Big-money players across the NFL continue to restructure their contracts to open up salary-cap space ahead of the new league year, which opens on March 17.
A triumvirate of Kansas City Chiefs stars will join that group.
The trio of moves is expected to free up enough salary cap space to where K.C. should start the new league year with around $20 million in cap room, Palmer added.
Albert Breer of The MMQB first reported the restructures.
Mahomes' contract includes a clause that the team can convert salary or bonuses into a signing bonus automatically -- i.e., they don't have to let the QB know they're performing the restructure. We're confident Mahomes isn't complaining about getting a lump of cash dumped into his account. The star QB was scheduled to count $24.8 million against the cap in 2021.
Kelce was slated to count $13.25 million against the cap, with a base salary of $5.25 million and a roster bonus of $7 million. Jones was set to count $21.875 million against the cap, including a $20 million roster bonus.
More often than in any other offseason, NFL clubs are using restructures to lower cap hits in 2021 due to the salary cap sinking to $182.5 million due to lost revenue during the COVID-19. Most restructures are a simple conversion of base salary or a roster bonus into a signing bonus. The mechanism allows the team to spread the hit over a maximum of five years.
When K.C. signed Mahomes to a 10-year, $450 million contract, one idea was that it would offer the club flexibility to maneuver money. That's exactly what Kansas City will do in this cap-strapped season. Kelce's and Jones' deals also provide the ability to spread the cap hit over future seasons to allow the AFC champs room to revamp their roster on the fly.
With major needs along the offensive line, Chiefs GM Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid surely already have a plan to use their freed-up cap space.