Making Sense of the Chiefs Salary Cap and How it Impacts 2013 and Beyond

Much of this information was included in my Fanpost written about a week ago. I decided I want to focus in on the current salary cap information we have because this has major implications on the moves the Chiefs will make in 2012 and 2013 in particular. What follows is a roughly comprehensive view of our financial situation this year and next which should give people an accurate idea of how much money we have to spend. Once again, my contract details come from Spotrac. I'm also going to assume that all FA contracts signed are spread evenly over the years signed.

The first thing that is important to understand is that the carryover money from last year means we need to separately evaluate every move the Chiefs make with how it impacts 2012 vs 2013. To get started, Scott Pioli recently stated that the Chiefs will have roughly $38 M in cap room for 2012 of which $24 M is carryover from last year. I'm going to assume these numbers already include Stanford Routt's contract (if they don't, it only emphasizes the point more). This leaves $14 M in actual cap space for 2012 assuming a league salary cap of $120 M.

2012 Cap Space: $38 M

2012 Chiefs Free Agents

These are the Chiefs players that are currently without a contract who I feel should be resigned not including Dwayne Bowe:

LeRon McClain
Jovan Belcher
Wallace Gilberry
Amon Gordon
Barry Richardson

Resigning these five players will likely cost in the realm of $5 M.

2012 Cap Space after retaining FA except Dwayne Bowe: $33 M

2012 Chiefs Draft

Last year's draft cost the Chiefs about $5 M to pay for the rookie contracts. I'm going to assume this year's draft will land about the same amount.

2012 Cap Space after signing draft picks: $28 M

Dwayne Bowe

Many Chiefs fans are clamoring for Dwayne Bowe to be resigned. He is a huge asset to our offense that has already struggled. He will most likely command a yearly salary around $8-10M. I'm going to use $9M/year for the sake of this arguement.

2012 Cap Space after resigning Dwayne Bowe: $19 M


Now with this thought in mind, we have $19 M in space left for 2012 which means we have actually overspent the cap into the carryover money by $6 M. We will now jump ahead to look at 2013. For the sake of this argument, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the cap is increased to $125 M for 2013.

Current Contract Obligations for 2013

Adding the players currently on the Chiefs roster that have a contract for 2013, we get a total of about $85 M. Based on a salary cap of $125 M, this leaves us with $40 M in cap room for 2013.

2013 Cap Space: $40 M

2012 Chiefs Free Agents Resigned

The free agents we resigned for 2012 add $5 M because I'm assuming the amount of money for these players will be spread evenly from year to year.

2013 Cap Space after considering 2012 FA resignings: $35 M

2012 Chiefs Draft

The draft picks from 2012 cost $5 M. I'm going to say this number will grow to $7 M in 2013.

2013 Cap Space after considering 2012 draft pick signings: $28 M

Dwayne Bowe

Dwayne Bowe cost us $9 M/year once again spread evenly to 2013.

2013 Cap Space after resigning Dwayne Bowe: $19 M

2013 Draft

Now for the 2013 draft, I will once again take an amount of $5 M to lock up our draft picks.

2013 Cap Space after signing 2013 draft picks: $14 M

2013 FA Resignings

Here is a list of Chiefs players without a contract in 2013 along with the average yearly salary of their current contract:

Glenn Dorsey - $5 M
Demorrio Williams - $3.2 M
Ryan Lilja - $2.5 M
Dustin Colquitt - $1.25 M
Brandon Albert - $670 k
Donald Washington - $575 k
Thomas Gafford - $550 k
Anthony Toribio - $380 k
Brandon Siler - $700 k
Jake O'Connell - $640 k

So let's just take Brandon Albert in this example because he will most likely be the top priority to resign in 2013. We all know the salaries that left tackles receive in the league. Brandon Albert has elevated his level of play into the upper half of LT in the league. We can expect he will receive a pretty lucrative raise from his current average salary of $670 k. For this example, I'll say he takes a deal to make $5 M per year, which is a substantial raise but probably still a sweetheart deal from Brandon Albert to remain a Chief.

2013 Cap Space after resigning Brandon Albert: $9 M



So what do all of these numbers mean for the Chiefs right now, in 2012?

#1 - After resigning Dwayne Bowe and our other 5 FA listed above, we have $19 M in current cap space. Not a bad amount.

#2 - Considering the moves from #1, adding draft picks in 2013, and resigning just Brandon Albert, we have $9 M in cap space for 2013.

What this all boils down to is that we as fans can often be guilty of only looking at the here and now. We want the Chiefs in the playoffs now, we want Peyton Manning now, we want the Superbowl now. However, as a GM, Scott Pioli must put the best team on the field this year while not bankrupting the team next year and beyond.

So here is what you need to take away from this fanpost:

Any additional free agents signed this year MUST have combined total contracts that do not exceed $19 M.

Any additional free agents signed this year MUST NOT cost more than a combined total of $9 M in 2013. This number is only resigning Brandon Albert in 2013 and dropping the other 9 free agents including Glenn Dorsey, Ryan Lilja, and Dustin Colquitt.

In other words, the chances of the Chiefs actually pursuing anybody like Peyton Manning, Paul Soliai, Carl Nicks, etc. are extremely slim to none, and there is 0 chance we sign more than one. We should probably consider lowering our expectations for the current FA period.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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