Chiefs will have salary cap flexibility in 2013

The Chiefs have 2013 salary cap commitments of more than $129 million, a total that exceeds the NFL’s expected limit of $123 million, according to figures provided to The Kansas City Star.

But the Chiefs will be about $7.5 million under the salary cap when the league year begins on March 12 because they have $14 million of unused cap space from the 2012 season to carry over into 2013. That effectively makes the Chiefs’ 2013 salary cap about $137 million.

The $129 million figure includes the salary of quarterback Alex Smith, who will be acquired in a trade from the San Francisco 49ers once the league trading period begins on March 12. For the time being, Smith’s salary cap number of $9.75 million is being carried by the 49ers and not the Chiefs, though The Star has included Smith in the Chiefs’ calculation.

Starting March 12, each team’s top 51 salaries plus so-called “dead money” will count against the cap. The Chiefs’ top 51 salaries, including Smith, total $121,474,975 and they have paid $8,084,145 in dead money, which includes salary cap figures for players who were either released last year or voided the 2013 season from their contract. That equals $129,559,120, which is $6,559,120 over the cap.

But the Chiefs will carry over $14,079,650 in unused cap money from 2012, leaving them $7,520,530 of cap space.

Not including the contract of Smith, the Chiefs have more than $17 million of salary cap room.

The Chiefs can clear plenty more space under the salary cap by releasing defensive end Tyson Jackson. His salary cap number is almost $17.5 million and he is due a base salary of about $14.7 million.

Jackson would cost the Chiefs about $2.5 million if he is released. But that move would still save them about $15 million against their salary cap.

The Chiefs would also save almost $6 million against their cap when they trade or release quarterback Matt Cassel.

The Chiefs are going to need some cap room. They are trying to re-sign, among their other potential free agents, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, punter Dustin Colquitt and tackle Branden Albert.

If they can’t re-sign Bowe, he is likely to be named as the Chiefs’ franchise player. While that would effectively keep him off the free-agent market, the Chiefs at the same time would be required to offer Bowe a one-year contract worth $11.4 million.

That figure is an automatic 20 percent raise from his 2012 salary because he would be a franchise player for the second straight season.

If the Chiefs can sign Bowe to a long-term contract, they may use the franchise designation on Albert, who then would be offered a one-year deal worth about $9.83 million.

If the Chiefs are going to designate a franchise player, they must do so by Monday.

Chiefs’ 2013 salary cap figures
Player Base salary Cap number*
DE Tyson Jackson $14,720,000 $17,470,000
LB Tamba Hali $12,250,000$15,500,000
DB Eric Berry$7,009,000$10,211,700
QB Matt Cassel$7,500,000$9,825,000
QB Alex Smith$7,500,000$9,750,000
CB Brandon Flowers$7,350,000$9,600,000
OL Eric Winston$4,900,000$6,500,000
RB Jamaal Charles$1,750,000$4,333,333
LB Derrick Johnson$2,250,000$3,500,000
DL Dontari Poe$904,456$2,572,728
PK Ryan Succop$1,950,000$2,400,000
WR Jon Baldwin$1,061,510$2,059,528
LB Andy Studebaker$2,055,000$2,055,000
OL Jon Asamoah$1,323,000$1,551,030
TE Tony Moeaki$1,323,000$1,494,662
WR Dexter McCluster$630,000$1,400,000
DB Kendrick Lewis$1,323,000$1,374,725
OL Jeff Allen$591,083$1,055,415
CB Javier Arenas$630,000$1,003,750
OL Rodney Hudson$643,746$956,209
WR Terrance Copper$840,000$915,000
LB Justin Houston$555,000$747,812
DL Allen Bailey$555,000$718,986
DB Jalil Brown$555,000$682,325
OL Donald Stephenson$480,000$664,375
LB Cory Greenwood$630,000$656,250
DL Marcus Dixon$630,000$630,000
QB Ricky Stanzi$555,000$619,763
WR Devon Wylie$480,000$613,850
DL Jerrell Powe$555,000$583,170
DB Husain Abdullah**$715,000$555,000
WR Mardy Gilyard$555,000$555,000
DL Daniel Muir**$715,000$555,000
DL Anthony Toribio$555,000$555,000
RB Cyrus Gray$480,000$514,918
RB Nate Eachus$480,000$480,833
WR Josh Bellamy$480,000$480,000
FB Patrick DiMarco$480,000$480,000
OL Ryan Durand$480,000$480,000
DB Tysyn Hartman$480,000$480,000
WR Junior Hemingway$480,000$480,000
WR Jamar Newsome$480,000$480,000
OL Rich Ranglin$480,000$480,000
DB Neiko Thorpe$480,000$480,000
RB Shaun Draughn$480,000$480,000
DB De’Quan Menzie$405,000$464,613
OL Steve Baker$405,000$410,000
TE Kevin Brock$405,000$405,000
DB Jose Gumbs$405,000$405,000
DL Lucas Patterson$405,000$405,000
WR Tyler Shoemaker$405,000$405,000
PK Matt Syzmanski$405,000$405,000
QB Alex Tanney$405,000$405,000
OL Dustin Waldron$405,000$405,000

*Cap number includes various bonuses

**Husain Abdullah and Daniel Muir have salaries larger than their cap numbers because each is playing under a one-year veteran minimum contract.

“Dead money”

In addition to their players under contract, NFL teams are obligated to count bonus money paid to players who were either released last year or had the 2013 season from their contract against the cap. The Chiefs have 17 players who received a total of $8,084,145 in so-called “dead money.”

Player Cap number
WR Steve Breaston$3,000,000
DL Glenn Dorsey$2,699,942
TE Kevin Boss$2,133,334
LB Gabe Miller$99,250
LB Cameron Sheffield$48,614
DL Jerome Long$45,450
WR Junior Hemingway$34,884
WR Josh Bellamy$5,334
DB Neiko Thorpe$3,334
DL Brandon Bair$2,334
DB Chandler Fenner$2,334
RB Taylor Gentry$2,334
OL Justin Cheadle$2,000
WR Brandon Kinnie$1,667
DB Terrance Parks$1,667
OL Cam Holland$1,000
LB Dexter Heyman$667
Out of contract

The following players have no contract for 2013:

OT Branden Albert

WR Dwayne Bowe

P Dustin Colquitt

DB Travis Daniels

DL Glenn Dorsey

DB Abram Elam

LS Thomas Gafford

OL Russ Hochstein

RB Peyton Hillis

LB Edgar Jones

OL Ryan Lilja

TE Steve Maneri

OL Bryan Mattison

DB Kyle McCarthy

TE Jake O’Connell

DL Ropati Pitoitua

QB Brady Quinn

TE Martin Rucker

LB Brandon Siler

DL Shaun Smith

LB Leon Williams