Monday, April 14, 2014
Breaking down KC's salary cap: offense
By Adam Teicher
Let's take a closer look at the salary-cap situation for the Kansas City Chiefs. As of last week, and this information should still be up to date, the Chiefs had $4,379,280 of remaining salary-cap space. That ranked 25th among the NFL's 32 teams.
Here, we'll look at how the Chiefs' cap situation breaks down with regard to offensive positions. Later, we'll look at defense and special teams.
Salary-cap commitments: $11,898,333
Percent of Chiefs' total cap: 9.2
NFL average: $11,667,289
Chiefs rank on QB spending: 15th among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs are spending about 2 percent more than the league average on their quarterbacks. This will change when they extend the contract of starter Alex Smith, who currently counts $8 million against their cap. That's tied for the 15th-highest QB cap number with Oakland's Matt Schaub. Chase Daniel's salary-cap number of $3.4 million is fifth among players listed as backups on their team's depth chart, but Daniel is the only one of those five who has never been a starter.
Salary-cap commitments: $7,775,255
Percent of Chiefs' total cap: 6
NFL average: $7,750,422
Chiefs rank on RB spending: 13th among 32 teams
Analysis: Again, the Chiefs are very close to the league average in spending at this position. Most of their cap allotment at this position goes, of course, to Jamaal Charles. His cap number is $5,233,333. Charles is still a bargain at that price. His cap number is just 10th among NFL running backs this year. Knile Davis has the Chiefs' next highest cap number for a running back at $646,504 but that puts him far down the league's list of runners.
Salary-cap commitments: $16,366,594
Percent of Chiefs' total cap: 12.7
NFL average: $13,534,504
Chiefs rank on WR spending: ninth among 32 teams
Analysis: Here's where the Chiefs' spending gets out of line, both for the league average and what they're getting for the money. The Chiefs are spending 21.75 percent more than the league average on wide receivers but last season that group was last in the league in pass receptions and yardage. Dwayne Bowe leads the way with a $12 million cap charge. That's the sixth-highest cap number in the NFL for a player who caught 57 passes for 673 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season last year.
Salary-cap commitments: $6,122,076
Percent of Chiefs' total cap: 4.7
NFL average: $6,137,131
Chiefs rank on TE spending: 15th among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs are spending very close to the league average at this position. Most of their spending here goes to the starter, Anthony Fasano. His cap number is $4,281,250, giving him the 11th highest figure at his position. Travis Kelce has the next highest cap number for a tight end at $700,826 but he's well down the league list for this position.
Salary-cap commitments: $12,314,356
Percent of Chiefs' total cap: 9.5
NFL average: $21,449,958
Chiefs rank on OL spending: 31st among 32 teams
Analysis: Here the Chiefs drop well below the league average in positional spending. Only the Detroit Lions are spending less in salary cap on their offensive line. This is the byproduct of allowing three regulars from last season to leave as free agents. Meanwhile, the linemen who have the top three salary-cap figures are working under the contracts they signed as rookies. Left tackle Eric Fisher, the first overall pick in last year's draft, has far and away the highest salary-cap number for a lineman at $5,043,295. Even at that, Fisher has the 43rd highest cap number for an offensive lineman. Left guard Jeff Allen ($1,266,497) and center Rodney Hudson ($1,115,577) are next.