Kansas City Chiefs: How offensive contracts will affect roster battles

SAINT JOSEPH, MO - JULY 31: The team runs drills during Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp on July 31, 2011 in Saint Joseph, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
SAINT JOSEPH, MO - JULY 31: The team runs drills during Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp on July 31, 2011 in Saint Joseph, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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ArmchairAddict1 /

As fans of the Kansas City Chiefs anxiously await training camp, let’s take a look at how contracts could ultimately effect some roster battles.

Ah, the NFL offseason! It’s that time of year when diehard Kansas City Chiefs fans are absolutely desperate for any tidbit of information about their beloved team, but there just isn’t much to go around. Yes, we hang on every little report that comes out of OTAs—what do you mean Kaleb Johnson got first team offensive line reps?—but ultimately roster spots will be earned or lost in training camp and the preseason games.

Since the preseason is still a couple months away, I thought this week we could look at something that is already set before training camp begins: the players’ contracts and how they could ultimately influence who does or does not make the roster.

Let me start by saying that there is no need to jump into the comments and tell me that how they play on the field will ultimately determine things. I know that. I know that if an undrafted free agent plays amazing all camp and into the season, it is his play, not his small contract, that earned him that spot. However, let’s say that two undrafted free agents at different positions both play great— one is competing with a veteran to whom the Chiefs are tied for the next several years, the other is competing with a veteran who is in the last year of his deal and the Chiefs can save a couple of million in cap space if they cut him. That puts those UDFAs in very different positions when it comes to making the team. While we’d like to think it always comes down to play on the field the NFL is a business and money matters.

I also think how long a team has control of a player makes a difference. Let’s say two young players are battling for the last roster spot at their position and one is on the last year of his deal and the other is under contract through 2020. If the play on the field is similar it makes more sense to keep the guy under contract longer so if he continues to improve the team can keep him around longer on a cheap deal.

So this week I will break down the offensive position groups and look at how their contract situations could influence cap battles at that position. Again, ultimately the players must deliver on the field but here’s a look at what some players have working for or against them going into camp.

For each player I will give their current age, the last season they are currently under contract, and the cap savings if cut after June 1st. Also, without boring you with how the salary cap works, you will see some players listed as “contract not currently factoring into salary cap”. That just means that their salary is low enough that it doesn’t count into the top 51 players that count against the cap, meaning that if they are cut it would NOT save the team any money.

Let’s start with the quarterbacks.