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5 Most Overpaid or Underpaid Chiefs Currently on the Roster

Christopher AmickCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2012

5 Most Overpaid or Underpaid Chiefs Currently on the Roster

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    Manipulating the salary cap in the NFL is a fickle game.

    What the Kansas City Chiefs have to do to place their NFL team on the field every year is a constant battle.

    It takes a great deal of foresight and penny-pinching from general managers in order to complete a championship caliber team.

    Every team has a number of players who manage to produce much greater or much less that what they are being paid. Here are five players on the Kansas City roster who either make too much or not enough.

Tyson Jackson

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    2012 Salary: $8 million

    He did restructure his deal to reduce this year's salary cap hit and he has improved his play recently, but Tyson Jackson remains colossally overpaid.

    Jackson was the third overall pick in the 2009 draft. He signed a deal worth an estimated 30 million dollars in guaranteed money, and Jackson has failed to live up to his hype.

    He has not been Justin Smith or Vince Wilfork, but Jackson has come into his own as a run-stuffer while forming a decent duo of ends with Glenn Dorsey.

    A big payday is due for Jackson in 2013, so this will be the year for the Chiefs to see if Jackson is worth keeping around.

Jamaal Charles

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    2012 Salary: $3.25 million

    The most valuable player in the Kansas City offense doesn't even crack the top-10 list of highest paid running backs in the league. 

    Before his injury early last season, Jamaal Charles was a better and younger version of Tennessee's Chris Johnson. 

    Johnson has a 2,000 yard season to his credit, but in the new NFL in which just about every team employs a two-back system, Charles' numbers match up well against anyone.

    Charles has averaged over six yards per carry during his career and even gained 1000 yards during his first nine starts.

    He signed a cap-friendly deal in 2010, and Charles remains one of the most criminally underrated and underpaid players in the NFL.

Ryan Lilja

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    2012 Salary: $2.1 million

    Ryan Lilja was an offensive line mainstay on the Colts for many years before he signed with the Chiefs a few years ago.

    Lilja played well in 2011. However, he even admitted that his play in 2012 was not where it needed to be, and Lilja will face some stiff competition for a starting role in the form of rookie Jeff Allen.

    Despite his high cap number and poor play recently, Lilja's veteran presence is a valuable asset to a young offensive line.

Justin Houston

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    2012 Salary: $465,000

    Justin Houston just might become a household name in 2012 if he repeats the success that he had late last year during his rookie campaign.

    The former Georgia Bulldog finished with 5.5 sacks when he finally forced his way into the starting lineup during the midway point of last season.

    Houston took some of the pressure off of Tamba Hali in the pass-rushing game, and he even played the run pretty well, too.

    He was thought to be a first-round pick, but a reported failed drug test caused Houston's stock to fall dramatically.

    Scott Pioli and the Chiefs got a steal when they picked him in third round, and if last season is any indication, Houston will be harassing quarterbacks in the AFC west for a while.

Dwayne Bowe

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    2012 Salary: $9.515 million

    Bowe is on the cusp of being an elite receiver, but he does not deserve to be paid more money than Larry Fitzgerald and Wes Welker.

    The only reason Bowe has a salary this high is because of the franchise tag that the Chiefs placed on him a couple of months ago.

    He had 15 touchdowns in 2010, and Bowe has averaged over 70 catches per season during his career.

    At 27-years-old, he has plenty of productive years ahead of him, so locking up Bowe long-term would be good for football and for business.

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