Analysis

Lowered salary cap comes at the worst time for Chiefs

Kansas City has never had this much talent before, but lowered cap space will continue to see valuable pieces exit.

After two straight trips to the Super Bowl, the Chiefs have already made tough decisions. On Thursday, they cut tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz.

Those two were center-pieces to the championship offensive line from 2019. Fisher being our No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and Schwartz with his All-Pro nod in 2018.

Fisher suffered a ruptured Achilles while Schwartz was sidelined for most of the season with a back injury.

Injuries added onto age and pricey contracts, the Chiefs couldn’t fork over a lot of money for them to rest. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL’s reduced revenue would have an effect on the cap space.

The NFL set the salary cap at $182.5 million with an 8% decrease from last season, according to ESPN. But the Chiefs found a way to work around this news.

Since entering the role of general manager in 2017, Brett Veach has seemingly created cap space effortless. His ability to restrict contracts and work closely with the players helped spark the greatest three-year stretch in franchise history.

Besides Fisher and Schwartz, two wide receivers signed one-year deals last offseason in hopes of another championship. Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson may both sign elsewhere this offseason with the cap shortage.

During the Super Bowl title run, Watkins came up huge in the postseason, ending with 288 receiving yards, according to Pro Football Reference.

Wide receiver Byron Pringle is also a free agent this offseason. It’ll be interesting to see if the Chiefs resign either of these three, or if they choose to focus on drafting around wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman.

One thing we know for certain is to expect the unexpected with Veach. The Chiefs just signed offensive guard Joe Thuney to a five-year, $80 million deal, which fell under the radar up until it was announced.

The sad truth for Chiefs Kingdom is it’ll become normal for valuable assets like Fisher, Schwartz, and Watkins to eventually take their talents elsewhere. But due to salary cap restraints, it’s all business for the Chiefs as they continue their strive for a third championship.

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