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Chiefs clear some cap space restructuring Alex Okafor’s contract

This looks like good news for the other Chiefs hoping to start across from Frank Clark in 2021 — or even 2020.

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor has “recently” agreed to a contract restructure that gives the Chiefs at least an additional $2 million in cap space for the coming season — and makes Okafor a free agent when it’s over.

Under the three-year contract he signed with the team in 2019, the salary-cap site Spotrac says Okafor would have a cap hit $7.2 million for the season, including $2 million in pro-rated signing bonus and a roster bonus of $172,000.

From the numbers Pelissero has reported, it would appear that the roster bonus has been increased by around $700,000 — but restructured to be paid on a per-game basis. Since Okafor missed six games of last season with an injury, at least some of that roster bonus would be considered not-likely-to-be-earned (NLTBE) in 2020, meaning that if paid, it will count against the team’s 2021 salary cap. It’s likely that the $2 million in other incentives are also NLTBE in 2020.

What’s more interesting is that Okafor was previously under contract for 2021. If Pelissero’s reporting is correct, the Chiefs and Okafor have agreed that he will not play for the team after 2020. This suggests pretty strongly that next season — if not this season — Tanoh Kpassagnon, Taco Charlton and Breeland Speaks all have an improved chance to start across from Frank Clark on the Chiefs’ defensive line.