This off-season has become what I am calling, the year of the cap casualty. Brett Veach has started to make it a priority to get out of cap hell and start acquiring proven talent that he believes in, while simultaneously going younger and cheaper in many key positions. This should allow for him to pursue one or two big name free agents. I would personally love to get Trumaine Johnson, Eric Reid, or Tahir Whitehead. We just don’t know Veach’s complete philosophy yet, as this is his first true full off-season. However, I think we have some pretty good indicators so far.
Understanding the cap can be very complicated. I know I struggled understanding it at times, and honestly some of the contracts can still be rather confusing. There are two really great websites to check out if you are interested in learning more about the cap, overthecap.com and spotrac.com. They both break it down so that you can easily read and understand each cap transaction.
So how does Derrick Johnson’s voided contract affect the Chiefs cap?
According to overthecap.com, Derrick Johnson signed a 3 year, $21 million, $8.75 million guaranteed and a $5.25 million signing bonus. Then in 2017 he re-negotiated his contract that revised his 2017 cap hit to $4.25 and received a $1 million signing bonus. The key here is the signing bonuses. Signing bonuses are given at the time of signing, but the cap hit is spread out over multiple years. With the Chiefs voiding his contract there is only $2.5 million in dead money in 2018 from the previous signing bonuses.
After trading Alex Smith, cutting Darelle Revis, and voiding Derrick Johnson’s contract Kansas City is left with $17.7 million in cap space, according to spotrac.com, and leaves them a lot of room to get those splash free agents.