KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs have been busy in the past three weeks with roster moves to create cap space.
The team released linebacker Joe Mays, tight end Anthony Fasano and wide receivers Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins during that span. But the moves still left the Chiefs an estimated $1.7 million over the cap before the start of the league’s calendar year on Tuesday.
Sunday evening provided more cap relief with outside linebacker Tamba Hali agreeing to restructure his contract, as Adam Caplan of ESPN reports.
#Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali has agreed to restructure his contract, according to a league source.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 9, 2015
The 31-year-old Hali was set to earn a base salary of $6.7 million in the final year of his contract and carried a cap number of $12 million. The Chiefs could’ve saved an estimated $9 million against the cap by releasing the ninth-year pro.
The new contract details were not available and the Chiefs have not announced the transaction.
But former NFL agent and current contracts/salary cap expert Joel Corry of CBS Sports offered an opinion on what could have transpired.
“If you are in the final year of your contract, how are you going to restructure to create cap room if that’s the final year?” Corry said in a telephone interview. “You can convert money in a signing bonus in the final year of a deal; it won’t do anything for you cap-wise.
“The cap number is still the same, so it’s one of three things. It’s a pay cut, you either did some sort of extension or you can convert money in a signing bonus, base salary signing bonus in that $2 million roster bonus, which is payable on the (March) 19th, it’s a signing bonus to lower the cap number.”
In the meantime, Hali’s willingness to rework his contract and provide the Chiefs cap relief should immediately pay off.
And this is especially true when considering the reports Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is prepared to sign with the Chiefs when the league’s calendar year begins.
Retaining Hali also takes on importance in the event of a Justin Houston holdout.
The Chiefs designated Houston with the non-exclusive franchise tag, but there are no guarantees Houston will immediately sign the tender.
Hali comes off a season where he recorded 59 tackles (47 solo) and six sacks, and made a fourth straight Pro Bowl appearance.