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warsawian

Chris Jones - Free Agent

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The big decision on the mind of Chiefs fans this free agency is what happens with Chris Jones? 

Re-Sign him: I think we would be looking at about 5 yr / $110M at $22M avg per year.  Doing this will likely handicap us in all other areas and we would have almost $45M a year locked up on the defensive line between Chris Jones and Frank Clark alone.  Obviously this kind of goes back to the Chiefs essentially giving Frank Clark the Chris Jones contract, not a move I personally liked. 

Franchise Tag: Tagging him for $16M gives multiple options:

- Tag and trade for multiple picks: his value is at minimum and mid first and third round pick.  He has proven to be versatile and equally effective at both 3-4 DE and 4-3 DT, so he is an option for all teams.

- Force him to play under the tag and hope he negotiates next year. 

- Take the chance that another team would give up two first round picks by offering a contract within 5 days of tag, not likely but not impossible for an AFC contender with a late first and plenty of cap space.  Texans and Bills come to mind. 

 

What do you all think will happen?  I think everyone wants to keep him, I'm just not sure we can afford to. 

 

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Its a really tough decision. Jones is a top 5 player at a position of rarity in the NFL. He's a game wrecker and has shown that over multiple seasons. Jones is a home grown guy, has said he wants to stay and 100% deserves whatever contract he gets. Having said that, I would trade him. On the assumption we get a 1st round pick, as a minimum. 

 

Whilst not perfect, I would look at how the Patriots and Belichick would handle this situation. Bill has almost always allowed his FAs to walk. We are entering a period where we should be perennial contenders. Tough choices will need to be made. We are about to have the most expensive player in history on our books, we will need to make savings somewhere. We are also pretty bare in terms of draft capital, a 1st rounder would potentially be a massive, cheap boost for the team. Assuming we get a 1st rounder, we trade him, imo. Anything less than that, I would convince him to play on the franchise tag and run it back again. Either way, I think this is the most significant offseason move we will make.

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59 minutes ago, mayanfootball said:

Really need that "home town" discount here.

That's a pipe dream. SB bound team discount (or willingness to sign at all) may be there, but home town: nope.

In my cap and DL analysis I said I think it is possible for the Chiefs to keep both Jones and Mahomes - I'll come up with a proposal over the weekend.

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If the tag cost is 16M I would at least do that. I really want to keep Fuller too.

I wonder if the team is telling Mahomes we'll sign you this year but you have to take less per year since we're signing you early. Really hope Mahomes understands getting the biggest contract of all time is sexy but not as sexy as winning multiple championships and being able to earn that money back through endorsements.

Edited by Kirill

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He is the best three tech in the league after Aaron Donald, so he deserves what they can afford to give him. That said, a sign and trade also make sense. He will command a very nice package. The bottom line, as the Patriots have long shown, you have to continuously restock except at QB. 

J

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5 hours ago, onejayhawk said:

He is the best three tech in the league after Aaron Donald, so he deserves what they can afford to give him. That said, a sign and trade also make sense. He will command a very nice package. The bottom line, as the Patriots have long shown, you have to continuously restock except at QB. 

J

Although it didn't workout for reasons beyond their control, the Pats also showed a willingness to sign TEs to long term contracts.  As TEs in general have longevity and are cost efficient in terms of salary vs production. 

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So, let's have a look at the possibilities the Chiefs have to sign both Mahomes & Jones under the cap.

The NFL already announced that the 2020 cap will be somewehere between 198M$ and 201 M$ - so let's assume 200 M$ for planing purposes.
Including the roll over, but not without any cap casualties (Sammy, you hear me?) the Chiefs will have approximately 13.5 M$ in free cap.
But keep in mind that the Chiefs still have to account for 8 M$ in dead money from the Eric Berry contract this year.

In 2021, assuming that the rate of NFL income growth remains approximately the same, the cap should be at 212 M$. However, there are three factors to take into account:

  1. New TV contracts will kick in.
  2. The players' share of the total League income will grow from 48% right now to 49.5% under the new CBA.
  3. The season will be expanded to 17 regular season games.

@1: I think it is fair to assume that the new TV contracts will add (at minimum) 500 M$ per season to the League's total income (16 M$ per team).
@2: If 212 M$ represent 47% of the League's income (per team), 48.5% will amount to 218.5 M$. Add 48.5% of the added TV money and you'll have approx. 226 M$.
@3: The 17th game should add about 6% of additional income. However, this will be negated by the loss of one pre-season game and the extra pay to be added to existing contracts. Thus we won't take that into account.

Finally: With an estimate of 226 M$ cap for 2021 I think I am at the low end of what to expect.

As a benchmark for Jones let's take the Frank Clark contract. I won't bother about guarantees, as they don't impact the cap.
(B: Base, S: prorated signing bonus, E: extras, C: cap number; number in M$):

Gross numbers: 104 M$ total, 19 M$ signing bonus.
Year 1: B: 0.8 S: 5.2 E: 0.5, C: 6.5
Year 2: B: 17.0 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 22.7
Year 3: B: 18.5 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 24.2
Year 4: B: 19.0 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 24.7
Year 5: B: 20.5 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 26.2

Adjust this for inflation and the 17th game and you end up with:
2020 7.0; 2021 24.0; 2022: 26.0; 2023: 26.5; 2028: 28.0 - 111.5 M$ total

This would leave about 6.5 M$ in free cap for 2020 - just enough to sign the rookie class (5 M$) plus a little bit more.

Conclusion #1: For 2020 it would be possible to sign Jones, but any other signing would have to be compensated by clearing additional cap space. 
Conclusion #2: The Chiefs will have to clear quite a bit of cap to sign additional free agents. The only reasonable way I see is cutting SIGNIFICANTLY into Watkins' pay. But even doing that would probably not clear sufficient space to sign Mahomes this year.

In 2021 the big contracts the Chiefs already have (Clark, Hill, Schwartz, Hitchens) will require approx. 8 M$ in extra cap. That should be covered by not having to account for Berry's dead money any longer. Watkins being off the books (I assume) clears approx. 21 M$. A DECREASE in cap on Fisher's and Kelce's contracts will actually clear approx. 3 M$ in cap, leaving the Chiefs at 40 M$ in free cap.

Conclusion #3: In 2021 the Chiefs will have sufficient free cap to sign Mahomes (and more, Kpass comes to mind), plus will have the chance to sort through some bigger contracts (LDT, Hitchens, Okafor ...)

My approach:

  • Release Watkins and possibly Erving
  • Sign Jones to a Clark-like contract
  • Use remaining free cap to sign a veteran CB
  • Sign budget additions to other positions (OL (Wisniewski?), RB (Ware?), DL (Pennel, Ogbah?) ...)
  • Postpone a Mahomes signing to next year
  • Draft to replace select expensive players after the 2020 season (LDT, Fisher, Colquitt, Kelce??... )

 

 

Edited by KC_Guy
Adjusted players' share of League income - no effect on overall numbers

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57 minutes ago, warsawian said:

Although it didn't workout for reasons beyond their control, the Pats also showed a willingness to sign TEs to long term contracts.  As TEs in general have longevity and are cost efficient in terms of salary vs production. 

I think Kittle will reset the TE market for top players ... even more than Kelce did.

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6 hours ago, KC_Guy said:

I think Kittle will reset the TE market for top players ... even more than Kelce did.

Oh, yeah. He's almost as good a receiver as Kelce, a better blocker, and he's four years younger.

J

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17 hours ago, KC_Guy said:

So, let's have a look at the possibilities the Chiefs have to sign both Mahomes & Jones under the cap.

The NFL already announced that the 2020 cap will be somewehere between 198M$ and 201 M$ - so let's assume 200 M$ for planing purposes.
Including the roll over, but not without any cap casualties (Sammy, you hear me?) the Chiefs will have approximately 13.5 M$ in free cap.
But keep in mind that the Chiefs still have to account for 8 M$ in dead money from the Eric Berry contract this year.

In 2021, assuming that the rate of NFL income growth remains approximately the same, the cap should be at 212 M$. However, there are three factors to take into account:

  1. New TV contracts will kick in.
  2. The players' share of the total League income will grow from 48% right now to 49.5% under the new CBA.
  3. The season will be expanded to 17 regular season games.

@1: I think it is fair to assume that the new TV contracts will add (at minimum) 500 M$ per season to the League's total income (16 M$ per team).
@2: If 212 M$ represent 47% of the League's income (per team), 48.5% will amount to 218.5 M$. Add 48.5% of the added TV money and you'll have approx. 226 M$.
@3: The 17th game should add about 6% of additional income. However, this will be negated by the loss of one pre-season game and the extra pay to be added to existing contracts. Thus we won't take that into account.

Finally: With an estimate of 226 M$ cap for 2021 I think I am at the low end of what to expect.

As a benchmark for Jones let's take the Frank Clark contract. I won't bother about guarantees, as they don't impact the cap.
(B: Base, S: prorated signing bonus, E: extras, C: cap number; number in M$):

Gross numbers: 104 M$ total, 19 M$ signing bonus.
Year 1: B: 0.8 S: 5.2 E: 0.5, C: 6.5
Year 2: B: 17.0 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 22.7
Year 3: B: 18.5 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 24.2
Year 4: B: 19.0 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 24.7
Year 5: B: 20.5 S: 5.2 E: 0.5 C: 26.2

Adjust this for inflation and the 17th game and you end up with:
2020 7.0; 2021 24.0; 2022: 26.0; 2023: 26.5; 2028: 28.0 - 111.5 M$ total

This would leave about 6.5 M$ in free cap for 2020 - just enough to sign the rookie class (5 M$) plus a little bit more.

Conclusion #1: For 2020 it would be possible to sign Jones, but any other signing would have to be compensated by clearing additional cap space. 
Conclusion #2: The Chiefs will have to clear quite a bit of cap to sign additional free agents. The only reasonable way I see is cutting SIGNIFICANTLY into Watkins' pay. But even doing that would probably not clear sufficient space to sign Mahomes this year.

In 2021 the big contracts the Chiefs already have (Clark, Hill, Schwartz, Hitchens) will require approx. 8 M$ in extra cap. That should be covered by not having to account for Berry's dead money any longer. Watkins being off the books (I assume) clears approx. 21 M$. A DECREASE in cap on Fisher's and Kelce's contracts will actually clear approx. 3 M$ in cap, leaving the Chiefs at 40 M$ in free cap.

Conclusion #3: In 2021 the Chiefs will have sufficient free cap to sign Mahomes (and more, Kpass comes to mind), plus will have the chance to sort through some bigger contracts (LDT, Hitchens, Okafor ...)

My approach:

  • Release Watkins and possibly Erving
  • Sign Jones to a Clark-like contract
  • Use remaining free cap to sign a veteran CB
  • Sign budget additions to other positions (OL (Wisniewski?), RB (Ware?), DL (Pennel, Ogbah?) ...)
  • Postpone a Mahomes signing to next year
  • Draft to replace select expensive players after the 2020 season (LDT, Fisher, Colquitt, Kelce??... )

 

 

One thing I'll add to this as an option, here. We don't do as much of this as a couple other teams do (Philly probably does it more than anyone), but we do a decent amount of converting salary to bonus to move cap space and cap hits around from year to year. Last year Fisher should've had a ~$13M cap hit, but we moved $9.5M of his salary to bonus, so it spread that $9.5M over 3 years, lowing last year by $6M, but raising the next two by $3M. With this year being a very tight cap year for us, with a big free agent looming with Jones, and with future years being much more manageable financially, I could very easily see us doing some of that this year, as well. Take Frank Clark and move $15M of salary to bonus, add $11.25M of cap space this year at the cost of $3.75M more in the future three years.

I don't overly like the process, because it's always going to get paid out eventually, but I think this is a prime year for Hunt/Veach to continue doing something like that. You get an extra $11M, put us at just under $30M in space this year, that gives you room for Jones, Ragland, Sherman, Pennel, Wis, one of the vet QBs, maybe one of the CBs, and then the rookies. Could go even further if they cut Watkins.

It would hurt our cap space in 2021/2022, but the only free agent worth mentioning in 2021 is Pat. Ward will be a RFA. 2022 has some big names, but by then so much will have changed that it's barely worth projecting, IMO. But I do think for 2020 you do as much as you can to keep the current core roster together, if you're Veach. 

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38 minutes ago, Jakuvious said:

One thing I'll add to this as an option, here. We don't do as much of this as a couple other teams do (Philly probably does it more than anyone), but we do a decent amount of converting salary to bonus to move cap space and cap hits around from year to year. Last year Fisher should've had a ~$13M cap hit, but we moved $9.5M of his salary to bonus, so it spread that $9.5M over 3 years, lowing last year by $6M, but raising the next two by $3M. With this year being a very tight cap year for us, with a big free agent looming with Jones, and with future years being much more manageable financially, I could very easily see us doing some of that this year, as well. Take Frank Clark and move $15M of salary to bonus, add $11.25M of cap space this year at the cost of $3.75M more in the future three years.

I don't overly like the process, because it's always going to get paid out eventually, but I think this is a prime year for Hunt/Veach to continue doing something like that. You get an extra $11M, put us at just under $30M in space this year, that gives you room for Jones, Ragland, Sherman, Pennel, Wis, one of the vet QBs, maybe one of the CBs, and then the rookies. Could go even further if they cut Watkins.

It would hurt our cap space in 2021/2022, but the only free agent worth mentioning in 2021 is Pat. Ward will be a RFA. 2022 has some big names, but by then so much will have changed that it's barely worth projecting, IMO. But I do think for 2020 you do as much as you can to keep the current core roster together, if you're Veach. 

I hadn't considered that possibility, but that would make a whole lot of sense. That extra $11 million cap would be priceless for us this offseason.

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18 hours ago, Jakuvious said:

It would hurt our cap space in 2021/2022, but the only free agent worth mentioning in 2021 is Pat. Ward will be a RFA. 2022 has some big names, but by then so much will have changed that it's barely worth projecting, IMO. But I do think for 2020 you do as much as you can to keep the current core roster together, if you're Veach. 

I'd also add Kpassagnon and Colquitt to the "worth mentioning in 2021" list. But overall it's a "weak" free agent year for us, which is a good thing.

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