The Kansas City Chiefs have mostly kept to themselves since falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in disappointing fashion last month. This week, the AFC champions made their first roster move since signing 10 familiar faces to reserve/future contracts one month ago.
According to the NFL’s official transaction report for March 9, the Chiefs re-signed wide receiver and special teams stalwart Marcus Kemp on Tuesday.
Kemp, who will turn 26 in August, spent the majority of the 2020 season bouncing between Kansas City’s practice squad and active roster. Following Week 14, the fourth-year wideout was released and signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad, where he spent the final three weeks of the regular season before rejoining the Chiefs in mid-January just in time for another playoff run.
Following the Super Bowl, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder was not initially retained, however, with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson potentially departing via free agency, Kemp could now have an opportunity to carve out additional snaps in Kansas City next season. While he only has two catches for 18 yards on his resume, the 2017 undrafted free agent did play 163 special teams snaps in 10 games last year.
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Chiefs’ 2021 Salary Cap Number Finalized
On the topic of free agency, one of the leading offseason storylines for the Chiefs for the second consecutive year will be the team’s journey to get under the new (lower) salary cap. For the last few months, reports projected the final team cap number to drop somewhere between $180 million and its previous record high of $198.2 million in 2020.
On Wednesday, the league’s final cap number was confirmed at $182.5 million by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
However, no team’s individual cap will actually be set at that mark due to 2020 rollover and adjustments. With just north of $5 million in rollover money, the Chiefs’ official 2021 salary cap “ceiling” is $188.4 million according to Spotrac, placing them approximately $21 million over budget at present.
The Cleveland Browns will lead the way in 2021 with a true cap ceiling of $212 million.
Chiefs general manager previously told reporters that the club had been preparing for anything between $175-195 million.
“I have some good people that I work with, Brandt Tilis and Chris Shea,” Veach said in the lead-up to Super Bowl LV, via Chiefs Wire. “We’ve been going through some different models. A few at $175M, a few $180M, a few at $185M. . . So, they tell me anything over $185M and we’re in pretty good shape. But we’re prepared if it’s $175M too.”
Chiefs Officially Add 2 Compensatory Draft Picks
The salary cap situation, while less than ideal, is still a very manageable one. The coming week before the new league year commences on March 17 is expected to see a “massacre” of veteran cuts across the NFL. Given their financial constraints, the Chiefs appear to be a safe bet to join in on the trend and potentially look to April’s NFL Draft to replace some established contributors.
To help with that, the Chiefs were awarded two compensatory draft picks by the NFL on Wednesday to offset the free agent losses of Kendall Fuller and Emmanuel Ogbah last offseason. In addition to the team’s original slate of six picks, the new selections will fall in the fourth (144th overall) and fifth round (181st overall), per the team.
Here is the placement of all eight of Kansas City’s 2021 picks as of the announcement:
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!