With several key in-house contributors slated to hit unrestricted free agency in 2012, and an expectation to be active participants in free agency, the Chiefs have chosen to execute the salary cap "carry over" clause tied to the new CBA.
This was probably the easiest decision of the year for the Chiefs. From what I can tell, there is no downside to carrying that extra salary cap over so, of course, they're going to carry it over. So I don't think you should take this one particular move as a sign of anything, really, because other teams will do the same thing.
That said, the Chiefs are set up very nicely for free agency because of that cap space.
The KCChiefs.com article cites some quotes from Clark Hunt talking with the Border Patrol on 810 WHB during Super Bowl week and here's one of the points Hunt made:
"Last year when I was speaking with some of the media about our salary cap situation I told them that this situation is going to change dramatically as we go forward and as we go onto 2012 and 2013. We are going to utilize that cap space and thank goodness we've been able to carry over the space that we had into 2011, 2012 and 2013 because it's really going to help us, it's going to give us an advantage against other teams that will have to let guys go."
That last part is true -- the Chiefs can make decisions based on football and not the salary cap (or, not completely on the salary cap). Take Santonio Holmes and the New York Jets. According to plenty of reports, he was a problem with the Jets last year. But....their salary cap situation basically won't let them do anything with him. The player holds the power in this instance.
What I'm hoping is that some of those contracts other teams handed out in the uncapped year end up, to put it eloquently, screwing other teams over, which leads to more talent on the open market.
In the end, though, actions speak louder than words (insert "Show-Me-State" pun here) so we shall be waiting to see what GM Scott Pioli can pull off in free agency 2012.
Everyone getting excited? We are less than a month away.