Here's a quick look at the cap situation, position-by-position. Scroll down for the Chiefs' complete payroll for 2014.
The Chiefs have expressed an interest in extending Alex Smith, and while nothing has gotten done yet, there's still plenty of time before the season. Chase Daniel makes about league average for a backup quarterback.
Jamaal Charles' deal is one of the most team-friendly in the league. He's coming off his most productive season, however, so it will be interesting to see if he pushes to re-do it.
Anthony Sherman significantly outperformed his contract last year, and will be a free agent after the 2014 season. Fullback isn't a lucrative position, by any means, but with another nice year, he should at least get a decent raise.
For whatever reason, Dwayne Bowe did not live up to his big-money extension last season. Andy Reid has taken some responsibility for this, citing the play-calling, but the Chiefs need more out of Bowe for what they pay him. Same goes for Donnie Avery, whose salary is commensurate with that of a No. 2 receiver but must be far more consistent.
Anthony Fasano is a steady player when healthy, but he was beat up last season and probably needs a strong 2014 campaign if he wants to be a Chief in 2015 at his current salary.
The Chiefs spend little money on the offensive line, but the group is young and largely untested. Eric Fisher, Donald Stephenson, Jeff Allen and Rodney Hudson were all early-round picks, but all need to find more consistency and/or prove themselves in this league.
Dontari Poe figures to be one of the best values in the game at nose tackle for the next several years while he plays out his very reasonable rookie deal. Mike DeVito lived up to his free-agent contract last season while newly-signed Vance Walker could very well do the same. If he doesn't, the Chiefs can cut him next season without incurring a significant cap penalty.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali boasts high cap numbers both this year and next year, so he could be a cap casualty before next season if the Chiefs are determined to free up money. The elephant in the room is Justin Houston's deal, however. He is among the best young pass rushers in the game and is set to become a free agent after the season. The Chiefs could always franchise him, but it makes sense for both sides to avoid the bad blood that often comes with such a tag and agree to a long-term extension. At inside linebacker, Derrick Johnson's deal is among the most team-friendly in football for a veteran of his quality, while the Chiefs can get out of Joe Mays' deal after the season with a fairly small cap hit.
Sean Smith is big and gifted, but if he doesn't find more consistency, he could be a cap casualty in 2015. Same goes for Brandon Flowers, who battled through injuries and didn't have his best season. Marcus Cooper, Chris Owens and Ron Parker all have the potential to outperform their team-friendly cap contracts.
Eric Berry is a Pro Bowl player who is widely considered to be one of the game's better young safeties, but his cap number this year ($11.6 million) and next year ($8.4 million) is prohibitive in a defensive scheme that values a free safety more than a strong safety. If Berry doesn't move to free safety or the Chiefs can't extend him (to free up badly-needed cap space), a tough decision could loom. The team is high on Sanders Commings and Husain Abdullah, and both could prove to be short-term values if they live up to expectations.
Ryan Succop is paid pretty well for a kicker, and so is punter Dustin Colquitt. The Chiefs will probably tolerate that as long as they perform well. After letting their starting kick returner (Quintin Demps) and punt returner (Dexter McCluster) walk in free agency, the Chiefs could turn to bargain-type guys like Joe McKnight and Weston Dressler if they don't find any return specialists in the draft.
|Player||Age||PFF*||Base salary||Cap number**||End#|
|WR Dwayne Bowe||29||4.7||$8,750,000||$12,000,000||2017|
|S Eric Berry||25||14.5||$8,417,000||$11,619,700||2015|
|OLB Tamba Hali||30||22.7||$6,750,000||$11,464,706||2015|
|CB Brandon Flowers||28||-5.9||$6,250,000||$10,500,00||2016|
|QB Alex Smith||29||-0.6||$7,500,000||$8,000,000||2014|
|CB Sean Smith||26||0.9||$3,450,000||$5,750,000||2015|
|RB Jamaal Charles||27||22.4||$2,650,000||$5,233,333||2015|
|LT Eric Fisher||23||-17.8||$495,000||$5,043,295||2016|
|DE Mike DeVito||29||19.1||$3,250,000||$4,900,000||2015|
|ILB Derrick Johnson||31||15.4||$3,300,000||$4,550,000||2015|
|TE Anthony Fasano||29||-2.3||$2,950,000||$4,281,250||2016|
|P Dustin Colquitt||31||10.4||$2,950,000||$3,800,000||2017|
|QB Chase Daniel||27||-1.4||$2,350,000||$3,400,000||2015|
|DT Dontari Poe||23||23.5||$1,419,092||$3,087,274||2015|
|WR Donnie Avery||29||-8.8||$1,650,000||$2,850,000||2015|
|K Ryan Succop||27||22.3||$1,950,000||$2,708,750||2016|
|ILB Joe Mays||28||-1.8||$730,000||$1,968,750||2015|
|DT Vance Walker||26||4.0||$730,000||$1,750,000||2016|
|OLB Justin Houston||25||32.8||$1,406,000||$1,598,812||2014|
|G Jeff Allen||24||-12.0||$762,166||$1,266,497||2015|
|S Husain Abdullah||28||2.9||$730,000||$1,130,000||2015|
|C Rodney Hudson||24||1.9||$803,104||$1,115,577||2014|
|WR A.J. Jenkins||24||-2.2||$1,021,594||$1,021,594||2015|
|G Jeff Linkenbach||26||-8.1||$750,000||$900,000||2014|
|DE Allen Bailey||25||8.5||$645,000||$808,986||2014|
|OLB Frank Zombo||27||0.7||$730,000||$805,000||2015|
|CB Chris Owens||27||2.2||$730,000||$800,000||2014|
|RT Donald Stephenson||25||-8.7||$570,000||$754,375||2015|
|TE Travis Kelce||24||N/A||$495,000||$700,826||2016|
|RB Knile Davis||22||-4.8||$495,000||$646,504||2016|
|TE Richard Gordon||26||-3.4||$645,000||$645,000||2014|
|RB Cyrus Gray||24||-0.4||$570,000||$605,418||2015|
|RB Joe McKnight||26||N/A||$645,000||$645,000||2014|
|CB Ron Parker||26||4.7||$645,000||$645,000||2014|
|FB Anthony Sherman||25||17.9||$645,000||$645,000||2014|
|CB DeMarcus Van Dyke||25||N/A||$645,000||$645,000||2014|
|ILB Nico Johnson||23||-0.4||$495,000||$624,500||2016|
|WR Weston Dressler||28||N/A||$600,000||$600,000||2016|
|LS Thomas Gafford***||31||-4.5||$730,000||$595,000||2014|
|TE Sean McGrath||26||-1.2||$585,000||$585,000||2015|
|OG Ricky Henry||26||N/A||$570,000||$570,000||2014|
|DT Jaye Howard||25||0.9||$570,000||$570,000||2015|
|ILB James-Michael Johnson||24||0.4||$570,000||$570,000||2015|
|OG Rishaw Johnson||25||-2.0||$570,000||$570,000||2014|
|S Jerron McMillian||25||-10.5||$570,000||$570,000||2014|
|OLB Dezman Moses||25||-4.3||$570,000||$570,000||2014|
|CB Kevin Rutland||26||N/A||$570,000||$570,000||2014|
|OG Rokevious Watkins||25||-2.2||$495,000||$545,000||2015|
|C Eric Kush||24||-3.8||$495,000||$534,279||2016|
|DE Mike Catapano||23||0.8||$495,000||$520,281||2016|
|OLB Alonzo Highsmith||24||N/A||$510,000||$510,000||2015|
|CB Marcus Cooper||24||-3.0||$495,000||$495,000||2016|
|WR Junior Hemingway||25||-6.0||$495,000||$495,000||2014|
|OLB Josh Martin||22||-0.5||$495,000||$495,000||2014|
|S Sanders Commings||24||0.5||$420,000||$481,878||2016|
|OG Colin Kelly||24||N/A||$420,000||$420,333||2015|
|DT Chas Alecxih||25||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|S Malcolm Bronson||23||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|OG Chandler Burden||24||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|DT Risean Broussard||22||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|ILB Jordan Campbell||25||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|OT R.J. Dill||23||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|DT Cory Grissom||23||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|DT Dominique Hamilton||25||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|WR Frankie Hammond||24||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|TE Demetrius Harris||22||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|WR Jerrell Jackson||24||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|CB Vernon Kearney||25||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|FB Eric Kettani||27||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|WR Rashad Ross||24||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
|WR Fred Williams||26||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2016|
|OLB Ridge Wilson||23||N/A||$420,000||$420,000||2014|
*Pro Football Focus is a site that evaluated every play of every game in 2013 and assigns each player a grade between two and negative two. The regular-season grades listed in this chart are for offense and defense only, with the exception of kickers, punters and long snappers.
**Cap number includes various bonuses.
***Gafford has a salary larger than his cap number because he is playing under a one-year veteran minimum contract.
#Date contract runs through.