The NFL offseason is in full swing. The Kansas City Chiefs are in some trouble with cap space. However, there are ways for the reigning back-to-back AFC Champions to save some money. Here are three contracts the Chiefs need to rework.
Defensive End Frank Clark
Original Contract: 5 years/$104 million ($62.3 million guaranteed)
Contract Remaining: 3 years/$78.2 million
Before the 2019 season, the Chiefs traded away Dee Ford for a second-round pick. Later in the offseason, the Chiefs traded for Frank Clark from Seattle and gave him a huge contract. Since then, he has yet to really live up to his contract and expectations. In 29 regular games with KC, Clark has 14 sacks, compared to the 13 sacks he had in the 2018 regular season with the Seahawks. However, he has come up clutch multiple times in the playoffs with eight sacks in six postseason games with the Chiefs.
The trouble with Clark is his contract. this season he has the largest cap hit on the team at $25.8 million. The Chiefs need to rework his contract to where they can be active in free agency. Whether it comes to his restructuring, there is an option. What the Chiefs have done with Patrick Mahomes’ contract is cut the cap hit by paying his roster bonuses. Brett Veach can restructure his contract by moving a chunk of his salary to become a roster bonus.
Other than that, you can ask him to take a pay cut, but it does not seem likely that Clark will do that. However, it may bet he first contract the Chiefs must rework is Frank Clark. He cannot and should not have the highest cap hit on the team.
Left Tackle Eric Fisher
Original Contract: 4 years/$48 million
Contract Remaining: 1 year/$11.25 million
Eric Fisher is in a tough spot right now. He tore his Achilles against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship. The timetable for his return is unknown and he most likely will not be ready for the start of the 2021 season.
With that, comes the contract situation. Fisher has one year remaining on his deal for over $11 million. The Chiefs could cut Fisher on an injury designation, saving $12 million on the cap. The Chiefs can ask Fisher to take a pay cut as he will be limited throughout the season if he even plays.
If I’m Brett Veach in this situation, I would start with asking Fisher to take a pay cut, which isn’t unreasonable due to the circumstances, but if he declines to do so, he could be out the door.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu
Original Contract: 3 years/$42 million
Contract Remaining: 1 year/$14.55 million
The Chiefs have to figure out what they want to do with Tyrann Mathieu. He is about to enter the third and final year of his contract that he signed before the 2019 season. The Chiefs defense needs Mathieu, as he is not only a key contributor but also a key leader.
The Chiefs should sign Mathieu to an extension, which could help with his cap hit. Convert a chunk of his salary this year into a roster bonus, and give him a new deal that could offload some of his money from this year.
The Chiefs cannot afford to lose Tyrann Mathieu and need to lock him up for years to come, and an extension this offseason could aid them in cap space this upcoming season.