The 2013 NFL salary cap is expected to be around $121 million and the franchise tag and transition tag numbers have been tentatively set, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. We don't care so much about the actual numbers as we do the context surrounding it -- how does this affect the Kansas City Chiefs?
Here's a position-by-position look at the franchise tag numbers as it relates to the Chiefs. I see three notable positions possibly affected.
QB: Franchise: $14.642; Transition: $12.845
Nope. The Chiefs aren't franchising any quarterbacks. If they do, I am never watching another NFL game again.
RB: Franchise: $8.079; Transition: $6.851
Peyton Hillis is a free agent but obviously not worth the franchise tag.
WR: Franchise: $10.357; Transition: $8.716
Here we go: Dwayne Bowe. He very well could be franchised next year. The $10.3 million number is higher than the approximately $9.5 million it was last season when Bowe got the tag. But he would be paid 120 percent of his salary last season if he were franchised again, not the $10.3 million number. So that would be closer to $11 million.
The Chiefs CAN afford it. It's whether they decide they need him or not. Considering the Chiefs offense was awful with and without Bowe, this is an interesting decision coming up.
TE: Franchise: $5.962; Transition: $5.105
OL: Franchise: $9.660; Transition: $8.560
Branden Albert is a free agent, so is Ryan Lilja. Albert's the one who could get franchise tag consideration. Like most players, Albert would probably rather take the longterm deal than the tag. But the only leverage he has against the franchise tag is to not sign it and therefore not play.
So the Chiefs can keep Albert if they want to. They can afford it. Remember this: there is absolutely no reason the Chiefs should enter 2013 without Albert or another left tackle as good as him. None.
DT: Franchise: $8.306; Transition: $6.919
DE: Franchise: $10.984; Transition: $8.994
Glenn Dorsey is an impending free agent but I'd be surprised if they committed this much money to him. Dorsey isn't a bad player. It's just that players getting nearly $11 million need to be among the elite at their position. Dorsey isn't.
LB: Franchise: $9.455; Transition: $8.216
The Chiefs three stars are all locked up for a while -- Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston.
CB: Franchise: $10.668; Transition: $8.939
Brandon Flowers would be the possibility here but he already signed a longterm deal last year.
S: Franchise: $6.798; Transition: $5.899
Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis are both under multi-year deals.
K/P: Franchise: $2.926; Transition: $2.654
Dustin Colquitt is a very real possibility here. The Chiefs do not have him under contract for the 2013 season. If they can't sign him, the tag may be a consideration considering it's so cheap.