The salary cap is a difficult equation and a chief concern (pun intended) of all General Managers of the NFL. Finding ways to resign players, add free agents, sign draft picks, and stay under the cap is a big part of John Dorsey’s big paychecks. Things like dead money, cap number, restructuring contracts, contract extensions, and general salary cap knowledge is explained here by Jason Seibel.
Freeing up space to sign in-house free agents this season will be difficult for the Chiefs considering how little space remains on the projected cap. Overthecap.com has estimated the Chiefs to be at $126M of the approximated $129M league salary cap. Typically signing draft picks alone requires around $4.5M and therefore the Chiefs already can’t afford to sign any of their free agents with expiring contracts. Overthecap is very good at what they do but there are many things that affect the cap and ways to can generate additional cap space. The signing of reserve-future contract players and the most recent signing of Weston Dressler affect the current cap number immediately but may not be on the team or affecting the cap when the roster must be cut to 53 players and the team must be under the cap later this summer.
If Mr. Dorsey has taken my advice he has already cleared up about $8M in the trades of Brandon Flowers and Tamba Hali while possibly affecting the cap space with new contracts for Alex Smith and Justin Houston. Here are moves I would make to open up some cap room if I were GM.
1. Eric Berry
Whether it is by a restructure or a contract extension Eric Berry’s cap number needs to be lowered this offseason. I am all for doing whatever it takes to make sure number 29 is a Chief for life. Restructuring Berry could free up approximately $4M in cap space for this year while likely making it necessary to give him a new contract via an extension next offseason.
2. Cut Dunta Robinson – I gotta get these posts out sooner Dosey keeps beating me to the punch
Dunta Robinson is not going to be a Chief next season. He may save some face and simply retire but if he does not he should be cut without question. This would open up $3M of cap space while creating $2M in dead money.
3. Trade Chase Daniel
This move would not make a huge impact on the salary cap freeing up around $1M. However, in my opinion Coach Reid will be comfortable with Tyler Bray as the second string quaterback after another offseason and Dorsey will certainly add another quaterback in the draft or find and undrafted free agent for the developmental project. Daniel’s performance in the final game of the regular season will be enough to entice a needy team to make a deal, I don’t expect much in a trade but if a deal isn’t made this offseason Daniel will be cut next offseason when his cap number increases. Getting some value from him now is beneficial for the franchise.
Cutting Donnie Avery makes sense and I would probably make this move. It would free up a little more and $1M while creating $1M is dead money. I feel comfortable cutting Avery because I have no doubt the Chiefs will add additional receiver talent in the draft and maybe even a sign an impact free agent. Another reason I am comfortable cutting Avery is because AJ Jenkins has replaced Jon Baldwin on the depth chart. I believe Jenkins can take Avery’s roll without missing a step, and those fellas take fast steps. AJ could be cut instead of Donnie simply because Jenkins cut would come with no dead money while opening $1M in cap space.
If Brandon Flowers isn’t traded he won’t be cut but could be asked to restructure for the second offseason in a row, which just makes his cap number higher for the remainder of his contract. If he would be willing to go with an entire new contract taking a pay cut, the way Tyson Jackson did, that would be ideal. Seeing Dwayne Bowe rip up and sign a new contract would be perfect but we all know that will not happen. Restructuring Dwayne would free up some space this year while making the rest of his contract harder to bear as well as making him all but impossible to trade or cut for some time. I do not like the idea of restructuring or extending Tamba Hali because he is expensive and I foresee his production dropping as father time catches him.
Did I say something dumb, am I misinformed? Let me know in the comments section. Most importantly GO CHIEFS!