ith the 2021-22 season now over, some of the Kansas City Chiefs’ pending free agents are beginning to think about their future in the NFL. While some of them will look to stay in Kansas City, others already know it’s time to move on despite free agency not beginning until March. Jarran Reed is the latter…maybe.
Taking to Twitter to send his message, Reed thanked the Chiefs for his time spent in Kansas City as he moves “on to the next chapter” of his NFL career.
“Thank you Kansas city my time at arrowhead was amazing playing for coach Reid was a dream made some great friends on to the next chapter,” Reed wrote on February 2.
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However, Reed noted shortly after that there was “no meaning” to his previous tweet.
“My tweet had no meaning to it. I was simply just thanking the city fans coaches etc don’t get to deep into it,” Reed wrote.
It appears that Reed wasn’t claiming his time in Kansas City is over. But his tweet did read as if he was not re-signing with the Chiefs.
Reed Struggled in One Year With Chiefs
Last offseason, Reed signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal with Kansas City in what was a conscious effort by the Chiefs’ front office to bolster the offensive and defensive lines. While the offensive line was completely revamped compared to the season prior, the defensive line was inconsistent throughout the season. Reed played a part in those struggles.
Reed recorded 28 tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles in 17 games played this season, according to Pro Football Reference. He struggled overall, as is evident in his 46.7 overall grade by PFF. That’s not the type of production Kansas City was looking for next to Chris Jones on the defensive interior.
While Reed made it known he hasn’t decided on his future in Kansas City, there’s no guarantee he’ll even get an offer to re-sign with the Chiefs.
Reed Among 3 Free Agents on D-Line
Reed is one of three defensive linemen that are set to be free agents this offseason. The others are Melvin Ingram, Alex Okafor, and Derrick Nnadi.
General Manager Brett Veach said the offensive and defensive lines would be a point of emphasis yet again this offseason. However, Kansas City won’t be able to acquire much talent until the front office puts the team in a better financial situation for 2022.
2022 is the third year of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year, $450 million contract extension with Kansas City. This is noteworthy because it’s the first year Mahomes’ cap hit will be significant since signing that extension, as he will be on the books for a $35.7 million cap hit. To put that into perspective — he had a combined cap hit of $12.7 million over the first two years of his extension, per Over The Cap.
Mahomes’ contract will leave the Chiefs with just $6 million to spend during the offseason, according to Jason Fitzgerald of OTC. However, there are ways to adjust Mahomes’ contract along with other Kansas City players’ contracts to free up money.
What Can Chiefs Do To Free Up Cap Space?
One of the easiest ways for the Chiefs to free up cap space in 2022 is adjusting Mahomes’ contract. A way to do that was figured out by former sports agent and salary cap expert, Joel Corry.
“The KC Chiefs would create $21.92M of 2022 salary cap room by converting Patrick Mahomes’ $27.4M 3rd day of the 2022 league year roster bonus (3/18) into signing bonus. Mahomes’ 2022 cap number would go from $35,793,381 to $13,873,381,” Corry wrote on Twitter.
Other ways the Chiefs can free up cap space involve other players.
Defensive end Frank Clark has a contract that could be dumped. He will have a $26.3 million cap hit in 2022. However, if Kansas City were to cut him pre-June 1, then they would save $12.7 million in cap room while also having to eat $13.6 million in dead money, per OTC.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is a player whose contract the Chiefs could manipulate. He will be on the books with a $20.8 million cap hit in 2022, which will also be the final year of his contract, per OTC. Signing the 27-year-old wideout to another extension could lower his cap hit for 2022, freeing up more money.
Another maneuver — but one that will create the least amount of cap room — involves veteran linebacker, Anthony Hitchens. He has a $12.6 cap hit in 2022, which is also the final year of his contract. Cutting him pre-June 1 would free up $8.4 million in cap room, but Kansas City would also have to deal with $4.2 million in dead money, per OTC.
There’s a lot that needs to be figured out for the Chiefs before free agency begins in March. However, if there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that a lot of maneuvers need to be made in Kansas City to help the Chiefs compete for another championship next season.