FanPost

What would you pay to buy a 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft?

Doug Pensinger

From the FanPosts. I don't see the Chiefs making of these trade ideas but they're creative. -Joel

To appreciate the points I’m about to make, please indulge me by momentarily forgetting about how much or how little cap space the Kansas City Chiefs reportedly have this year; just assume that the cap isn't a big issue and bear with me…

Would you pay $7 million in cap space to buy the pick?

Think about it. One time, one year gets you an extra 2nd rounder?

Ok, some of you just can’t suspend your disbelief and are still thinking, "But we don’t have the cap room!!!"

So, would you let me PAY YOU $3.5 million to take an extra 2nd rounder? What if I would PAY YOU almost $20 million in cap room (spread over the next three years) to take an extra 2nd rounder in this year’s draft? Is this starting to get a little more interesting?

You say there’s got to be a catch and, of course there is. The Chiefs simply have to trade one of our (arguably) better players.

I was listening to Ryan Scott Hall and His Dirkness on their latest Amateur Hour podcast where they discuss our cap situation and the repercussions of cutting various players to free cap room. If you haven’t heard their podcast, I highly recommend it – click here to listen.

They make some great points about the fact that most of the players the Chiefs would gain decent cap relief by cutting also happen to be our core players – and it’s a cost benefit thing. For example, is it really worth cutting Eric Berry to save $5.8 million in cap room this year? Probably not, especially because we’d still have to replace him. I think he’s worth the $5.8 million we’d save.

What they didn't take into consideration however, is what we could gain by trading that player.

Now I’m not really suggesting we trade Eric Berry but, please realize that the cap hit for cutting a player and trading a player is exactly the same. In fairness, the Amateur Hour did mention this but they never figured in the draft pick compensation as part of the value package.

I have a suggestion that seems to make sense to me (I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of weird things make sense to me) but let me lay the foundation…

Stipulation #1

I think most would agree that the Chiefs have needs at (in no particular order) free safety, wide receiver, and a pass rushing defensive end. You may have other positions in mind also but, I think everyone agrees on at least these three.

Stipulation #2

The Chiefs currently are only under the cap by a few hundred thousand dollars. I know what I said earlier about forgetting about this but, that part is over. We will have to make some cap room somehow ... even to sign our rookie draft picks.

Stipulation #3

The draft has always been important for developing team talent but it has become much more important to capology since the new CBA started capping rookie contracts. There may be some that argue this point with me but after a lot of contemplation I believe it to be undeniable. A team cannot afford to have all of its core players on their second (usually most expensive) contract. When a team gets significant starting contributions from its rookie contracts it frees up a lot of cap space to sign good free agents in other areas of need. Another way to say all of this is that rookie contracts are the new cap relief strategy for cap-strapped teams.

Stipulation #4

Like it or not, the Chiefs have too many starters on non-rookie contracts.

(You can click on the players name to be taken to each players cap number breakdowns on www.OverTheCap.com )

Here is the list of non-rookie contract starters:

Dwayne Bowe, Eric Berry, Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers, Alex Smith, Sean Smith, Jamaal Charles, Mike DeVito,Derrick Johnson, Anthony Fasano, Dustin Colquitt, Chase Daniel, Donnie Avery, Ryan Succop.

I included the backup QB and two special teamers but, even without them this is eleven starters and we don’t have anyone on the roster to replace Tyson Jackson (DE), Brandon Albert (third OT), Lewis / Demps / Abdullah (FS), or Geoff Schwartz (G). (You might argue that we have a backup for FS in Sanders Comings.)

Here is a list of rookie contract starters:

Eric Fisher, Dontari Poe, Justin Houston, Jeff Allen, Rodney Hudson, Donald Stephenson, Marcus Cooper.

So roughly a third -- 7 of 22 (7 of 24 if you include special teams) -- of our starters are on rookie contracts. This might not sound bad until you realize that Justin Houston will need a new contract in 2015 and it may be wise to extend his contract this year. This would leave us with 6 of 24 starting positions on rookie contracts (only 25 percent) and this assumes that we sign no Free Agents this year above league minimum.

Realistically, unless we let Allen Bailey and Mike Catapano fight it out to replace Jackson, unless we go with the back-up offensive linemen we already have on the roster (can you remember any of their names besides Eric Kush?), unless we can count on Sanders Comings to be starting caliber at free safety … our team will need to sign some free agents just to stay even. I project our actual percentage of starting players on rookie contracts to be below 20 percent.

Unless…

I would be shocked if Dorsey did exactly what I’m going to outline here. First of all, I’m not that smart and when it comes to this stuff I think he is but more importantly he probably already has about a dozen similar scenarios he can choose from.

I do expect him to do something creative though – that’s why we brought him in.

So, here is my suggestion in stages:

Stage #1

Sign the best available free agent safety we can get. PLUG THAT HOLE.

Stage #2

Trade Brandon Flowers for a second round pick. This pays us (saves us) $3.5 million on the cap this year, $7.5 million next year, and $8.75 million in 2016.

Of all the core players on the roster he makes the most sense to trade. He’s coming off a Pro Bowl and is still on the right side of 30 (27 years old). There has been a lot of talk about how he was drafted for a zone defense and it is obvious that he does not fit the mold of our current defensive backs or scheme.

On the surface, this may go against common sense but, when all the factors are considered this could convert a non-rookie contract into a rookie contract for the next four years – a move that I would argue we are going to need to make anyway (it’s just a matter of which year). By doing it now, we get maximum value out of him. Remember, it’s better to trade a player one year too early than one year too late.

Stage #3

Shop Tamba Hali. If we can get a second, maybe a third, take it. This pays us (saves us) $5.5 million on the cap this year and $9 million on the cap next year.

Let me be clear about this: the Chiefs are not going to pay Tamba $11.9 million in 2015. He would either have to be restructured or be cut. He’s reached the age of 30 and if we hope to get anything out of him, this is the year to trade him.

Stage #4

Shop Chase Daniel. See if we can get a mid-round pick. If so ... take it. This pays us (saves us) $1.4 million on the cap this year and $3.8 million on the cap next year.

This makes sense to me even if we use the very pick we got to turn around and draft a QB. I like Chase but we won’t be keeping him beyond this year anyway (look at the numbers). If Alex is out for more than a few games we’re not winning the Super Bowl anyway, so why not let Tyler Bray and a rookie fight it out for the #2 guy? The Chiefs just might strike gold (Russell Wilson anyone?)

Stage #5

With four draft picks in the first three rounds, draft the best WR, DE (or OLB), and two defensive backs.

By following this formula we save $10.4 million in cap space this year and could not only sign our starting free safety in free agency, we could probably, depending on position, sign another starter (offensive line anyone?) and a few back-ups.

We would be set-up for a great offseason in 2015 as well.

Questions:

1) Could we get a second rounder for Flowers?

2) What could we get for Hali?

3) If the Chiefs don’t start restructuring / reshuffling core players now, what happens when they all start becoming free agents in the very near future?

4) How crazy am I?

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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