Red Zone

Chiefs Q&A: Cap casualties, trade possibilities as free agency looms

The Star’s Terez A. Paylor writes: A 28-year-old running back coming off a productive-but-injury-marred season. Finally, a “realistic” option for a trade. Except it’s not, unless John Dorsey has the guts of a burglar and a very strong stomach to tolerate the anger of a fan base that would like to see Jamaal Charles spend his entire career as a Chief.
The Star’s Terez A. Paylor writes: A 28-year-old running back coming off a productive-but-injury-marred season. Finally, a “realistic” option for a trade. Except it’s not, unless John Dorsey has the guts of a burglar and a very strong stomach to tolerate the anger of a fan base that would like to see Jamaal Charles spend his entire career as a Chief. The Kansas City Star

With the tampering period for free agency set to begin on Saturday, I’ve been getting a ton of questions about a variety of topics. Let’s tackle a bunch of them in this space.

On the heels of the blockbuster trade between the Eagles and Bills, which was first reported by half-man, half-cyborg Adam Schefter, I got a few queries of this sort. My short answer to this is no. Let’s run through the Chiefs’ top five salaried players for 2015:

Alex Smith: A trade would result in $14 million in dead money for 2015. So, no.

Dwayne Bowe: No one will trade for a guy that might end up getting cut, anyway.

Justin Houston: (We’ll get to him later)

Tamba Hali ($11.9 million): Read the Bowe section, though I suspect Tamba would get PAID if he hit the market.

Eric Berry ($8.3 million): Everybody wishes him the best as he battles lymphoma.

Jamaal Charles ($7.9 million): A 28-year-old running back coming off a productive-but-injury-marred season. Finally, a “realistic” option. Except it’s not, unless John Dorsey has the guts of a burglar and a very strong stomach to tolerate the anger of a fan base that would like to see Charles spend his entire career as a Chief. But on the other hand, running backs are easier to find now more than ever, they drafted Charles’ eventual replacement two years ago in Knile Davis, and trading Charles would free up $6.3 million in cap room. Still … nah.

Fairly low. Joey Galloway was the last non-exclusive franchise player to score a new deal somewhere else, and that was 15 years ago. However, I think a team like Atlanta, whose front office is under pressure to win now, should consider it. Their pass rush was abysmal last year, and an elite pass rusher might not fall to them at No. 8 overall. And even if one does, it often takes rookie pass rushers a while to make an impact. It’s also a good fit for Houston, who could get paid, return home to Georgia and be closer to his buddy Eric Berry during his battle against lymphoma.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs would get two first-round picks, keep Tamba Hali and free up playing time for Dee Ford. I mean, I’d rather keep the 26-year-old pass rusher who racked up 22 sacks this season. But you must admit, that is an interesting alternative.

Yes. It counts against the cap right now.

Good question. I covered this here, and haven’t heard anything on this front since then. When I do, I’ll report it.

While it’s true that the building blocks for any team are quarterback, left tackle and pass rush, I think saying the Chiefs are “a left tackle away” is a tad simplistic. Winning football games is never that easy; it truly takes a team to win these days.

That said, I’d say the Chiefs have enough pieces in place to make a run at the AFC West title next year, provided they make a few additions this offseason and draft well. One way or another the Chiefs need at least two receivers, a plug-and-play or high upside guard (I actually like Jeff Allen at tackle), insurance at center (if Rodney Hudson doesn’t return) and a young inside linebacker with upside. They could also use young depth everywhere else, particularly corner, where Sean Smith is going to be a free agent in a year.

I don’t know, guys. My educated guess is that Daniel has a better chance of being here than Bowe, unless Bowe is willing to take a pay cut.

Not sure about the “rumors,” but I believe the Chiefs have the ability to free up cap room by converting Alex Smith’s 2015 salary to a bonus. That’s something Dorsey should definitely consider, though I do think it’s interesting that chairman Clark Hunt essentially told me this weekend that they are mindful of the way moves like that eventually catch up with you.

I covered that here.

Not to go all Andy Reid on you, but Hartline is a good football player that I believe would fit what the Chiefs do. As always, it will come down to price.

Check out this page at OverTheCap.com, which shows you how the Chiefs’ money is being distributed. Makes sense when you see the numbers.

They were distributed in late March last year.

Good interview, looks the part, would need a while to adjust to a West Coast scheme because he’s never really played under center. Not a guy I’d be targeting early if I were the Chiefs, but maybe if I were other teams.

I like Wallace as a player, and I think he’d fit here, but since trades are fairly rare in the NFL, I’d say no.

Perhaps. Chase Daniel is here, Maclin can return to his home state, and he has a relationship with Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who still likes him. Chiefs will need to make a bunch of moves between now and the start of free agency to have enough room to make that happen.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TerezPaylor.

  Comments