"Around the League" is taking a look at each team's salary-cap situation heading into training camp. Next up: The Kansas City Chiefs.
Adjusted cap number: $146.483 million
Cap room remaining: $16.548 million
Best bargain Despite being one of the better run-blocking offensive tackles in the National Football League, the Houston Texans released Eric Winston and his $5.5 million base salary and $6.5 million cap number before the start of the 2012 league year. The Chiefs swooped in, signing Winston and instantly upgrading the right side of their offensive line. The Chiefs will pay Winston the same $5.5 million he was due from the Texans, but get him at a $2.5 million cap number for this season.
Crunching the Numbers
Around the League is taking a look at each team's salary cap situation as we approach the start of training camp:
• Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
• Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
• Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
• Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
• Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
• Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
• Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
• 49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Chiefs are in great shape, cap-wise, so there is no urgency to clear space this summer. One player that might be under the gun for a restructure is left guard Ryan Lilja. The 31-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and could be pushed for a starting job by 2012 second-round pick Jeff Allen, a tackle at Illinois who is expected to move inside at the NFL level. Allen was regarded as a "day one" starter by the NFL Network's Mike Mayock and with Jon Asamoah locked in on the right side of Rodney Hudson, Lilja's spot could be up for grabs.
Contract issue looming in 2013: Continuing along the Chiefs' offensive line, left tackle Branden Albert's rookie contract will expire after the season. The former first-round pick out of Virginia has started all 60 games he's been active and, according to Football Outsiders Almanac 2012, had just 5.5 blown blocks in 2011. Quality left tackles simply do not hit the free agent market and there's little reason to think that Albert will in 2013. The Chiefs could even use the franchise tag, which for an offensive lineman, is projected to be worth $9.278 million if the salary cap stays flat in 2013.
The other big issue the Chiefs have for 2013 could be resolved by Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline to reach a multi-year extension with franchised wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. A Pro Bowler in 2010, Bowe has caught 356 passes for 4,927 yards and 36 touchdowns in his 75-game career, topping 70 receptions four times and 1,000 yards three times in his first five NFL seasons. Bowe is due $9.515 million in base salary this season, and is among seven franchised players who has not yet signed his tender. To franchise Bowe again in 2013 would cost the Chiefs $11.418 million.
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