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How Chiefs GM Brett Veach mastered the salary cap in 2020, and how he’ll continue to do so this offseason

Brett Veach has truly run a masterclass in managing the salary cap in his still-young career as the Chiefs General Manager. He will truly have to show off these skills in this post-COVID era in which the salary cap has decreased for just the second time since its’ inception.

The cap has been projected to end up anywhere from $175 to $185 million by those in the know of the NFL finances, dropping from the $198.2 million figure it was at pre-corona. Players will be asked to take less money, and those players with longer contracts already on the books will be asked to restructure. But if anyone is up to the task of still making a splash in free agency while hitting this lowered cap number, it’s Brett Veach.

When Brett Veach was asked how he was planning on dealing with the lowered cap number, he said “like every year, it’ll be different and unique. But as Andy (Reid) would say ‘we look forward to the challenge.’” The Chiefs are going to have to make some tough decisions because as it currently sits, they are $18.7 million dollars over the cap if it ends up being $185 million.

This isn’t the first time Veach has worked magic with the cap before. Heading into the 2020 offseason, the Chiefs had $177 dollars in cap room, barely enough to afford a new pair of Jordan sneakers. Veach somehow took this $177 in cap room and managed to sign Patrick Mahomes to a half a billion-dollar contract and left enough room to sign Chris Jones to a 4 year, $85 million dollar deal. These two deals exemplified how Veach can seemingly pull cap room out of thin air.

These contracts aren’t coming from a lack of planning. Veach has been quoted as saying he was planning for a Mahomes contract extension before Patrick even became the starting QB for the Chiefs. Veach after all was the one who lobbied for the Chiefs to trade up to draft Mahomes, having extensively scouted him during his days at Texas Tech.

Veach hounded coach Andy Reid and then-GM John Dorsey about Mahomes talent, wanting the Chiefs to draft their future franchise QB with the 10thpick in the 2017 draft. This foresight is just one of many that show the genius that the Chiefs have in Brett Veach. Combine Veach’s genius and a willingness from players to take team-friendly deals in order to “keep the band together,” and you have the formula to take the Chiefs to multiple Super Bowls.

If Veach can work his magic again this offseason, another trip to the Super Bowl isn’t out of the picture. Under Veach’s leadership, the Chiefs have won 25 of their past 28 games. And if his preparation for Mahomes contract extension is any indication of how Veach works, I doubt he is coming into this offseason unprepared.

He has massaged cap space out of seemingly nothing before, so expecting anything less this offseason would truly be an oversight. Brett Veach is quickly making a case for the best GM in the NFL, and if he can keep this core of Chiefs together while managing to wiggle his way underneath the reduced salary cap this offseason, his legacy will truly be set in stone as a great. 

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