Chiefs in sticky salary cap situation entering free agency

NFL Kansas City

KANSAS CITY (16-3)

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson; SS Daniel Sorenson; CBs Bashaud Breeland and Antonio Hamilton; DEs Alex Okafor, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Taco Charlton; LB Damien Wilson; OLs Mitchell Schwartz, Eric Fisher, Austin Reiter, Kelechi Osemele, Mike Remmers, Stefen Wisniewski and Daniel Kilgore; FB Anthony Sherman; DL Mike Pennel; RB LeVeon Bell; TE Ricky Seals-Jones.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CBs Charvarius Ward and Alex Brown; TEs Deon Yelder and Nick Keizer; RB Darrel Williams; LB Ben Niemann; WR Byron Pringle; OL Andrew Wylie.

NEEDS: The first order of business is to get under the salary cap, which could mean an extension for FS Tyrann Mathieu and restructuring the deals of several players already under long-term contracts. They already released Schwartz and Fisher, saving them more than $18 million. If they can free up some more money, they desperately need help along the offensive line – remember the Super Bowl? – along with cornerback and wide receiver. The Chiefs should get some reinforcements back in OLs Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang, both of whom opted out during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they will lean heavily on the draft to fill other holes. But their success last season means they will be picking near the end of each round, and that will limit their ability to get plug-and-play rookies. And that means getting the salary cap under control is paramount so general manager Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid can at least chase some mid-level options at their biggest position needs before the April draft.

AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $4.3 million over the salary cap.

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