I was listening to 610 Sports' Shan Shariff this morning and he was talking about the Kansas City Chiefs and total team salaries -- or how much they spend each year. In 2007 the Chiefs were near the top of the payroll relative to the rest of the NFL and the last three years of course they've been very close to the bottom.
Last offseason this was a topic of conversation because the Chiefs weren't very good so we wondered if you have to spend money to be a good team.
The 2010 Chiefs confirmed to us that you don't have be near the top in money spent in order to be successful. But is this the strategy the Chiefs will employ moving forward? I have a hard time seeing how that will be the case.
The Chiefs '08 and '10 draft classes were very good with multiple players showing early that they'll be candidates for a second contract down the road. It's a good thing when you draft well but it also means $$$. Good players want to be paid like good players and the second contract is when you do that.
So think about where the Chiefs main source of talent is -- '08 and '10 drafts. Those players are still on their rookie deals thus they're a little cheaper at the moment. That's part of the reason you see (relatively) little money spent in Kansas City. Eventually, though, those players will be moving near the end of their deals where the Chiefs will have to make some decisions.
So the Chiefs payroll would seem to be trending up in the next couple years. That's when we'll find out if the Chiefs are a cheap team (2007 suggests they aren't) or if they really are focusing on building (and retaining players) through the draft.