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Chiefs create 2023 cap space with bonus conversion on Mahomes’ contract

Kansas City goes to its star quarterback’s contract to give the team cap space for more roster moves.

San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs, Super Bowl LIV Set Number: X163164 TK1

When the NFL league year began at 3 p.m. Arrowhead Time on Wednesday, we estimated that the Kansas City Chiefs had around $2.9 million of cap space.

But general manager Brett Veach has now taken advantage of one of the features of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ contract: that some (or all) of the roster bonus he is paid right after the beginning of each league year can be converted into a signing bonus, allowing the team to spread some of the contract’s current-year cap impact over five seasons.

So as ESPN’s Field Yates reported on Wednesday evening, Veach has created cap space by converting part of Mahomes’ $34.4 million roster bonus for 2023 into a signing bonus whose cap hit is spread from 2023 through 2027.

While this raises Mahomes’ cap hit by $2.4 million from 2024 through 2027, it opens up $9.6 million in cap space for 2023. Including all of the known transactions, we now estimate that with 54 players on its roster, Kansas City has around $12.5 million in cap space.

Meanwhile, the bonus payment that Mahomes receives on Friday will be for exactly the same amount as before. Part of it will simply be carried on the salary cap differently — giving the team the ability to make some more moves in free agency.

We’ll keep you posted.

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