Everything you need to know about the Chiefs cutting Cairo Santos

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Kicker Cairo Santos
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Kicker Cairo Santos /
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It’s important to note at this point that Butker was a seventh round choice making seventh round money. Next year he will be making far less, a mere percentage, of what Cairo Santos will be making. Whether that’s with the Chiefs or another team (give us a minute to explain), the finances need to be discussed.

If Santos can prove he’s healthy and just as accurate as ever, he stands to make around $3 million on the open market per year. That was the annual going rate for this year’s top kickers and Santos is certainly among that group. Given his youth and accuracy, Santos has every reason to believe he can match those deals and average the same, likely over 3 years.

Compare the $3 million cost per season to the cost of keeping Butker around. By signing Butker away, he becomes an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA) in 2018. This means every offseason, the Chiefs can offer a veteran minimum tender to Butker and he has to sign it (or sit out a season). Essentially, the Chiefs have an ongoing year-to-year ability to sign Butker for the veteran minimum for the next two seasons. After that, he will be free from the ERFA designation.

This means that instead of paying Santos $6 million over the next 2 years, the Chiefs can pay Butker approximately $1 million total over the same time span. If Butker delivers, that’s a decent savings for a team that’s constantly against the cap.