The first wave of free agency brought the Chiefs four new players, two players cut, and one player traded away. That means the salary cap has changed quite a bit. Here’s a quick rundown of what the Chiefs are dealing with financially.
According to Over the Cap, the Chiefs have $24.1 million in cap space, which is good for No. 12 in the NFL. This only includes the contracts of Carlos Hyde, Tyrann Mathieu, Damien Wilson, and Alex Okafor. Here’s what first-year cap hits look like for each of those players:
Additionally, Bashaud Breeland will sign with the Chiefs, but it hasn’t been made official yet. His contract is worth up to $5 million.
Let’s say Breeland’s cap hit is $2.5 million in the first year. That’d leave the Chiefs with $21.6 million in cap space. It’s more than enough to navigate a few more signings and sign a draft class of eight picks. The Chiefs could still create some more cap space if they decide to trade for a player, or go after multiple remaining free agents.
When the Chiefs released Justin Houston, they freed up $14 million of cap space. Houston was identified as a cut candidate for the Chiefs, but he was the only one of the five players that could bring substantial cap savings. The Chiefs could free up another $8.7 million in cap space by releasing Eric Murray, Daniel Sorensen, Xavier Williams, and Reggie Ragland. The player with the single-most savings is Williams with $2.8 million.
The Chiefs definitely have more moves to come in free agency and ahead of the draft, but they also won’t rush into anything. They can keep some cap space in the event of a late cut or a trade opportunity arises. They can also roll over any unused space into the 2020 NFL season.
The Chiefs currently have only two running backs—Damien Williams and Darrel Williams on their roster, with Spencer Ware set to potentially make more money than many of us probably expected on the open market.
Hyde is a veteran who has been both a starter and backup before, and he has two 900-plus-yards seasons under his belt (2016 and 2017).
Hyde entered the league with the San Francisco 49ers as a second-round pick back in the 2014 NFL Draft. Hyde signed a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns, but they traded him for a fifth-round pick to Jacksonville after just six games. Hyde was part of Jacksonville’s cuts Friday, presumably to make room for the signing of quarterback Nick Foles when the league year starts next week.
The move to likely sign Hyde is not unexpected for Chiefs general manager Brett Veach. Veach has made somewhat of a habit (Reggie Ragland, Cameron Erving, Sammy Watkins) of acquiring top-round picks who he still believes can still play when they become available.
Hyde would provide affordable, experienced depth in the Chiefs running back room with potential for more.