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Contract details for new Chiefs CB Antonio Hamilton now available

The Chiefs have used the veteran salary benefit to save some cap space on Hamilton’s new contract.

NFL: New York Giants at Chicago Bears Kena Krutsinger-USA TODAY Sports

Late on Friday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs signed former New York Giants cornerback (and special-teams ace) Antonio Hamilton. The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson has now reported the details of Hamilton’s contract.

As a one-year deal, the full amount of Hamilton’s $1.05 million contract (a signing bonus of $137,500 on top of an NFL-minimum salary of $910,000) would normally count against the salary cap. But as Wilson notes, Hamilton’s contract uses the veteran salary benefit allowed under Article 27 of the recently-signed NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. This provision of the deal permits his contract to carry a cap hit of only $875,000, allowing the Chiefs to save $160,000 against the cap.

This part of the CBA is not new. Last season, the Chiefs used a similar section of the 2011 CBA to sign fullback Anthony Sherman to a one-year, $1.04 million contract that counted just $735,000 against the cap.

But in the new CBA, the veteran salary benefit has been expanded.

As before, the player must have at least four accrued seasons — and for cap purposes, their salary counts only as that of a player with just two accrued seasons. But the amount of additional compensation allowed (such as signing or roster bonus) has been increased from $90,000 to $137,500; it’s no coincidence that this is the precise amount of Hamilton’s signing bonus. Under the new CBA, the allowable bonus will increase every two years, reaching $227,500 by 2030.

With Hamilton’s contract figures included, we now estimate the Chiefs’ salary cap space at no more than $2.1 million — and likely less than that.