2020 Salary ReCap AFC West Edition

2020 Salary ReCap AFC West Edition

It's that time of year again! Come March 18th, football season is officially back! No disrespect to the XFL, but there's nothing like the real thing. Now we can turn our attention to free agency and soon after, the NFL Draft. In advance of a potential new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the NFL and NFL Players Association are projecting the league's salary cap to rise to $200 million this season, marking the seventh consecutive year the cap has increased by at least $10 million.

The league year and free agency doesn’t officially start until 4:00pm EST on March 18th. However the action will start on March 16th when teams are legally allowed to negotiate with impending free agents. Since there are just a few short weeks away I decided to assess each team’s salary cap situation and predict where the available cap space will go. I also included each team’s likeliest cap casualty. Make sure to check back each day for the latest installment as this will be released in 8 parts. Today we’re breaking down the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the rest of the AFC West. 


Denver Broncos 

Available cap space $54,027,518


With Sanders gone, Courtland Sutton is the only wide receiver that got over the 300 yard mark and managed to catch more than one TD last season. Drew Lock will definitely need an upgraded weapons arsenal. Chris Harris Jr. is an impending free agent and reportedly met with "at least 24 teams at the combine." Elway trading for Jaguars Cornerback A.J. Bouye could very well mean Harris is on his way out of Denver. They have needs but are in a good spot to be highly competitive come March 18th. 


Possible cap casualty 

Joe Flacco struggled last season before getting injured. Now that Drew Lock has locked down the starting job, Denver could save a little more than $10 million of cap space by releasing the former Super Bowl MVP. 


Kansas City Chiefs 

Available cap space $13,674,494


The world champions will need to get creative with their cap space if they want to successfully defend their title. Restructuring deals and making some cuts will do for now. But Mahomes will break the bank and then some when he gets his payday. Reid looks like he'll tag star defensive lineman Chris Jones if they can't work out a long term deal. But pretty soon, something will have to give. 


Possible cap casualty 

Sammy Watkins is an obvious choice for Andy Reid, and would save a whopping $14 million in cap space if he decides to cut ties with the former 4th overall pick. A restructure is more likely though. 


Las Vegas Raiders 

Available cap space $50,340,596


Mike Mayock has a lot of work to do. With plenty of draft picks and a good amount of cap space, he has the capital to drastically improve this squad. A good place to start would be looking to upgrade the WR and cornerback positions, especially if they allow cover corner Daryl Worley to walk. 


Possible cap casualty 

Tahir Whitehead has been a very productive performer for John Gruden's defense as far as tackling goes. He is very solid and durable, but may be considered not worth his contract. He's entering the final season of his 3-year-deal and will turn 30 in April. The Raiders will save $6.2 million by releasing the former 5th round pick. 

**Update- this proved correct as Whitehead and the Raiders officially parted ways**



Los Angeles Chargers 

Available cap space $49,062,802 


The Chargers will most likely be active in free agency. With Rivers hitting the open market, the Bolts will have some spending money. Rumblings of tagging Hunter Henry have been getting louder and maybe they'll finally work things out with Melvin Gordon. If not, they'll definitely keep Austin Ekeler around who is a restricted free agent. 


Possible cap casualty 

Brandon Mebane is a likely candidate. Releasing the 35-year-old nose tackle would save the Bolts $4.2 million. The Chargers have a good amount of cap space, but it might be time for the big man to ride off into the sunset. 


With Kansas City sitting with a giant target on their backs the rest of the AFC West is looking to make waves this offseason. Look for the rest of the division to make strides towards catching the champs, and flex their spending power. 

1 comment

  • Eric Buttner

    Another great read! Very informative. Looking forward to the next cap updates

Leave a comment