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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S Justin Reid

To be clear, I think Kansas City should keep Justin Reid this offseason. After Bryan Cook went down earlier in 2023, Reid was a glue player in the defensive secondary. He had a career year in Kansas City, recording 959 combined tackles and three sacks in Steve Spagnuolo's scheme. Those are just numbers, but it is hard to imagine Kansas City's defense without Reid.

Safety is slowly turning the way of running back regarding value and replaceability. Most of the top safeties in 2023 were on their rookie contracts with the same team that drafted them. For every Jessie Bates III or Tyrann Mathieu, there are two Jordan Battles or Ifeatu Melifonwus. It is a trend that hurts safeties with lengthy NFL careers, but thems the breaks kid.

Reid's 2024 cap hit currently sits at $14.25 million, making him the highest-paid defensive player not named L'Jarius Sneed. Is he worth that? It is debatable, for sure. But if Kansas City wants flexibility for trading or extending Sneed, they should hold on to Reid for the time being. If they want to retain Sneed and defensive tackle Chris Jones, Reid's current cap hit is untenable.

There are two options Kansas City has if they want to reduce Reid's cap impact: cut him or extend him. The former feels like an emergency option, one only approach if they knew what to do with the $10.75 million in cap savings. The latter option feels bold, going against a league-wide trend but keeps a Super Bowl core together.

Whatever Kansas City does with Reid's contract, he is a solid player. I feel comfortable with Kansas City entering 2024 with Reid and a combination of a recovering Cook and Chamarri Conner. Kansas City moving on from Reid right now feels like a big gamble, without replacing him with a player commanding a similar financial commitment.