If the Kansas City Chiefs are going to give Jamaal Charles a raise this year, they currently have $9,462,465 in salary cap space to do so. The Chiefs picked up an additional $7 million in cap space when Brandon Flowers was cut last month.
Jamaal is set to make $3.9 million this year in salary and bonuses this year while his cap hit is scheduled to be $5.2 million. That's obviously way too low for a player of his caliber, as the Chiefs are likely aware since they have reportedly known this situation and even held contract talks with Jamaal's camp.
As noted in this list of the highest paid running backs (keep scrolling to see Jamaal), LeSean McCoy makes an average of $9 million per year. That seems like a reasonable comparison. Adrian Peterson's contract just seems out of this world compared to others so I won't even go there.
The Chiefs have enough cap space to do a new deal with Jamaal. They can structure in any number of ways, possibly even lowering his 2014 cap number (NFL contracts are funny like that). There are a lot of options and $9 million is enough space to make it happen. Obviously, that just means that's money they won't be able to use later if something pops up in the middle of the season.
The real stress for GM John Dorsey comes when you step back and look at the big picture because it's not just Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs have talked about doing a new deal for Alex Smith and we know Justin Houston wants a new deal, too. Those are premiere positions.
And the year after this? Dontari Poe, Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson ... Dorsey is going to be earning his paycheck.