Chiefs

Chiefs release veteran guard Paul Fanaika, free up about $1 million in cap space

The Chiefs released guard Paul Fanaika (74) on Tuesday in a cost-cutting maneuver.
The Chiefs released guard Paul Fanaika (74) on Tuesday in a cost-cutting maneuver. deulitt@kcstar.com

The Chiefs released veteran guard Paul Fanaika on Tuesday, according to the NFL’s transaction report.

The decision was made after Fanaika, 30, refused to take a pay cut, a source told The Star.

The move should create roughly $1 million in cap room for the Chiefs, who — before their free-agent addition of veteran receiver Mike Williams on Monday — had about $782,809 in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

The Chiefs signed Fanaika to a three-year, $8.1 million deal in March 2015 to help solidify the interior of their offensive line. But he landed on injured reserve before their regular-season opener against Houston with a back injury and didn’t play a single snap last season. Jeff Allen, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Zach Fulton carried the load at guard.

The move leaves the Chiefs with at least five men who can play the position, including three who started at least one game at guard: Duvernay-Tardif (13 games), Fulton (four) and Jah Reid (one).

The Chiefs also have a pair of developmental players in the mix in Jarrod Pughsley, 25, and Michael Liedtke, 24. The team also could bolster the position with one of their seven picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday and ends Saturday.

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