clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Taking stock of where the Chiefs stand two weeks into free agency

New, comments

Let’s add up everything the Chiefs have done since they left the stage at Union Station just eight weeks ago.

Kansas City Chiefs Victory Parade Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

In the NFL, free agency never really ends until midway through the season. But a pretty significant chunk of the activity takes place in the first couple of weeks after free agency.

Let’s take a look at where the Kansas City Chiefs stand after the first wave:


Roster moves


The Chiefs currently have 66 players under contract for 2020: 11 offensive linemen, five tight ends, seven running backs, eight wide receivers, four quarterbacks, 13 defensive linemen, six linebackers, nine defensive backs and three specialists.

Re-signed free agents

  • DT Chris Jones (franchise tag, one year, $16.1M)
  • QB Chad Henne (two years, $3.25M, $1.6M cap hit)
  • WR Demarcus Robinson (one year, $2.3M, $1.05M cap hit)
  • DT Mike Pennel (one year, $1.05M, $888K cap hit)
  • FB Anthony Sherman (one year, likely $1.05M, $888K cap hit)
  • G Andrew Wylie (one year, $750K)
  • TE Deon Yelder (one year, $750K)

Contract options exercised

  • RB Damien Williams (one year, $2.7M)
  • LB Damien Wilson (one year, $5.4M)

New free agents

  • CB/ST Antonio Hamilton (one year, $1.05M, $888K cap hit)
  • OL Mike Remmers (one year, $1.05M, $888K cap hit)
  • QB Jordan Ta’amu (one year, $680K)

Returning from 2019 injured reserve

  • WR Felton Davis
  • LB Darius Harris
  • TE John Lovett
  • DE Alex Okafor
  • OL Martinas Rankin
  • T Greg Senat
  • DE Breeland Speaks
  • S Juan Thornhill
  • DE Tim Ward
  • RB Darrel Williams

Signed to reserve/future contracts

  • WR Gehrig Dieter
  • WR Joe Fortson
  • DT Braxton Hoyett
  • TE Nick Keizer
  • DB Chris Lammons
  • DE Anthony Lanier
  • DT Devaroe Lawrence
  • TE Alize Mack
  • RB Marcus Marshall
  • RB Elijah McGuire
  • QB Kyle Shurmur
  • LB Emmanuel Smith
  • RB Mike Weber

Free agents signed to other teams

Former Chiefs still unsigned

  • CB Bashaud Breeland
  • CB Morris Claiborne
  • WR Davon Grayson
  • WR Marcus Kemp
  • LB Darron Lee
  • RB LeSean McCoy
  • QB Matt Moore
  • CB Keith Reaser
  • DL Terrell Suggs
  • RB Spencer Ware
  • TE David Wells
  • DT Xavier Williams

Resources


Salary cap space

On Monday, it was reported that the Chiefs were officially just $177 under the cap. But it is unknown which recent roster moves are included in that figure. Here are the recent cap space estimates from non-official sources.

  • OverTheCap: minus $255K (does not include Sherman, Robinson, Ta’amu)
  • Spotrac: minus $1.7M (does not include Sherman, Robinson)
  • Arrowhead Pride: minus $2.2M (includes all known signings)

None of these estimates include the $4.8 million the team will need to sign the 2020 draft class.

2020 draft picks

The Chiefs received no compensatory selections in the 2020 draft, leaving just five picks.

  • First round (32nd overall)
  • Second round (63rd)
  • Third round (96th)
  • Fourth round (138th)
  • Fifth round (177th)

The public portions of the draft that had been scheduled for Las Vegas have all been cancelled. But the latest word is that a social-distancing edition of the draft will go on as scheduled April 23-25 — and will be televised as usual.


Overview


  • It seems like the Chiefs have done very little in free agency. But what’s really happened is that the team has not yet made a big, splashy free-agent move. And why should they? By definition, a defending Super Bowl champion doesn’t have gaping holes in its roster. That said, the Chiefs do need some help in a few areas. In no particular order: cornerback, linebacker and interior offensive line are the ones most often mentioned. It would not be surprising to see those needs addressed in the draft.
  • The other reason the Chiefs haven’t made big moves in free agency is their lack of cap space. Their response has been to make very efficient use of the space they had. At least four (and very likely five) of their signings have made use of the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s veteran salary benefit, which so far has saved them $2.2 million against the cap.
  • As it has been ever since the parade through downtown Kansas City ended in February, the big questions remain unanswered: what will the Chiefs do about defensive tackle Chris Jones and wide receiver Sammy Watkins — and to a lesser extent, cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The existing situation with Jones seems untenable; the team can’t really afford contract to consume $16.1 million in cap space in 2020. The same is true for Watkins, whose $14 million in salary and $7 million in dead money consume the biggest chunk of the team’s salary resources. Jones could be traded for draft capital — but how would the Chiefs fill the void? Watkins could also be traded, but his production (in theory, at least) would be easier to replace. On the other hand, his $14 million salary could be difficult to trade away. The answer could be a new contract for Jones and a restructured contract for Watkins, which could open up anywhere from $13 to $20 million in cap space, giving the team the space to sign draft picks and perhaps even retain Breeland — or make another series of budget-conscious moves to give the team experienced depth. I think that’s what the team wants to do. But whether it can is another question,