This is my first ever fanpost at Arrowhead Pride. I have been a long time reader of the site but have never posted. I was raised a Kansas City Chiefs fan growing up in SW Missouri. Since moving to Tulsa to go to school, I no longer get the regional coverage of the Chiefs, so I depend a lot on Arrowhead Pride for my Chiefs news. Below is my assessment of what I would do if I were in Scott Pioli's shoes as GM of my Kansas City Chiefs.
My salary cap figures will be based off of information found in this Bob Gretz article done yesterday along with contract numbers and information found on a website called Spotrac.
First things first: According to Bob Gretz, after the signing of Standford Routt, the Chiefs have spent approximately $105 Million in player contracts for 2012. With a salary cap of $120 Million and including a $24 Million carryover from last year, this will leave the Chiefs with $39 Million to cover the remaining signings.
With this information in mind, my first step as GM of the Chiefs would be to approach Tyson Jackson about reworking his contract. Jackson has turned into a solid contributor for the Chiefs but he is due $8 Million this year and $14 Million next year with all of his bonuses and incentives. While he has stepped up his game, he has not justified his current salary. It would be in our best interest to emphasize that with Jackson's help, we can drastically improve our team as a whole.
Result: Offer Tyson Jackson a 3 Year $12M contract with a $3M signing bonus.
The yearly breakdown would be:
Year 1 - $5M Salary + $1M Bonus = $6M
Year 2 - $3.5M Salary + $1M Bonus = $4.5M
Year 3 - $3.5M Salary + $1M Bonus = $4.5 M
This move would save us $2M on the salary cap this year giving us $41M in cap space.
Sign Dwayne Bowe to a long term extension. Bowe has been an integral part of our offense for the past few years. We cannot afford to take a step back in this department.
Result: Offer Dwayne Bowe a 5 Year $45M contract with a $7.5M signing bonus.
Year 1 - $12M Salary + $1.5M Bonus = $13.5M
Year 2 - $12M Salary + $1.5M Bonus = $13.5M
Year 3 - $7M Salary + $1.5M Bonus = $8.5M
Year 4 - $7M Salary + $1.5M Bonus = $8.5M
Year 5 - $7M Salary + $1.5M Bonus = $8.5M
Our defense is on the cusp of being something truly special. In order to take that next step, we need to make the move the bring in an elite nose tackle.
Result: Offer Paul Soliai a 4 Year $36M contract with an $8M signing bonus.
Year 1 - $8M Salary + $2M Bonus = $10M
Year 2 - $10M Salary + $2M Bonus = $12M
Year 3 - $10 Salary + $2M Bonus = $12M
Year 4 - $8M Salary + $2M Bonus = $10M
With these contract details, our cap room currently stands at $17.5M.
In order to be successful, we need to retain some of our vital free agents.
Result: Re-Sign the following players
LeRon McClain - 3 Years $6M ($3M, $1.5M, $1.5M)
Everybody else spread evenly over the contract years:
Jovan Belcher - 5 Years $5M & $1M Bonus
Wallace Gilberry - 2 Years $1M
Amon Gordon - 2 Years $1.5M
Barry Richardson - 3 Years $3M
Travis Daniels - 2 Years $1M
Now our cap standing is approximately $11M.
This will probably be the least popular step of my process, but step 5 is to tag and trade Brandon Carr to New England for the 31st pick in Round 1. We do not have the cap room now or in the near future to handle Carr's contract demands, so we get a great draft pick out of him.
Round 1 (11) - Riley Reiff OT Iowa
Lets face it, our biggest gap in the offensive line is at right tackle. I think David DeCastro is an absolute beast, but so is Riley Reiff. We also know how much Scott Pioli loves Iowa Hawkeyes.
Round 1 (31) - Dwayne Allen TE Clemson
The Chiefs are in need of another TE to play alongside Tony Moeaki. Dwayne Allen is widely regarded as the best TE prospect in the 2012 draft.
Round 2 - Markelle Martin S Oklahoma State
We are severely lacking in safety depth. Martin is a long time starter who is great in coverage and a big hitter.
Round 3 - Kevin Zeitler OG Wisconsin
With Ryan Lilja still under contract, we let Zeitler sit for a year or two while he develops into our future starting guard. He also provides excellent depth in the case of injury.
Round 4 - Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati
It's time to replace Thomas Jones.
Round 5 - Mike Brewster OC Ohio State
Round 6 - Case Keenum QB Houston
Matt Cassel will probably be the starting QB for the Chiefs in 2012 one way or another. Going to a C-USA school myself, I have seen a lot of Case Keenum over the past 4 years. He has bounced back from his knee injury to play at a very high level this past year. He and Stanzi can battle for the 2 and 3 slots and who will eventually take over the starting position down the road.
Round 7 (11) - Greg Childs WR Arkansas
Many people may not remember that Greg Childs was one of the best receivers of the 2010-2011 season until he went down with a knee injury. He was unable to bounce back and have a very good year, but reports from the East-West Shrine Game said that Childs looked very good in practices. He has the ability to be a great receiver and I am willing to take a 7th Round risk on him to turn out.
Round 7 (31) - Curnelius Arnick ILB Tulsa
This is my homer pick of the draft, but Curnelius Arnick is an animal with a great nose for the football. With Derrick Johnson, Jovan Belcher, Brandon Siler, and Demorrio Williams under contract, ILB will not be very high on the list of priorities for the Chiefs. Arnick has great potential that could translate into the NFL if he works hard.
I predict after signing our draft picks, we could have $4-5M left to handle camp bodies and a miscellaneous contract here or there.
Based on front-loading some of the larger contracts as I did above, I calculate we would be at roughly $106M on our player contracts in 2013. This would put us around $15M under the cap for next year.
Some of my calculations may not be spot-on, but I tried to get as close as possible. I tried to do my best to balance between filling needs we have and being realistic with our cap space. Feel free to critique as you like. Hope you enjoy.