Chiefs’ $80 Million Veteran Helps KC Free Up Cap Space: Report

Joe Thuney

Getty Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Joe Thuney.

The Kansas City Chiefs needed to free up some cap space, so they used starting left guard Joe Thuney’s contract to do so.

The Chiefs restructured Thuney’s contract by converting $12.87 million of his base salary into a signing bonus, creating $9.64 million cap space, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

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The money Kansas City freed up with the restructure likely won’t be used to sign additional players. Instead, it will likely be used to pay the players they have already signed since the free agency period began on March 16.

While Thuney’s cap number is now lowered for the 2022 season, his cap number for the remaining three years of his deal will be larger now due to the restructure, as Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire wrote on March 22.

“This brings Thuney’s cap number for the 2022 NFL seasons down to about $8 million. The bonus money is now prorated over the life of the contract, meaning that Thuney’s cap number will go up in each of the three years remaining on his contract,” Goldman wrote. “In 2023, for instance, Thuney’s cap number will now be around $22 million for Kansas City when it was set to be $19 million prior to the restructure.”

Last offseason, Kansas City signed Thuney, a free agent, to a five-year, $80 million deal, making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL based on the total value of his contract, and the second highest-paid guard based on the average annual value ($16 million), per Over The Cap.

Chiefs Free Agency Tracker

The Chiefs have been mildly active during 2022 free agency since the legal tampering period began on March 14.

The biggest splashes Kansas City has made since then were the signings of safety Justin Reid and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Other players they have signed from outside the organization are offensive tackle Geron Christian, cornerback Luq Barcoo, wide receiver Corey Coleman and linebacker Elijah Lee.

Players with the Chiefs last season who have been retained are fullback Michael Burton, quarterback Chad Henne, offensive lineman Andrew Wylie and defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. They have also tendered running back Derrick Gore, tight end Jody Fortson and cornerback Deandre Baker.

As for departures, Kansas City has lost cornerback Charvarius Ward, center Austin Blythe, wide receiver Byron Pringle, cornerback Mike Hughes, defensive tackle Jarran Reed and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson to free agency.

Twitter Reacts to Chiefs’ Free Agency Activity

Twitter users reacted to how Kansas City has gone about its business during free agency.

“We are in the bargaining period with the Chiefs not restructuring Mahomes/Free Agency plan. I get it, but I just disagree with the mentality. I’ve shown the math works with restructuring Mahomes and it would have let the Chiefs rebuild the D. I don’t get the Chiefs’ plan,” Connor Christopherson of Arrowhead Report wrote.

#Chiefs out here signing camp bodies like they done in free agency,” another user wrote

“The Chiefs arguably have the worst CB and DL room in the entire league. Get mad at me all you want, but there’s zero shot this team makes a postseason run with that team Rookies can’t change much at those positions, and trades are becoming increasingly unlikely. This is very bad,” another user wrote.

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