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Five Chiefs stories to know: Christian McCaffrey, free agents and of course Tony Romo

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Five Chiefs stories from the past week we should

Seth Keysor (MNchiefsfan) wrote Saturday that the Chiefs would be insane to cut Jeremy Maclin.

While I agree with Seth here, it is worth noting the contract situation for Maclin. According to Spotrac, Maclin is going to take a $12.4 million hit on the Chiefs cap (including a $2.4 million signing bonus) in 2017. $7.2 million of that would be dead cap for the Chiefs if they released Maclin. That number would be $2.4 million after June 1.

Seth hit all the right notes with Maclin’s performance analysis, or lack thereof, in 2017. Spotrac’s figures say that the Chiefs are No. 30 in the league in cap space available (about $4.2 million). When the Chiefs part ways with Nick Foles, they’ll be sitting at about $11 million under the cap. If Dorsey did this, they’d have to spend that money on upgrading the offense.

Field Gulls wrote about the Chiefs free agency situation in 2017. (They even interviewed Joel!)

Kenneth Arthur (@KennethArthuRS) focused on the free agency problem with Eric Berry and Dontari Poe. The problem is how will the Chiefs sign both Poe and Berry? Arthur says he doesn’t see it as a possibility at this point.

After KC releases Foles, they’ll be $10.9 million under the cap. That basically just gives them the room to keep Berry on at least the franchise tag, but doesn’t even give them enough space to sign their draft picks so more moves will have to be made. ... Despite optimism that the Chiefs could keep Poe, I just don’t see it as probable.

Poe’s performance has dropped considerably in the last two years. In 2013 and 2014, Poe amounted 81 tackles and 10.5 sacks. The last two seasons were a different story: 47 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Is he worth the big money? His stats suggest that he’s on the decline, but Seth was throwing some analysis on Twitter Sunday night with the difference Poe can have on a game. (Seth will be writing more about Poe this weekend)

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report predicted that the Chiefs will go with wide receiver John Ross out of Washington in the first round of the draft.

It’s an interesting prediction. I’ve seen a few analysts say that the Chiefs will go with a receiver, but things will change a lot between now and draft day.

Ross, the second receiver picked on Knox’s draft board, put up 1,150 receiving yards in his final season at Washington and scored 17 touchdowns. But in his first two seasons, he only totaled 579 yards and five touchdowns. Ross is also expected to undergo surgery to fix an injured labrum after the combine.

Most would probably agree that the Chiefs don’t need to use their first-round pick on a wide receiver. It could be a priority later in the draft, but the Chiefs seem to be set with Maclin, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce as the go-to guys.

Adam Teicher (ESPN) says that the Chiefs should seriously consider Christian McCaffrey.

It was a struggle for the Chiefs at running back in 2016. It appeared that Spencer Ware was going to handle the load just fine early on, but his production dropped. After his 131-yard performance in Week 5 at Oakland, he only topped 70 yards once the rest of the season.

Jamaal Charles remains a big question mark for 2017. Dorsey would be taking a gamble if he were to bank on the health of Charles at the position, so it should be addressed in the offseason. The question is, should running back have priority over others in the draft? It’ll depend on what’s available.

McCaffrey’s got talent, but he likely wouldn’t be the every-down back. He’d still need supplemental help from Ware and maybe Charcandrick West. Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette are the other big-name running backs in the draft, but it’s doubtful that they’d still be on the board for the Chiefs at No. 27.

The Tony Romo-to-the-Chiefs talk continues to swirl, this time on the MMQB with Peter King.

We all know Tony Romo can be a great quarterback, but his injury history alone makes people shy away from the 36-year-old veteran.

Here’s where he would probably stand with the Chiefs. KC would finish the year around the 10-6 or 11-5 mark, and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if another first round exit was in the cards if Romo was behind center.

He’d probably put up better regular season numbers than Alex Smith but wouldn’t be a huge upgrade in the playoffs. The only way I could get behind a Chiefs-led Romo, is if John Dorsey made drafting a quarterback for the future a high priority (I’m talking first or second round).