely get about $6 million in addition space.

However, this could be the last year we see Charles in red and gold (or yellow, as I will forever contend). This season, Charles is due to earn $5.3 million against the cap. Should Dorsey move on, there isn’t a cent of dead money.

For the above reasons, I don’t see Charles anywhere but Kansas City in 2016. Unfortunately, I think that is the end of the line barring a restructure.

The Chiefs need to sign Dontari Poe, who is due to hit free agency after this season. Putting the tag on him only makes the financial situation more tenuous. Kansas City has just $4.2 million in space for 2017, and that will be gone after signing a draft class. Factor in having to re-sign guys on expiring deals and the Berry contract, and Kansas City has major problems.

The only way Poe remains in Kansas City is an extension for Eric Fisher (bringing down his cap hit of $11.9M to perhaps half that) and either extending of releasing Charles.

Charles is slated to make $7 million but he could be released without penalty. That’s a huge savings toward signing a younger player. Another Chiefs great, Dustin Colquitt, is also likely to be gone. Colquitt would be a $4.1 million savings, while Josh Mauga represents a $3 million return. Anthony Sherman could also be jettisoned to save $1.8 million.

If Kansas City made all those moves, it would net an additional $22 million, which would be enough to sign the rookies, pay a few minimum deals and fit Poe into the equation.

I make no bones about my feelings toward Charles. He’s a phenomenal player and an all-time favorite. Watching him go would be brutal, but the writing might be on the wall after signing Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware to extensions.