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KC_Guy

2020 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Cap Situation

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Trying to do this again ... not sure I'll follow through though. Anyone willing to chip in?

 

Disclaimer:
I'll base my cap deliberations mostly on overthecap.com and spotrac.com. No guarantees they got the numbers right.

2020 - A Special Year:
2020 will be the final year under the current CBA. This has significant implications on the offseason. First, teams will have both a Franchise Tag and a Transition Tag. Second, from information that leaked it looks like:

  • players will receive an increased share of the overall League income (from what I read: + 1 - 2 percentage points).
  • there will likely be an additional regular season game, to be played at a neutral venue.
  • new TV contracts will kick in.

As a result the salary cap should go up significantly in 2021, allowing teams to push a significant amount of the cap into later years without jeopardizing the teams future. I would not be surprised to see the 2021 cap increase by 15 - 20% over the 2020 amount, resulting in an additional 30 - 40 M$ in cap space. However, players and agents will be well aware of this development, trying to cut out their share already now.

Furthermore I expect (haven't read anything about it though) some kind of provision that would limit the annual cap carryovers, thus forcing the teams to spend on salary on a more regular basis. I think 100 M$ in carryovers distort the League's objective to create a continuously competitive field of teams.

The Chiefs' Situation Right Now:

The NFL has officially informed the teams that the 2020 salary cap will be between 196.8 M$ and 201.2 M$ which constitutes an increase of 8 to 13 M$ over the 2019 cap. According to the NFLPA website the Chiefs have approx. 21.7 M$ to carry over (Spotrac: 23.0 M$, OTC: 20.8 M$). So the overall available cap for the team should be around 220 M$.

As of now the Chiefs have 43 players under contract for approx. 200 M$. Add 8 players at 500 k$ annually to round out the top 51 and the Chiefs stand at 204 M$. The proven performance escalator will most likely not have an impact this year as NONE of the 2017 Round 3 - 7 draft picks are with the team any longer. Do you remember who that was?

Dead Money: As of now there's 8 M$ in dead money from the Eric Berry contract.

Clearing More Cap:

  • Cuts (remember: you have to deduct the amount spent for replacements from the numbers listed below)
    The obvious one is Sammy Watkins. While he takes away a bit of attention from other receivers, his production isn't worth 21 M$. A cut will save 14 M$ against the cap. If he wants to stay on a new (cheaper) contract - I'm willing to listen.
    Laurent Duvernay Tardif. He's been a fan favorite for ages, but this year's performance was ... hmmm ... May be he should pursue his medical career and not take the Rudy Niswanger route (You do remember our neurosurgeon, don't you? He's now the CEO of Joe Gear Companies). Releasing him would save another 5 M$. However, I'm not sure this is the way to go without a proven replacement available at this time.
    Cameron Erving and Daniel Sorensen: Both of them are valuable backups. Erving (3.25 M$) in case of injury, Sorensen (3.75 M$) as a role player and on Special Teams. The question is: would you be able to get appropriate replacements for the same price? I'm not sure. Quite honestly: I'd like to stick with Sorensen, may be even extend him to a long term, upper level backup player contract, but pass on Erving. The 2020 special year - see above - may play a role here. 
     
  • Extensions
    Pat Mahomes. The obvious one. It doesn't clear cap but will significantly cut into the team's wallet. However, he still has a year on his contract, plus the 5th year option. So there's no reason to panic if it doesn't get done this year. The Chiefs have some flexibility here. If he gets extended I expect his numbers to hit the 20 M$ mark even with a backloaded contract.
    Travis Kelce. This may come a bit out of left field. He's under contract for two more years (through his age 32 season) at 10.5 M$ and 9 M$ cap hits, with no guaranteed money left. Adding two more years would help shifting the hits to the new CBA era. Sidethought: If you ever want to get serious compensation for him out of a trade - now is the time.Just thinking.
    Eric Fisher. His situation is similar to Kelce's. Two years left, no guaranteed money. However, he has even more significant cap hits (15.2 and 14.7 M$ respectively), in part due to restructuring his contract last year.
    Daniel Sorensen. I talked about him a bit before.
     
  • Restructures:
    I don't see any need - and actually no option - to reasonably do any restructure.

Resignings:

The Chiefs have a flurry of expiring contracts, allowing for an adjustment of where the team is going. On the other hand it will require quite a bit of money to replace or re-sign those players. The most significant ones eaten up the lion's share of the cap are Pat Mahomes (discussed above as an extension), Chris Jones (20 M$/year), half the CB crew (none of which I think worthy of breaking the bank, but they should be more expensive than this year) and a good chunk of the LBs.

However, the team should be able to bring back some contributors on the cheap: Sherman, Ware would definitely be someone I'd look at, Kemp as a developping player and ST guy, X. Williams and/or Pennel. One guy I'd definitely like to get back, but who may have outpriced himself in a prove-it year is Ogbah. Wisnieweski

In the QB room the big quaestion is whether Shurmur is considered ready to go. The coaches definitely did not think so when they brought in Matt Moore on short notice. Getting a veteran presence into the QB room as the Chiefs usually do will cost another bit of valuable cap.

More on this when I start reviewing the individual positions.

 Baseline:

The Chiefs are tight in cap, but have some options to create a bit more, and can use the 2020 year to bet on the future cap ceilings. Thus I'm not overly worried.

By the way:

The 2017 Chiefs round 3 - 7 picks were: Hunt, Chesson, Eligwe, and McQuay. Ouch.

Edited by KC_Guy

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Why ouch? Hunt for a year and a half was worth all four picks. Anytime you get a three year player after round four it's a win. 

J

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12 hours ago, onejayhawk said:

Why ouch? Hunt for a year and a half was worth all four picks. Anytime you get a three year player after round four it's a win. 

J

Yep, that's what I consider OUCH. Even more so when you consider that the Chiefs did not give up 4 picks, but six (3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7) plus James O'Shaugnessy. They traded up for all players except for McShay (Hunt - 3,4,7; Chesson - 5,5; Eligwe - 6 & O'Shaughnessy).

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I'm going to be upset if we don't keep Chris Jones, but I'm also expecting him to ball out in the playoffs and increase his value. Annoyed we traded for Frank Clark and gave him a massive payday and might let Chris Jones walk. Doesn't send the right message to the locker room imo. Mahomes extension is probably going to happen, especially if we win the superbowl. Kendall Fuller is another guy I want us to keep. He plays in so much of the snaps but you almost never see or hear his name, thats the sign of an excellent CB to me.

Also, if the Titans don't tag Derrick Henry and let him hit the free agent market, I'd offer him a 3 year payday then spend half of our draft picks on offensive line.

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6 minutes ago, Kirill said:

I'm going to be upset if we don't keep Chris Jones, but I'm also expecting him to ball out in the playoffs and increase his value. Annoyed we traded for Frank Clark and gave him a massive payday and might let Chris Jones walk. Doesn't send the right message to the locker room imo. Mahomes extension is probably going to happen, especially if we win the superbowl. Kendall Fuller is another guy I want us to keep. He plays in so much of the snaps but you almost never see or hear his name, thats the sign of an excellent CB to me.

Also, if the Titans don't tag Derrick Henry and let him hit the free agent market, I'd offer him a 3 year payday then spend half of our draft picks on offensive line.

I don't see any good way to keep Jones. The Clark deal made sure of that. At this point, just hope for a 1st or multiple 2nds.

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17 minutes ago, kingseanjohn said:

I don't see any good way to keep Jones. The Clark deal made sure of that. At this point, just hope for a 1st or multiple 2nds.

Yeah I don't really see any way either. Sucks because he's been a class act and done nothing but earn his money. I also think our locker room will miss his energy. Guess it's just a philosophy thing with not wanting to pay an interior lineman that much and they already had their minds made up when they traded for Clark and gave him that payday. That Clark contract seems pretty bad, at least we got an out after 2 more years.

Edited by Kirill

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On 28.12.2019 at 9:33 PM, kingseanjohn said:

I don't see any good way to keep Jones. The Clark deal made sure of that. At this point, just hope for a 1st or multiple 2nds.

You can basically replace Watkins with Jones on the bill (Franchise tag will be approx 16.5 M$) - and then go from there next year. That still leaves approx. 21 M$ for the Chiefs to play with in 2020, with more to come in 2021.

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7 hours ago, KC_Guy said:

You can basically replace Watkins with Jones on the bill (Franchise tag will be approx 16.5 M$) - and then go from there next year. That still leaves approx. 21 M$ for the Chiefs to play with in 2020, with more to come in 2021.

Right but that's also before re-signing anyone else. I'd imagine Breeland will be 7+ and Ogbah 5+ with the others nickle and diming. Some guys will walk and hopefully earn comp picks, but it's still going to be tight. They may extend Mahomes a year early. In 2021 you'll have Mahomes on his monster deal plus Ward (who we should try to lock up now cheaper). Per Spotrac, we're projected to have 89.5milin cap space in 2021. But that's the 7th worst in the league and pre-Mahomes deal.

Keeping him isn't impossible but it also isn't getting any cheaper the longer we wait.

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Russel Wilson is making $35M a year, do you really think Mahomes and his agent think he's gonna take $15M less ?? I'd bet he's gonna get at least $25-30M 

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40 minutes ago, Cutler06 said:

Russel Wilson is making $35M a year, do you really think Mahomes and his agent think he's gonna take $15M less ?? I'd bet he's gonna get at least $25-30M 

That's year one. As I said: even on a backloaded contrat it will hit the 20 M$ mark. Let's say 100 M$ signing bonus, minimum P5 salary: cap hit just shy of 21 M$ for the first year - be it 2020 or 2021.

Edited by KC_Guy

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4 hours ago, Cutler06 said:

Russel Wilson is making $35M a year, do you really think Mahomes and his agent think he's gonna take $15M less ?? I'd bet he's gonna get at least $25-30M 

I'd be shocked if he doesn't get the biggest contract of all time. Holding out hope though that he wants to go the way of Brady and set an example for other guys to follow and takes a little less.

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Also, I don't care what someone offers, unless it's 2 first rounders, we can't trade Kelce. Dude has a chance to pass Gonzalez as the greatest TE who ever lived. That would be pretty special to have #1 and #2 at that position.

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Just now, Kirill said:

Also, I don't care what someone offers, unless it's 2 first rounders, we can't trade Kelce. Dude has a chance to pass Gonzalez as the greatest TE who ever lived. That would be pretty special to have #1 and #2 at that position.

I dont think theres any way we could replace what he does for the offense, even with 2 firsts. Hes arguably the biggest matchup nightmare in the league. 

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