Orlin Wagner/Associated Press
Time to crunch a few numbers (hold the excitement).
As of now, per Over the Cap, the Chiefs have $8.85 million in cap room. However, that number doesn't include the signings of Joe Mays (whose contract structure hasn't been disclosed) and Jeff Linkenbach (whose terms haven't been disclosed). It does, however, include the re-signing of Husain Abdullah.
Adam Caplan relayed the following to ESPN:
Mays signed a two-year, $6 million deal, which includes a $1.5 million signing bonus, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan. The contract includes incentives up to $4 million each year, the source said.
Assuming the above details hold water, the signing bonus will splinter into $750,000 guaranteed in 2014. Also, Mays has played six seasons in the NFL, and per Spotrac, that entitles him to a minimum salary of (at least) $730,000.
So, barring Mays being cut—which, due to dead money, isn't going to happen—he's scheduled to rake in at least $1.48 million this season. Realistically, the cap hit will be higher, as his contract will feature a mix of "likely to be earned" (factored into a team's cap at the time of the signing) and "not likely to be earned" (not currently factored into the cap) incentives.
But let's err on the side of caution and stick with the $1.48 million figure. If that amount is subtracted from the current cap, the Chiefs are left with $7.37 million in cap room.
With four years of experience under his belt, Linkenbach is also owed a minimum of $730,000. (Again, his cap hit will ultimately be larger, but the terms haven't been reported.) Factoring that into the equation, Dorsey would have $6.4 million between him and the ceiling.
Considering that this year's batch of rookies will likely eat up another $5 million to $6 million, and Mays' and Linkenbach's cap hit will be higher than was previously mentioned, the Chiefs are, for all intents and purposes, an Alfalfa hair away from grazing the cap ceiling.
That not only answers why Kansas City hasn't been more active in free agency, but also why extensions for Alex Smith and/or Justin Houston are all but inevitable.