With the offseason officially kicking off soon with free agency, we will start to begin our next feature series. That is to put ourselves in the shoes of Brett Veach. Obviously, many difficult, trying decisions will need to be made. Following a Super Bowl victory, the drive to put a winning team on the field goes up a notch. We will now step into the general manager’s role, to make our own offseason decisions that would best suit the Kansas City Chiefs. Here is part one.
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The Salary Cap
Entering the offseason, Kansas City has $13,674,494 in available salary cap space. There are a plethora of players entering free agency that the team would like to bring back in 2020 and beyond. Considerably, there are many different ways to create salary cap space.
It is not as hard as people make it out to be either. Teams will do everything they can to retain any one of their top performing players. Besides flat out releasing players, you can trade guys. Also, contract restructures or extensions can help alter a salary cap hit for a given player for a season.
Brett Veach has done wonders to get the Chiefs out of salary cap hell since taking over at general manager. This is one area in which, I would give him the benefit of the doubt. He always does what is best for the team, even if it is not seen at the surface.
Tack On the Tag
Star defensive lineman Chris Jones was announced to receive the franchise tag, on the first day that the window opened to do so. These situations are never easy for the team and player involved. Many different avenues could be taken, when it is all said and done. Jones would reportedly make $16.3 million, if he were to play on the tag in 2020.
Elsewhere, the Chiefs could demand a hefty set of draft capital in the event that Jones would be too pricy. As a result, a possible trade would net Kansas City significant assets. But, the team would not like to have to think about that. Even hammering out a long term extension is not out of the question for Jones and the Chiefs. We will attempt to explore in a future part of this Playing Brett Veach series. So, stay tuned for that.
With the early portion of free agency approaching very soon, we will know list the players that we would not bring back in 2020 and beyond. Let’s start with the pending free agents. There are a total of 27 players that are either entering free agency or that have team options, according to Spotrac.
Here are the ones that we would for sure not attempt to bring back:
- Cam Erving, offensive lineman
- Chad Henne, quarterback
- LeSean McCoy, running back
- Damien Wilson, linebacker (club option declined)
- Darron Lee, linebacker
- Xavier Williams, defensive tackle
- Jordan Lucas, safety
- Mo Claiborne, cornerback
- Reggie Ragland, linebacker
- Blake Bell, tight end
- Keith Reaser, cornerback
- Spencer Ware, running back
- Kendall Fuller, cornerback
- Demarcus Robinson, wide receiver
- Andrew Wylie, offensive lineman
- David Wells, tight end
That would be 16 total players that would be parted with. Some of these players are tougher to say goodbye to than others. For example, Demarcus Robinson has grown as a receiver and is a fine downfield blocker. He will likely receive way more attractive contract offers on the market, though. As for Kendall Fuller, I would attempt to bring back Bashaud Breeland if possible, between the two free agent cornerbacks. Some of these are more cost effective moves in a much more simpler way.
We decided to only look at subtractions from pending free agents today. In our next part of this series, we will look into cap casualty cuts and trade candidates.
Run It Back
Here is the list of the other 11 players that are pending free agents:
- Terrell Suggs, outside linebacker
- Damien Williams, running back (pick up club option)
- Bashaud Breeland, cornerback
- Emmanuel Ogbah, defensive end
- Matt Moore, quarterback
- Anthony Sherman, fullback
- Stefen Wisniewski, offensive lineman
- Mike Pennel, defensive tackle
- Marcus Kemp, wide receiver
- Deon Yelder, tight end
- Chris Jones (of course)
As mentioned above, we would simply pick up the club option for running back Damien Williams. He has earned the chance to continue to thrive in the Kansas City offense. Meanwhile, guys like Terrell Suggs, Bashaud Breeland, Mike Pennel and possibly Emmanuel Ogbah could receive a healthy amount of looks on the open market. As Brett Veach, we would simply attempt to bring them back on either a team friendly deal or a admirable pay day here. We will explore possibly extending Jones in our next part of this series.
Guys like Matt Moore, Anthony Sherman and Stefen Wisniewski have all earned the chance to serve as a veteran presence in the locker room. They can be counted on, if needed, on the field. Wisniewski could definitely fill a starting role at guard in 2020. For Deon Yelder, he would be the only other capable tight end behind Travis Kelce. So, it is a tiny necessity to bring him back right now.
Most of these moves would not open a great deal of salary cap space. Nonetheless, something is better than nothing at all. These moves set up a bigger picture for which to work with, at the outset of free agency. Brett Veach has strived hard each offseason since becoming the general manager. The decisions are harder now, after seeing some of these players grow in the Kansas City Chiefs system. For others, it is tough to know what is best after a strong performance in the playoffs or the Super Bowl.
In the following part of our series, the decision we will make as Brett Veach may take even more guts. Choosing who to pay and who to sweep away or trade, will offer many different opinions. Stay tuned for part two.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs offseason coverage. Included, will be draft prospect profiles and free agency topics. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.