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How much cap space do the Kansas City Chiefs have in 2021?

We break down the projected available cap space in 2021 for the Chiefs and notable contract situations.

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts with teammates Eric Fisher #72 and Mitchell Schwartz #71 after a fourth quarter touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Salary cap space

As of March 17, 2021, the Chiefs are projected to be $9,154,847 over the 2021 cap.

The Chiefs rolled over $5.1 million in 2020 cap space.

March 10 update: The salary cap has been set at $182.5 million.

The Kansas City Chiefs improved upon last year’s 12-4 campaign, going 14-2 in the 2020 regular season whilst led once again by elite quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The only question remaining is: Can they become back-to-back Super Bowl champions?

Amid all of this success, the Chiefs’ front office must be keeping one eye on the future. Kansas City will have to make some tough cuts after this season as it is well over the 2021 cap.

The NFL powered through its 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The league played without fans in most stadiums, and limited fans in a handful of locations. The decrease in gate revenue is going to result in a decrease in money shared between the 32 teams. This in turn means the salary cap is expected to decrease. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a salary cap of no lower than $175 million. The latest report has the number landing between $180 and $181 million, which is a good bit lower than the $198.2 million of this past season. This will result in some tough choices for many teams.

All salary cap information below comes courtesy of the NFLPA Public Salary Cap Report.

Notable contracts

“Restructure” may be the word of Kansas City’s offseason. Safety Tyrann Mathieu, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, and left tackle Eric Fisher are all heading into the final year of their respective deals and will count about $45 million combined against the cap next year. Restructuring their deals seems prudent. Same goes for defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is due to count $21.75 million against the cap thanks to a $20 million roster bonus. Kansas City should find a way to move that roster bonus around to lessen the impact on its 2021 cap situation.

Linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who has two years left on his pact, is another restructure candidate, but KC may decide to move on from his less-than-stellar play and save about $2.2 million against the cap. Wideout Sammy Watkins and cornerback Bashaud Breeland are among the team’s most notable unrestricted free agents.

The Chiefs had only one fifth-year option to pick up last spring. It belonged to quarterback Patrick Mahomes. They picked it up and then tore it up once he signed a 10-year, $450 million contract this past summer.