The One Contract Holding Back the Kansas City Chiefs

The One Contract Holding Back the Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs front office have some important tasks to address within the year. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is in need of a contract extension, and stud defensive tackle Chris Jones is set to hit the open market next year. When looking at the team’s payroll, they don’t have a lot of cap space to facilitate such moves at the moment, though we can expect a rising cap for next year.

That’s all thanks to the albatross of a contract general manager Brett Veach gave to linebacker Anthony Hitchens.

After playing his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Hitchens cashed in by signing a five-year, $45 million contract with the Chiefs in 2018. Kansas City was in desperate need for help on the defensive side of the ball that year, so they felt obligated to overpay for Hitchens. As it turns out, Hitchens wasn’t the difference maker they thought he’d be. Yes, he racks up the desired tackles you’d want from a middle linebacker, but he’s a complete liability in pass coverage.

To make matters worse, the Chiefs are essentially stuck with Hitchens’ contract. Cutting him this year obviously isn’t a possibility. Even a trade can’t save the Chiefs, as they’d still have to eat over $12 million in dead money. Kansas City can feasibly move on from Hitchens in 2021, when the dead cap hit is $8 million. That’s still not ideal.

If the Chiefs want to begin the next great NFL dynasty, they have to lock in Mahomes and Jones. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, thanks to Hitchens’ bloated contract for the time being.

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