I realize that a lot of people will be perplexed to see Jawaan Taylor's name on here, which is fair considering the very large contract he signed this past March. It has been a disastrous season for Taylor so far. He's the most penalized player in the NFL and he hasn't played up to his contract, even when factoring out the mistakes.
The primary reason that Taylor has been included here is because of how his contract is structured. On March 17 of this year, $20M of his 2025 salary becomes fully guaranteed. If/when that money vests, the Chiefs would essentially be locked into the contract until the 2026 offseason.
What are the cap implications of cutting Jawaan Taylor? If they were to straight up release him, they would $9.45M in cap space for 2024. But if they released with a Post-June 1 designation, then $9.45M of the dead money would be moved to 2025. This would mean that Kansas City would see zero cap savings or penalty by making such a move.
But why would the Chiefs do it now rather than after next season? Because once the 2025 vests, the cap implications (for the ensuing season) of cutting him in the 2025 offseason would be the exact same as doing it before March 17. The main difference is that the Chiefs would be down an extra $20M in real life cash next offseason.
Do I think that Brett Veach will actually pull the trigger on such a move? Probably not, but it's a realistic scenario to consider if the team is confident they can find a more cost-effective replacement.
Odds that he's back: 90%