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Chiefs free agency: The compensatory pick factor

The Kansas City Chiefs will enter free agency later this week with only a few million in cap space but they’ve been here before. Even with little cap space it seems the Chiefs always find enough room to sign a guy they want.

This year, as usual, the Chiefs should remember compensatory picks.

The Chiefs have one big free agent: Dontari Poe. Someone is going to pay him a lot of money. It could be the Chiefs but I doubt it. Poe is a true free agent so he will count against the Chiefs compensatory pick formula if / when someone signs him, which would benefit the Chiefs.

Only “true” free agents count against the comp pick formula, as in players whose contracts have expired and hit the market. So, if the Chiefs cut someone before free agency starts, they would be what we call a street free agent, which does NOT count against the compensatory pick formula.

The same goes with the Chiefs signing someone else. If they sign a street free agent - someone who was cut by another team before their contract expired - they will not count against the Chiefs comp pick formula. Sign away.

Because Poe’s eventual contract (assuming it’s with another team) will likely lead to a high comp pick, I think the Chiefs will stay away from the true free agents and stick to the guys cut by other teams. Something to remember when looking at these free agents.

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