3 worst contracts on the Kansas City Chiefs 2023 roster

Brett Veach doesn't have many glaring contract mistakes right now, but there are a few problematic contracts nonetheless.
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I am getting so excited for the 2023 season. The Deandre Hopkins sweepstakes held up the offseason for many, with several teams wondering if they could acquire the former All-Pro wide receiver. Now that the 90-man roster is clear, the players are arriving in St. Joseph for training camp, and the excitement is palpable as the season approaches. I am getting giddy just thinking about it.

NFL fans will notice the current preseason sports media cycle we are in. Now that the big free agent is gone, it is time to look at some details about each team, make some preseason predictions, and set the table for the coming season. It will be exciting to see how each team has prepared and improved during the offseason. It can also remind fans of concerning aspects that they discovered months ago.

For me, looking at the Chiefs' financials is important ahead of training camp. Cap hits and contracts can greatly affect the 53-man roster in today's NFL. The Chiefs have plenty of time before their backs are against that wall, though. Ahead of training camp getting into full swing, let's look at some of the most questionable or hindering contracts currently in Kansas City.

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire

This feels like kicking Clyde Edwards-Helaire while he is down. 

He is no longer the top rushing option in Kansas City, having been surpassed by 2022 seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco last year. It is a new low for the 2020 first-round selection and a blow to his confidence and career. Let's not forget that Edwards-Helaire had exactly 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 2020 and was considered a promising rookie. Edwards-Helaire looked like the running back of the future, like Kareem Hunt once looked alongside Patrick Mahomes. The injuries are taking their toll, despite consistent production per touch across 2021 and 2022.

He is in the final remaining year of his rookie deal in Kansas City, but any first-round rookie contract can still be a hefty one. He carries a $3.4 million cap hit in the 2023 season, nearly double the average RB salary of $1.8 million. He has the 17th-highest cap hit in the league among running backs, even higher than San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey. 

I can tell you which one is the better value by far.

Pacheco looks like the bell cow, and Jerick McKinnon will likely be a receiving threat out of the backfield again. That relegates Edwards-Helaire to an overpaid depth player at a position that prioritizes health and availability in its depth. He is the clear odd man out in the running back room and a dark horse cut candidate ahead of the 2023 season. The move would save a minimal $865,726 but incur $2,577,502 in dead money on the team's salary cap. The Chiefs trading away Edwards-Helaire is the optimal move to save cap space, albeit it feels unlikely.

Bleacher Report's Jake Rill named Edwards-Helaire as one of the Chiefs' top trade candidates, saying " it would be wiser for the Chiefs to get something in exchange for him than to not utilize him". That sentiment is not wrong at all. Trading away Edwards Helaire causes $1,357,558 in dead cap but saves Kansas City $2,085,670 against the cap. The move would get him off the Chiefs' roster and into a new situation. That may not be a bad ending to Edwards-Helaire's time in Kansas City. But, as of right now, he is likely the worst value on the Chiefs roster.