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Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s contract turns out to be a great deal for Chiefs

What looked like a big overpayment for a middling wide receiver now looks like a great deal for Kansas City.

SiriusXM At Super Bowl LVI - Friday Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM

When the Kansas City Chiefs signed wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the roster last Thursday, quite a few eyebrows were raised at the three-year, $30 million contract reported for the former Green Bay Packers wideout.

More than a few observers questioned Kansas City general manager Brett Veach’s decision to pay $10 million per year for a player who has averaged less than 540 receiving yards per season over his four-year NFL career.

But on Monday, complete contract details became available. They tell a different story.

Valdes-Scantling was paid a $6 million signing bonus. In 2022, he will earn a base salary of $2.65 million, be eligible for a $100,000 workout bonus and be paid a $20,000 roster bonus for each game he is active.

That will make his Valdes-Scantling’s cap hit just $4.9 million this season.

But what about the original report that the wide receiver was being paid $18 million over the first two years of his contract, which was another troubling aspect of the deal? That report was accurate. But it’s another case where the details tell a different story.

They show that in addition to his $6 million signing bonus, Valdes-Scantling’s 2022 salary was guaranteed at signing. That makes his total cash for this season $9 million. His 2023 cash earnings will also be $9 million — that same $100,000 workout bonus and $20,000 gameday active bonus, plus a base salary of $8.56 million.

But here’s the catch: $6.44 million of his 2023 base salary will become guaranteed on the third day of the league year next March. If the Chiefs choose to release him before that happens, he will have just $4 million in dead money in 2023 — which could be spread between 2023 and 2024 with a post-June 1 designation.

So the outrageous three-year, $30 million contract turns out to be only a $9 million commitment — one from which Kansas City can easily extricate itself after just one season. Furthermore, the deal carries a 2022 cap hit of $4.9 million — and in the event of a 2023 release, will leave just $4 million on the books.

On the other hand, Valdes-Scantling becomes a productive member of the team’s receiving corps, the team can keep him for an $11 million cap hit in 2023 and a $14 million hit in 2024.

Well done, Mr. Veach.

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