Key Additions: Vance Walker ($3.3M per year), Joe Mays($3M)
Key Re-Signings: Husain Abdullah($1.1M per year)
Key Losses: Branden Albert (Dolphins), Tyson Jackson (Falcons), Jon Asamoah (Falcons), Geoff Schwartz (Giants), Dexter McCluster (Titans)
Major Cuts: Dunta Robinson ($3.1M cap savings)
Free Agency Thoughts:
Free agency for the Chiefs was more about the state of their salary cap than it was about signing players. The Chiefs spending spree occurred in 2013 and with a high payroll already a factor in 2015 with no starting QB under contract that season there was little that Kansas City could do this year but watch their team begin to get torn apart.
The Chiefs did not really want Albert last season and tried to trade him so it was no surprise to see him leave via free agency. There was barely an avenue to afford him last year and absolutely none this year. Could they have kept one of the guards without touching contracts on the roster? Probably not, but its realistic to question if money would have been better allocated there than to Joe Mays at LB.
Last year Mays was a late cut from the Broncos who saw no need to pay him $4 million. He signed with the Texans for around $1.1 million. While he played ok, paying $3 million for him is a bit rich. Akeem Jordan signed with the Redskins for the minimum and will only count for $635,000 against the cap compared to $2 million for Mays. That extra $1.5 million may have given the team a way to keep one of their linemen.
Vance Walker should be a solid addition in their rotation and lower in cost than the departing Jackson, who came off a career season which turned into nearly $10 million in guaranteed salary with the Falcons. Teams should always be wary of career seasons from underachievers in a walk year and Kansas City wisely was cautious.
The rest of free agency was basically just signing whatever low cost guys they could with Abdullah leading the way at $1.1 million a year. I’m assuming he will see an expanded role at that salary, if not they should have looked at a minimum contract.
Overall Grade: C-
I’m sure the first inclination is to look at the losses and gains and give the team a D or F, but what else could they have done? The team had no chance to do anything in free agency due to their cap. They were not going to trade Tamba Hali nor could they justify touching Dwayne Bowe’s contract after the hideous season he had. You can nitpick Mays but even that may not have resulted in a deal for one of the lost players. Of the teams we have gone over so far this was the first one that faced a salary cap constraint that made it near impossible to do anything.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.