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Kansas City Chiefs 2021 free-agency outlook

The Chiefs face significant salary-cap issues in 2021, not that they care at the moment.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Like much of the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs face tremendous salary-cap issues in 2021. Of course, the Chiefs don’t mind nearly as much after reaching the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons. Taking home a second Lombardi Trophy in a row would only further ease the financial pain.

Lost revenue due to COVID-19 will impact every team. However, with so many free agents, the league-wide drop in salary-cap space could make things difficult. The 2020 number came in around $198 million with the 2021 number potentially falling to $180.5 million, according to Over the Cap, but is subject to change.

Options for franchise/transition tags

While the Chiefs have several quality players scheduled to hit free agency, none merit serious consideration for the franchise or transition tag, especially considering the cap crunch facing the team in 2021. Veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins probably has the most value on the open market, but Kansas City has already committed significant resources to the receiving corps, namely All-Pros Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. If Watkins returns in 2021, it will not involve a tag.

Elsewhere on offense, Andrew Wylie has developed into a versatile starter along the offensive line. With starting left tackle Eric Fisher at risk of missing the start of next season, the Chiefs could have interest in bringing Wylie back to help mitigate the issue. Even so, he will not command the franchise or transition tag.

Salary cap

Estimated 2021 cap space (Feb. 5): -$19,509,876

2021 transactions

Free-agent signings


Free-agent departures




Notable unrestricted free agents

Chiefs Free Agents 2021

Pos. Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
Pos. Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
RB Darrel Williams* Chiefs
RB Le'Veon Bell Chiefs
RB Anthony Sherman Chiefs
WR Byron Pringle* Chiefs
WR Demarcus Robinson Chiefs
WR Sammy Watkins Chiefs
TE Deon Yelder* Chiefs
TE Ricky Seals-Jones Chiefs
RG Mike Remmers Chiefs
C Austin Reiter Chiefs
C Daniel Kilgore Chiefs
LG Andrew Wylie* Chiefs
LG Kelechi Osemele Chiefs
LG Stefen Wisniewski Chiefs
EDGE Tanoh Kpassagnon Chiefs
EDGE Taco Charlton Chiefs
IDL Mike Pennel Chiefs
LB Ben Niemann* Chiefs
LB Damien Wilson Chiefs
CB Charvarius Ward* Chiefs
CB Bashaud Breeland Chiefs
CB Antonio Hamilton Chiefs
S Daniel Sorensen Chiefs

* Denotes Restricted Free Agent (RFA)