As the Kansas City Chiefs trimmed their roster from 90 players to 53 on Tuesday afternoon, one of the moves they made was to place defensive tackle Chris Jones on the team’s Reserve/Did Not Report list. Jone is continuing a holdout as he seeks an extension to his contract, which extends through the coming season.
While on Reserve/DNR, Jones will not count against the team’s roster or salary cap. This also relieves the team from paying him every week.
Does this mean that the Chiefs suddenly have $28.3 million in salary-cap space available to them? The answer seems to be both yes and no.
While Jones is on the Reserve/DNR list, his $28.3 million cap hit will not be part of the team’s official salary cap calculation — but since he could report at any time, Kansas City will need to act as if he is still on the active roster.
We believe this is why in similar situations, websites that monitor NFL salary caps don’t open cap space for teams when players are staging contract holdouts: since the player could report at any time, cap space for their contract would still need to be available.
Salary-cap sites like Spotrac and OverTheCap reflect this reality. The San Francisco 49ers placed defensive tackle Nick Bosa on their Reserve/DNR list on July 26, but both sites are calculating the team’s cap space as if he is on the active roster.
But if Jones continues to hold out, however, there is still potential for the team to gain cap space it can actually use. If he does not report to the team by 3 p.m. Arrowhead Time on Tuesday, September 5, he cannot collect the $1.08 million he will be owed for the first game of the regular season. That money will then be available to the team as additional cap space — and as long as Jones does not report, that cap space will increase by another $1.08 million on each Tuesday that follows.