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NFL free agency rumors, Chiefs free agents, cap space, needs and more

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When does free agency start? Glad you asked. Read our KC Chiefs free agency primer for the details.

UpdateTracking the Chiefs free agents here.

When does free agency start?

Tuesday, March 11, 3:00 p.m. (Arrowhead Time).

Who are all the NFL free agents?

Here is a good list of all the free agents in the NFL. Free agents are players whose contracts are expiring. If a player signed a 1-year deal last year, his contract expires on Tuesday at 3 p.m. (Arrowhead Time)

How can I follow free agency?

We're your best resource for pulling everything together.

Twitter@ArrowheadPride
Facebook: Arrowhead Pride

Other people who have been breaking Chiefs news: @TerezPaylor@HerbieTeope and @AdamTeicher.

Who are the Chiefs un-signed free agents?

OT Branden Albert, G Geoff Schwartz, G Jon Asamoah, WR Dexter McCluster, WR Kyle Williams, LB Akeem Jordan, DE Tyson Jackson, S Kendrick Lewis, DB Husain Abdullah, DB Quintin Demps.

Are the Chiefs going to re-sign any of their own guys?

There are no obvious signs that they are going to re-sign any of their remaining free agents, something I wondered about last week. With some players, such as Geoff Schwartz or Jon Asamoah, the Chiefs could be waiting to see where the market prices them. Others, such as Jordan, Abdullah or Demps, may not sign in the first few days of free agency.

How much cap space do the Chiefs have?

Reports have pegged it at over $9 million. They'll need about half that to pay their draft picks.

Are the Chiefs broke?

Well ... sort of. We're going to spend our time wondering if the Chiefs should sign this player or that player but I would guess that most of the players are out of the Chiefs price range. GM John Dorsey's history in Green Bay suggests he is not going to mortgage the future to make a move now. But his work in free agency last year suggests he might. Which one is the outlier? Andy Reid is also in this for the long haul (he was in Philly for 14 years). So I wouldn't expect the Chiefs to do a lot of moving around to sign free agents this year.

Can the Chiefs get any more cap space?

Probably not much but there's always wiggle room. It just depends how much you want to mortgage the future.

Restructures are possible with contracts of guys like Brandon Flowers or Tamba Hali, but that would just push payments into the future ... they'll have to pay it at some point. Along with Flowers ($10.5 million) and Hali ($11.5 million), Dwayne Bowe ($12 million) and Eric Berry ($11.6 million) have the highest cap hits this year.

Contract extensions can sometimes lower cap hits because of the way bonuses are structured. So the Chiefs could give Alex Smith a contract extension, which they say they want to do. But Smith's $7.5 million 2014 salary is already pretty low relative to other starters. They could also give Eric Berry an extension, which makes a lot of sense.

Cap casualties are also a possibility. In other words, cutting a player because you can't afford him. High-paid players (Flowers, Hali) have to wonder if they're at risk. The salary cap doesn't discriminate.

What are the Chiefs top needs?

Starters

  • Free safety: Someone to replace Kendrick Lewis. Plus safety depth with Husain Abdullah and Quintin Demps both being free agents. Some think this should be addressed in free agency.
  • Guard: It's looking like the Chiefs could lose both Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah. Backups Rishaw Johnson and Rok Watkins are unknowns. Many Chiefs didn't include this as a need early on because we figured Schwartz or Asamoah would be re-signed.
  • Wide receiver: Dexter McCluster is gone and receiver wasn't a strength to begin with. I wonder about Donnie Avery's roster spot if the Chiefs pick up another receiver. The Chiefs say they expect big things out of AJ Jenkins.
  • Defensive end: If Tyson Jackson doesn't come back, the Chiefs need a starter unless they promote from within (Allen Bailey).
  • Inside linebacker: Starter Akeem Jordan is a free agent. Not sure what 2013 fourth round pick Nico Johnson can do.

Depth

  • Pass rusher: Depth to prepare for the departure of Tamba Hali down the road. Frank Zombo has been re-signed.
  • Cornerback: Depth for 2014 and potential starters in 2015 and beyond.
  • Offensive tackle: Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson look like the starters. The Chiefs need a swing tackle.
Have the Chiefs done any work in free agency?

A little bit. CB Dunta Robinson is the biggest name cut so far. That happened a few weeks ago. The others cut last week were LB Robert James and TE Dominique Jones.

This isn't really free agency but after the season the Chiefs signed a bunch of players, some to futures contracts: DT Risean Broussard, DE Dominique Hamilton, T RJ Dill, RB Joe McKnight, S Jerron McMillian, LB Jordan Campbell, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, DE Brandon Moore, DT Chas Alecxih, S Malcolm Bronson, G Chandler Burden, WR Frankie Hammond, TE Demetrius Harris, WR Jerrell Jackson, CB Vernon Kearney, RB Eric Kettani, WR Rashad Ross, CB Kevin Rutland, WR Fred Williams, LB Ridge Wilson, LB Alonzo Highsmith.

They will be on the offseason roster, hoping to make an impact. Remember these names because I bet you a couple of them will be making next season's roster.

The Chiefs have also re-signed a few of their own free agents: LS Thomas Gafford, LB Frank Zombo, TE Richard Gordon (RFA), G Ricky Henry (RFA).

Will the Chiefs get any compensatory picks this year?

No, not in 2014. But in the 2015 draft, probably. The compensatory pick formula is not public but it has to do with the size of a contract, playing time and postseason honors (like Pro Bowls). The Chiefs are losing a number of players who will be paid well, such as Branden Albert ($10 million per year), Jon Asamoah (rumored to be getting $4.5 million per year) and Geoff Schwartz (probably higher than Asamoah).

Total guesses here: Albert could net the Chiefs a third round pick if all goes well, which is the highest compensatory pick available. Asamoah and Schwartz could pick be a fifth round pick and McCluster a late round pick.