Jumping Through The Cap … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

So the Chiefs have been busy in the last few days trying to change public opinion about the team being cheap.

Over the weekend the Chiefs handed the Kansas City Star their complete list of salaries and salary cap numbers for the coming season. Normally, this type of information is guarded like nuclear launch codes, but when fighting to change perceptions – especially by the ticket buying public – out of the ordinary moves are often required.

On Monday they struck the first real blow of the 2012 off-season by signing free agent CB Stanford Routt to a 3-year, $19.6 million deal, out bidding some six or seven other teams for his services.

And then Tuesday, GM Scott Pioli was speaking about all of this on the team’s radio partner, saying the Chiefs wanted to keep CB Brandon Carr even after signing Routt. He said as of Tuesday the Chiefs had $63 million under the cap, but that figure would shrink to around $37 million once the league gets done reconciling all the figures for incentive bonuses earned in 2011, salary escalators and dead money paid to players no longer with the team.

We covered the Routt signing on Tuesday. As for reconciling the salary cap number, we’ve covered some of those incentives and escalators earlier as well. So let’s zero in on the salary figures given to the newspaper by the Chiefs. Some interesting items amongst all the numbers:

  • The cap figure is expected to be static for the 2012 season, meaning it should come in right around $120 million per team. To that total, add the $24 million that the Chiefs did not use in 2011 and have carried over to this season. That puts the Chiefs cap figure for the coming season at $144 million-plus.
  • Give the Chiefs credit on dead money, as they have only $62,215 counting against the cap for players signed and released last year.
  • The Chiefs have 49 players under contract right now, including the recently signed Routt. There are 25 on defense, 21 on offense and three special teamers. They’ll have enough room to draft and sign 31 players before the start of training camp.
  • Those 49 players account for $105.275 million under the salary cap for 2012.
  • The K.C. cap is badly out of balance, with 62.8 percent of the cap dedicated to the defense at $66.05 million.
  • The defensive front seven is where the most money has been allocated by the Chiefs, a total of $46.3 million among 17 players. That’s almost 44 percent of the cap.
  • The team’s offensive problems really show through when looking at the lack of dollars paid to guys that handle the ball. They have only $24.2 million in cap dollars invested in quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. Nearly a third of that total money falls to QB Matt Cassel, with a $7.575 cap number this year.
  • Right now the Chiefs have 16 players that will have a base salary in 2012 of $1 million or more. Nine of those players are on the defense.
  • The top four base salaries belong to defensive players – OLB Tamba Hali ($11.25 million), DE Tyson Jackson ($8 million), DE Glenn Dorsey ($5.85 million) and CB Brandon Flowers ($5.75 million).

Here’s how the cap dollars are currently allocated to positions with their current situation:

# Position

Under Contract

Cap Dollars Allocated

1. Linebackers



2. Defensive Line



3. Defensive Backs



4. Offensive line



5. Receivers (WR/TE)



6. Quarterbacks



7. Running Backs



8. Special Teamers




18 Responses to “Jumping Through The Cap … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • February 22, 2012  - Milkman says:

    Pioli still says he wants Carr back. After seeing these #’s, wouldn’t it be irresponsible to sign him now with all the other needs on this team? I’d love to see him back in a Chiefs uniform, but I don’t see it happening.

  • February 22, 2012  - KC_Guy says:

    What I think is more relevant than the cap numbers is the new approach to the media horde. Last year it would have been unthinkable to even consider to release any of the information that came out recently. Routt’s contract in all detail, the cap figures and salary numbers, the comments on Carr .. you name it.

    Is that a new policy being established? The first impact of new Vice President of Communications Ted Crews?

    I definitely hope so.

  • February 22, 2012  - Chuck says:

    Bob; Another GREAT STORY. YOU are the man in K.C. Maybe something good is about to happen afterall. Maybe some of us old serious doubters (me included) have HOPE afterall. As long as we are on this cap space topic I will just simply say this. I have felt deep down in my heart of hearts (thats where it really counts) that this team is not really that far away from being a very good football team. If you look at last year we lose Berry (first game), then Charles (second game), Moecki (preseason) and Cassel about half way thru. But yet we still finished at 7-9 and even beat the then world champion Packers. Anyone that is truly honest can see that the Chiefs just need a “few KEY pieces” to be a serious playoff team. The areas I would like to see improved upon are Offensive Line ( to give Cassel a little more time) Running Back, NT, and maybe another GREAT SAFETY (like probowler Berry). I know we are stuck with Cassel and thats why I didn’t even mention QB. I really wish they would keep Orton too.

  • February 22, 2012  - ED J says:

    Yeah he’s saying hw want Carr back but at his price that being Pioli’s price that is. So probably somewhere around 7-8 million per yr. Carr wants 10-12 million per year more than likely he’ll get it but not with the Chiefs. All that being said if we add good nose tackle, running back, and tight end in free agency we should still call free agency period a success even without Carr being back. Oh don’t want to leave out resigning Bowe.

  • February 22, 2012  - ED J says:

    Good point KC-guy I think addition of Ted Crews is Pioli at least in offseason will be little more visible and team not going to be so secreative about contracts and stuff like that. Expect Chiefs organization to be little more open but their not going to turn into Jets organization.

  • February 22, 2012  - Canada Brad says:

    I was looking at some of the players that will be available in FA according to NFL.com.

    I would really like to see as try to sign Michael Bush (RB-Oak) and Paul Soliai (NT-Mia). Jermichael Finley should be available as well (TE-GB) unless the Packers franchise him.

    The OL should be helped by a FA OT and some draft picks at T and C.

    Think about these legit additions with the healthy Chiefs (+ Bowe AND Carr). KC can be a really good team.

    I think it’s also funny when we talk about how a team shouldn’t sink too much money into one position. I think you put the money where ever the good players are. It’s like drafting the best player available in the draft.

    GO CHIEFS !!

  • February 22, 2012  - Tim says:

    I would agree the cap is out of balance, however its rarely going to be “in balance” when you have some star players…not that we have many of those. What would be interesting to know in addition to this data is what are the cap ramifications of a trade or cut of people like Tyson Jackson or Dorsey. Of course their contracts can always be re-worked to bring down that their cap numbers too. I believe there will be a combination of re-works, cuts & perhaps trades on some targeted people to create room for a fair deal for Carr. Other than that, I would expect most of these available dollars to got to the O. Over time, we’ll be able to better balance because of the new collective bargaining. If we drafted guys that would replace Dorsey & Jackson, that would be a HUGE swing.

  • February 22, 2012  - el cid says:

    The Chiefs have added 2 veteran players, so we are only slightly weaker than the end of last season. The draft is coming but Pioli has not been exactly a superstar with hit after hit, more like hit or miss. Free Agent signing must include a backup RB and QB, cost money. Somewhere find a TE who can last 16 games. The rest of the holes will have filled with second or third level types and hope they improve. There is always 2013.

    i suggest the old “right 53″ will be replaced by “good enough”. And, thanks goodness, Clark gets to keep his money.

  • February 22, 2012  - Blake says:

    Pioli said at the end of the season that he was going to be in the media more this offseason. Talking on more shows and such. This was even before they hired the guy from St. Louis.

    Pretty sad to look at the oline numbers. It has the most bodies at the position but it is in the middle of the pack. WR will jump up after Bowe is signed/tagged.

  • February 22, 2012  - napahank says:

    I really think a way to add enough cap room to re-sign Carr is to get Jackson and Cassell to restructure their contract for longer terms but less per year.

    Jackson HAS to figure that unless he really blossoms in the next two years that his next contract will suck wind.

    As for Cassel, the threat of competition (which means you are not earning your pay) should motivate him to want to stretch out his paydays but with less dollars now and incentive clauses later if he improves in the next few years.

    Between the two you could add $4-5 million to the cap this year.

  • February 22, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Here is hoping that the we’re about to witness the opening of communications and purse strings by the Chiefs. Hunt and Pioli are smart. They’re at a place where I could never get to. OK, in Clarks case I am probably smart enough to inherit money, if only. They know you spend money to make money. I’m sure they hear the fans criticism about just being concerned about making Hunt’s more money. I know they understand that if they prove to me they are actually cheap, that I’m going to stop buying four season tickets, driving three hours there and back while consuming countless Sam Adams in a parking spot that cost like a hotel room. They know that. That’s why Carr gets resigned. Now lets go shopping!

  • February 22, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    OK.Sorry. The “countless Sam Adams” is actually three before the game and one after. Time does take a toll. Long drive home (for my wife). But the damn parking spot still cost like a hotel room.

  • February 22, 2012  - txchief says:

    Pioli has had three first round picks. I’m diasappointed with Tyson Jackson. Eric Berry is a success, and it’s too early to pass judgement on Baldwin. Even at one out of three, Pioli has probably drafted as well as any other GM in Chiefs history. I nhope he can impress the fans more in free agency and resigning key players.

  • February 22, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    JFW, a man could do a lot worse than Sam Adams but a happy buzz ride home beats a buzz kill hands down every game, huh? I think we need to work at getting some experience on the offensive line through free agency or we will be perilously young and inexperienced there going into the season.

  • February 22, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    JFF, trust me, in the past I have done far worse than Sam Adams. I agree in rebuilding the O line thru FA. That’s the quickest method.

  • February 23, 2012  - Duke says:

    Careful there, txchief, stating that Pioli has probably drafted “as well as any other GM in Chiefs History”. Not sure if it was Don Klosterman, Hank Stram, or a combination of the two since it was the year I was born, but look back at the 1963 Chiefs draft alone, one in which 3 Chiefs Hall of Famers, 2 of them NFL Hall of Famers, were acquired in a single draft; Buck Buchanan, Bobby Bell, and Ed Budde. And within the next few years, Otis Taylor, Jan Stenerud, Willie Lanier and Jim Lynch, to name a few other franchise greats, were drafted as well. Let’s See Pioli draft even 1 player of this type before we anoint him the all time greatest Chiefs GM. Berry has a chance, so that’s 1. At this point , he also clearly trails King Carl, who drafted DT, Tony G. and Will Shields…..

  • February 23, 2012  - el cid says:

    John hope you are having a good day and are sitting down. It is being suggested the Chiefs draft a OT and why? Because they may need insurance in case Albert walks after the 2012 season. We got insurance for Carr by stepping down to Routt. And to suggest we draft to compensate for losing another starter in a year, not all that heartwarming.

  • February 23, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    cid, you’re right; not at all heartwarming. Add to that, Romeo is going to sober up soon and ask why the hell he’s still working. More changes. For all the hope of a stable and consistent team I don’t think it is going to be. From now I’m going to try to live with constant flux. As for drafting an OT, I wouldn’t. Maybe one way down in the draft. Still would prefere a free agent anywhere on the O line.

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