The Kansas City Chiefs will not pick up the 2019 fifth-year option on offensive lineman Cam Erving, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.
The deadline for teams to pick up fifth-year options is today. Among those whose won’t get exercised is Chiefs OL Cam Erving, source says. Not a shock, as he’s fighting for a job this year. After being acquired via trade last year, he’ll be a free agent this coming spring.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 2, 2018
The Chiefs acquired Erving, 25, last August in exchange for their 2018 fifth-round pick.
The decision was a virtual no-brainer for Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, as Erving’s cap hit for 2018 is $1.7 million but jumps up to $9.6 million in 2019, according to Spotrac.
Committing to that amount of money and cap space to a player who may provide OL depth would have been an irresponsible decision.
That said, the Chiefs haven’t necessarily given up on Erving, the former 19th-overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.
“Cam’s a guy who has all of the ability in the world,” Veach said prior to the draft. “He’ll get a shot to continue to compete for those interior spots and provide flex at tackle and those guys are very hard to find.
“Linemen go off the board quick and when you’re looking at the fifth, sixth round they’re hard to find, so we traded a fifth-round pick for him, but really that skill set is hard to find in the fifth, sixth round.”
Erving has four starts to his name as a member of the Chiefs—he played three games early in the 2017 season at right guard when Laurent Duvernay-Tardif went down with a knee injury, and he also started at left tackle in the Chiefs’ final game of the season (when they were resting starters).
From all indications, the Chiefs like Erving, and he will get an opportunity to compete with Bryan Witzmann and Parker Ehinger for the starting left guard spot.
But on Wednesday, May 2, they just couldn’t commit to that sum of money.