Justin Houston, Chiefs restructure contract: Why it helps


The Kansas City Chiefs and outside linebacker Justin Houston have agreed to a contract restructure, saving the team some cap space.

On Wednesday morning, ESPN’s Field Yates reported that the Chiefs and Justin Houston came to an agreement on a restructuring of his $101 million contract. The details are basic. Houston will see $6 million of his 2016 salary converted from base to bonus, which simply means it’s spread out across the rest of his contract.

Because of this, Houston gets a bit more guaranteed money down the road, and the Chiefs get immediate cap relief. Kansas City went into the day with a league-low $5 million in space but have emerged with $11 million. Houston’s cap hit does rise $1.5 million next season, but should Kansas City roll over all of its current cap space into 2017, they have opened up $4.5 million against the cap.

In short, the Chiefs just created $4.5 million in cap space for 2017, in a year when Dontari Poe and Eric Berry are both looming free agents. Berry is currently on the franchise tag and could be tagged again, somewhere in the neighborhood of $13 million. Poe would be even more expensive than that, making this newfound cap space a big deal.

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Combined with the news that Kansas City released rookie third-round corner KeiVarae Russell (and then signed outside linebacker Dezman Moses), it’s been an interesting day in the Chiefs Kingdom.