Chiefs' 2013 Salary Situation: Breaking Down Kansas City's Current Cap Status

Christopher Hansen@ChrisHansenNFLNFL AnalystMarch 13, 2013

Chiefs' 2013 Salary Situation: Breaking Down Kansas City's Current Cap Status

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    The Kansas City Chiefs entered free agency with $16.8 million in salary cap space, according to A good rule of thumb is that the average free agent will count about $3 million against the salary cap in their first year.

    That means that the Chiefs have the cap space to sign four or five players without needing to take other measures to clear cap space. One such move would be releasing or trading quarterback Matt CasselWorking out a restructured deal for Tamba Hali and signing Branden Albert to a long-term contract would give the Chiefs even more cap space.

    There is plenty of wiggle room if the Chiefs need it to make moves. John Dorsey and Andy Reid don’t have to bargain hunt, which means they can add proven players and improve the team’s versatility and depth. As long as the Chiefs don’t overspend on the players they sign, there’s a good chance the Chiefs can significantly improve via free agency.

    Salary cap space at the start of free agency: $16.8 million

    Approximate current cap space: $1-5 million*


    *Actual 2013 cap space will be updated when available.

Signings and Other Contract Moves

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    Dunta Robinson’s deal totals $15 million, with $4 million guaranteed, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Tribune. The deal is reportedly back-loaded with a low cap number in 2013.

    Approximate 2013 Cap Hit: $2 million*


    Anthony Fasano received a four-year, $16 million contract, with a $4.5 million signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

    Approximate 2013 Cap Hit: $2 million*


    Chase Daniel's contract is for three years and $10 million, with just less than $5 million guaranteed, according to Adam Caplan. The deal included a $3 million signing bonus according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

    2013 Cap Hit: $3.33 million


    Mike DeVito’s deal is worth $12.6 million over three years, with a $4.2 million signing bonus. Of his base salary in 2013, $850,000 is guaranteed, and $1 million of his 2014 salary is guaranteed in case of injury, according to Joel Corry of the National Football Post.

    Approximate 2013 Cap Hit: $2 million*


    Donnie Avery agreed to a three-year deal worth $8.55 million that includes a signing bonus of $1.5 million, according to Wilson.

    Approximate 2013 Cap Hit: $2 million*


    The Chiefs announced the release of quarterback Matt Cassel.

    Cap Savings: $5.875 million

    Sean Smith's contract is for three years, $18 million with $11 million guaranteed according to Ian Rapoport of Update: Mike Garafolo of the USA Today reports that the guarantee is actually $12 million.

    Approximate 2013 Cap Hit: $6 million*


    *Actual cap hit information will be added once available. Approximate values is based on yearly average or what information is publicly available. 




Finding Additional Cap Savings

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    According to, the Chiefs would save $5.875 million in cap space in 2013 if they were to release or trade Matt Cassel. The only reason Cassel is still on the roster is because the Chiefs are trying to trade him, according to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star.

    As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk explains it, the Chiefs don't have to release Cassel as long as they are willing to carry his $7.5 million in base salary. Potential trade partners are the Vikings, Buccaneers and Cardinals, according to the report.

    When and if the Chiefs finally rid themselves of Cassel, they will save nearly enough money against the cap to sign two quality free agents. I'd imagine the Chiefs have a relatively short amount of time they are willing to carry Cassel's salary on the roster. 

    (Update: The Chiefs announced the release of quarterback Matt Cassel.)

    The Chiefs would also probably like to reduce Tamba Hali's cap number, but will probably be unwilling to push the cap hit into future years. The Chiefs could save $6.5 million against the cap by releasing Hali, according to, but they would probably like to keep him. The Chiefs are left in a tough spot and are likely to leave Hali's contract alone unless they determine they really need the cap space.

    Branden Albert is costing the Chiefs $9.8 million on the franchise tag against the cap, according to overthecap,com. If the Chiefs can negotiate a long-term contract with Albert, they might be able to save several million against the salary cap in 2013. The Chiefs may also trade Albert, which would net them a draft pick and save them the whole $9.8 million.

    The Chiefs still have plenty of options for clearing large amounts of cap space. Each situation presents challenges, but they can all be overcome should the Chiefs need the cap space.