The 3 worst contracts on the Chiefs' payroll ahead of free agency

These are the most problematic financial commitments on the Chiefs' books heading into the offseason.

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LG Joe Thuney

Did you know Joe Thuney leads all active NFL players with four Super Bowl wins? That number, tied for the third-most all-time, came after Thuney did not suit up against the San Francisco 49ers this February. It is an incredible milestone for the North Carolina State alum, but will he win another in a Chiefs uniform? His contract may cast doubts on that possibility.

Thuney has two years remaining on the five-year, $80 million deal he signed ahead of the 2021 season. He was a surprise singing in Kansas City, the first knee-jerk reaction to the Chief's poor Super Bowl showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thuney was a top interior offensive lineman in the deal's first two years, but his performance fell off slightly in 2023.

Kansas City is paying Thuney to be a top-five guard, and he frankly was not that in 2023. His 33 pressures allowed in 2023 were more than 2021 and 2022 combined, but he still logged 1,070 snaps at left guard. Thuney has value as a veteran starter on the offensive line, but is it worth his $26.97 million cap hit? I do not think so.

Thuney is taking up 10.7% of Kansas City's cap space, valuable space for the decisions this team faces during the offseason. That is a big jump from his previous cap impacts, and his decreasing production only exacerbates the problem. The Chiefs won this previous Super Bowl without Thuney in the game. That fact could make the $5.03 million in cap savings more enticing, but still incurring $21.94 million in the dead cap is tough to swallow.

I do not want Thuney to go, as he has been a stabilizing force alongside Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith. But, if his cap savings are the difference between retaining a younger talent or one of the elite defensive players in free agency, it is time to move on.