The Kansas City Chiefs had to get creative and get creative fast. Just before the NFL draft took place, the Super Bowl champions found themselves up against the salary cap wall. At the time, they didn’t have enough money to sign all of their upcoming draft picks without doing some maneuvering. With the draft having taken place last week, the Chiefs were able to free up some space, but still have some work to do, especially if a long-term deal with quarterback Patrick Mahomes is to get done.
Kansas City’s dream season
The Kansas City Chiefs are still riding high after winning Super Bowl LIV back in January. The Chiefs had to mount a furious fourth-quarter rally to post a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The victory was the first Super Bowl win for head coach Andy Reid and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Coming into the 2019 season, the Chiefs boasted a high-octane offense, led by the young and very athletic Mahomes. The team rolled off four straight wins to start the season, averaging 34 points per game during that stretch. The Chiefs dropped a shocker to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 and then saw their season flash before their eyes when Mahomes went down with a knee injury against the Denver Broncos.
Mahomes returned after missing a month and helped guide the Chiefs to the AFC West title and the second seed in the AFC. The Chiefs rallied from a 24-0 deficit against the Houston Texans in the divisional round of the playoffs to win 51-31. After defeating the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title game, Mahomes and the Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs’ outlook for 2020
With Patrick Mahomes at the helm, the Kansas City Chiefs will certainly be expected to make another run at a Super Bowl title in 2020. Mahomes will be back again, along with weapons Tyreek Hill at wide receiver and Travis Kelce at tight end. That has already proven to be enough firepower to the Chiefs offense.
With Tom Brady out of New England and out of the AFC after having signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a major threat in the New England Patriots has taken a hit. The Patriots are very questionable at the quarterback position and also took some hits on the other side of the ball.
Kansas City’s likely biggest threat to ruin a return to the Super Bowl will be the Baltimore Ravens. Like the Chiefs, the Ravens are led by a young, athletic quarterback in Lamar Jackson who was named the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player. The Ravens were shocked in the divisional round of the playoffs a year ago, falling to the Tennessee Titans.
Some serious salary cap issues
With success comes some headaches and the Kansas City Chiefs will soon be finding that out if they already haven’t. The Chiefs are expected to ink quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a huge extension. In order for that to happen, however, the Chiefs have to be concerned about their salary cap issues.
Back on March 30, the Chiefs found themselves struggling in terms of the salary cap as they were dead last out of the 32 teams and it wasn’t close. At No. 31, the New England Patriots were struggling as well with $891,775 available in cap money. At that point, the Chiefs had a whopping $177 remaining, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
If you’re counting at home, the Chiefs’ ticket prices averaged $200 last season so the team would not be able to watch itself play. The Chiefs have since done some restructuring and are about to release punter Dustin Colquitt, which would save them about $2 million. They’ll have to do better than that to sign Mahomes, but at least for now, they can go to their game.