A trip to the Super Bowl will make some offseason moves easier to deal with.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of key free agents heading into the offseason. Left tackle Orlando Brown is on the top of that list. The Chiefs are going to have to depend draft capital at both the wide receiver and defensive line position. The Chiefs do have alot of draft picks and are in the top half of the league in salary cap space. If the Chiefs make another run next year some big moves need to be made.
According to Over the Cap the Chiefs currently have 13 million in free cap space. This does not include the $16 million the NFL is adding to the cap. This will give the Chiefs $30 million to work with heading into the 2023-2024 season. The Chiefs will have some big decisions to make on who they want to keep on their team. The biggest is going to be what they do with left tackle Brown.
Brown played this season on the franchise tag after the Chiefs and Brown could not come to an agreement to a long term deal. The franchise tag is calculated based on the top five salaries at each position. The offensive line position is based on the entire line, not just the left tackle position. Currently the franchise tag for all offensive line is $18 million. However, the Chiefs used the franchise tag last year last year meaning his will go up by 20%. His number will be almost $22 million. Unlike Brown signing a new contract, the franchise tag will be fully guaranteed.
Over the cap calculated his market value set at a five year contract valued at $112 million, which breaks down to $22.4 million average per year.
Brown is not the best left tackle in the league Brown is one of the better tackles in the NFL. Brown is talented enough to be a franchise left tackle and with a poor tackle free agent class the Chiefs will attempt to keep him on the roster by signing him to a long term deal. If they can’t come together to sign a long term deal he is the perfect candidate for the franchise tag, again.
For the second year in a row the Chiefs are looking at investing in the wide receiver room. Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman are both free agents this year. Over the cap has Smith-Schuster’s market value at a four year contract worth $58 million that breaks down to $14.6 million per year. Smith-Schuster has been asked multiple times throughout the year about him staying. He has repeatedly said he would like to stay. In terms of the money it will be a tight fit. Kansas City should be able to make it work.
The Chiefs will have to let some players go. Those players go. Juan Thornhill, Derrick Nnadi, Khalen Saunders, Mecole Hardman and Carlos Dunlap are all players that will be offered bigger contracts by other teams. All of these players are good players but when the franchise quarterback gets his big contract NFL teams have to make tough decisions.
The Chiefs will have an opportunity to free up some cap space by restructuring deals. Both Frank Clark and Chris Jones are under contract for the 2023 season. Both of them have huge cap numbers heading into next year. Clark and Jones have the second and third highest cap number on the team at 28.6 million and 29.2 million. If the Chiefs offer them contract expansion those cap numbers can be decreased and they can get themselves more guaranteed money.
Clark has worked with the Chiefs in the past to help them free up cap space. Last offseason he took a pay cut to stay on the team. His production in the playoffs the Chiefs should be interested in keeping Clark.Jones on the other hand has been the best defensive tackle this year. He had a career tying 15.5 sacks and for the first time in his career he was voted first team all pro.
This offseason the Chiefs have some big moves to make.