The Chiefs nearly returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in 49 years with a 37-31 overtime loss to the Patriots in the CFA Championship game. An offside penalty from Dee Ford to the Pro Bowl linebacker one minute into the fourth quarter, while Kansas City led 28-24, cancels an interception of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who apparently sealed a victory .

Overall, the 2018 season can be considered a success. A third consecutive crown of AFC West was won with 12 regular season wins. The Chiefs were no longer qualified for the AFC title since the 1993 season, while the legendary Joe Montana was the quarterback.

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Quarter of second year Patrick Mahomes, 10th pick in the NFL 2017 draft, entered the season as an unproven product. He became the brightest young star of the game with one of the most prolific passing seasons in the history of the NFL. Mahomes is the second quarterback to score at least 50 touchdowns and 5,000 yards in the same regular season, joining Peyton Manning, who completed the feat in 2013. He earned first team honors All-Pro and should be named league MVP at the Super Bowl weekend.

Here is an overview of what awaits them for chefs.

Defensive coaching changes

Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was fired Tuesday, ending his six-year term in Kansas City. Sutton oversaw a unit that ranked 31st in the NFL in total defense, allowing 405.5 yards per game. Although the Chiefs tied for first place in the league standings with 52 sacks, he was 31st in pass defense, allowing 273.4 yards per game. The defense of the race was not much better. Kansas City was 27th with opponents winning 132.1 yards per game on the ground. Only the Rams were worse than the Chiefs for running; K.C. allowed five yards per race. Kansas City is also ranked 26th in defensive efficiency, according to Football Outsiders.

Salary ceiling

The leaders have $ 159.85 million out of 2019 pay cap commitments with 44 players under contract, according to data from the NFLPA. Under the off-season ceiling accounting rules, the top 51 salaries (ie ceiling numbers) are important. A little more than $ 715,000 of unused ceiling, the second lowest amount of the NFL, can be carried forward to the next league year.

According to preliminary NFL forecasts, the salary cap for 2019 is between $ 187 million and $ 191.1 million. The Chiefs will have space for a capital increase of approximately $ 26.7 million after taking into account all players, postponing the existing reserve and bidding for restricted free agents and exclusive rights actors with expired contracts, as well as the proven performance factor for the 2016 eligibility project are taken into account, provided that the salary cap is set at $ 190 million.

Kansas City is top heavy in terms of heading. Five players with ceilings greater than $ 10 million occupy a combined space of $ 81,168,400. That's just over 50% of Kansas City's current capping commitments for 2019.

Four players have one of the top five numbers of the NFL in 2019 at their respective positions. Linebacker Justin Houston has the biggest cap on the team at $ 21.1 million. This is the fourth highest figure in the NFL among non-quarterbacks.

Houston's ability is not the problem. This is his availability. He has missed 21 games in four seasons since signing his contract in 2015, making him the second-highest-paying NFL quarterback, including four in the middle of the season due to a hamstring injury. hamstrings. Negotiating or releasing this 30-year-old man would free $ 14 million in space.

The Chiefs should be comfortable with the 2018 second round pick, with Breeland Speaks taking on a much bigger role next season to separate from Houston. The speeches began in Houston's place in the four games that Houston missed injured.

Broad Receiver Sammy Watkins has the third largest number of wide receiver bins, with $ 19.2 million. When he signed his $ 48 million three-year contract as a free agent last March, $ 8.21 million of his base salary of $ 11.95 million in 2019 was fully secured. Restructuring Watkins' deal for the purpose of the limitation would make it harder for chiefs to move on in 2020, when their $ 14 million salary is no longer guaranteed because the $ 7 million bonus attributed to this year would increase.

Eric Berry has signed a $ 78 million six-year contract in 2017 to become the highest-paying NFL security. He broke the left Achilles tendon during the opening game of the 2017 season. A heel injury, which might require surgery, limited Berry to two games of that game before his return for the AFC Championship.

Berry's $ 16.5 million 2019 figure is the second of the collateral. When he signed his contract, $ 10.2 million of Berry's $ 12.4 million base salary in 2019 was guaranteed in the event of injury. Last March, $ 2.95 million of the $ 10.2 million was fully secured. The remaining $ 7.25 million is fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 season, March 15th.

Heads could potentially capture $ 9.55 million in space by releasing Berry with a designation after June 1 before the March 15th guarantee date for $ 7.25 million. NFL teams can release two players each year in the league before June 1st. They will be treated under the ceiling as if they had been released after June 1st. With a designation after June 1st, a team is required to wear the full number of the player's cap until June. 2 even though he's no longer on the list. The player's salary is exhausted at that time unless he is guaranteed. Kansas City would have $ 6.95 million in dead money, which represents a maximum charge for a player who was no longer on the player list for 2019. Berry would stay in the Kansas City books in 2020 with a charge of 8 million dollars that would correspond to his signature of $ 20 million. premium.

Heel surgery could compromise Kansas City's ability to free Berry in this way. An inability to pass a physical exam before March 15 could cost the Chiefs $ 7.25 million, according to the wording of Berry's injury guarantee. If this were the case, only $ 2.3 million in 2019 would be allocated through the designation after June 1.

Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher is Kansas City's fourth largest contingent with $ 13.65 million. Travis Kelce's $ 10,718,400 capped number three times in the All-Pro category ranks fourth in the league.

The next agreement of Dee Ford

Ford chose the right time to start realizing the potential that made him the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 selection. The linebacker had an escape season with a contract expiring after an injury in 2017.

Ford's six sacks and four forced fumbles in five games in October have helped him win the AFC Defensive Player of the Month award. According to Pro Football Focus, his 78-quarter pressure was third in the NFL and the first among the defensemen on board. He also finished eighth in the NFL with 13 sacks of the season.

Ford is a prime candidate for a franchise label because its 2018 game is an outlier and the immense importance of the players who can put pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. The linebacker is expected to have about $ 15.6 million, with a salary cap of 2019 estimated at $ 190 million. Putting a franchise label on Ford would reduce Kansas City's capitalization limit to $ 11 million.

Any reluctance on the part of chiefs to give Ford a lucrative multi-year contract would be justifiable, given that his game this season is an outlier. Ford would be so much in demand if the leaders let him enter the open market, because he was doing very well in his youth and quickly joined Aaron Donald, the NFL defensive player of the year, and Khalil Mack, who won the title. the reward in 2016, in the club without quarter of 20 million dollars a year.

A long-term deal will likely require a larger Chiefs commitment than the one with Houston in 2015, when he was the Kansas City franchise player. Houston, who had just finished a 2014 season in which he almost broke Michael Strahan 's record in a 22.5 – bag season by posting 22 NFL top – scoring sacks, signed a six – year deal for the first time. an average value of $ 16,833,333 per year with $ 52.5 million in guarantees. The agreement, reached when the wage ceiling was $ 143.28 million, is obsolete in the current pass-rusher market. It is averaging more than $ 22 million a year if it is adjusted to the salary cap planned for 2019.

Free agency

The Chiefs have 14 other unrestricted free players besides Ford, including defensive lineman Allen Bailey, wide receiver Chris Conley, center Mitch Morse, cornerback Steven Nelson, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and back Anthony Sherman. Two players, Jordan Lucas (safety) and linebacker Terrence Smith, are free agents with restrictions. Lucas is most likely to receive the lowest bid for stand-alone restricted agents, which is expected to be around $ 2.05 million.

Kansas City will probably not be a major player in the field of free agencies because of the critical situation, especially if Ford is awarded a franchise label, although the impact on the defense can be obtained by using the same contract structure that used with Extended Receiver Jeremy Maclin in 2015 Leaders managed to place Maclin in a strict limiting situation by awarding it a contract with a low limitation number for the first year and a limitation figure for the second year almost four times higher.

The best choice for leaders to remedy defensive deficiencies is the rough draft. The Chiefs have three of the top 64 choices, including two in the second round, thanks to the exchange of cornerback Marcus Peters with the Rams in the offseason.

Earl Thomas, who played six times in the Pro Bowl security, would have been on the Kansas City radar screen before moving on to the fourth season. He was playing at the level of the defensive player of the year before the end of his season. Thomas' contract, which is coming to an end, makes him the highest paid security title of the NFL when it is signed. Expecting the same thing with a new free agency contract would not be surprising. The addition of a very expensive Thomas would probably mean that the leaders were able to obtain the desired relief from the cap by making Berry a designation after June 1st.

The Mitch Morse Center has not dropped a bag since 2015 according to PFF, although it has missed 14 games in the past two seasons. It should be in high demand on the free market. The Chiefs are used to losing an offensive lineman on the loose. Offensive guard Jeff Allen left for the Texans in 2016 after the expiration of his rookie contract. The Texans also signed offensive guard Zach Fulton last March. The Chiefs covered their bets on the Morse with Austin Reiter. The pre-season pickup has earned a two-year extension of $ 4.55 million (up to $ 5.55 million through incentives and salary increases) because of his work since the beginning of four matches while Morse was recovering from a concussion.

Cornerback Steven Nelson held up well as the opposition tested him several times. According to PFF, he was more focused than any other NFL cornerback, but allowed only 60 out of 113 passes (53.1%). Nelson is not of the same caliber as the 2017.J independent agents corner players. Bouye or Stephen Gilmore, or Kyle Fuller, appointed transition player last year. TJ Carrie, Aaron Colvin and Prince Amukamara last year signed $ 7.9 million to $ 9 million free agency contracts with guarantees ranging from $ 15.5 million to $ 18 million. could constitute Nelson's market.

Rear-half Anthony Sherman has been named to the Pro Bowl, but has only taken 98 offensive shots this season, having won 180 in 2017. Another $ 2 million one-year contract probably not justified since he had his biggest impact on the special teams. his role in the offense decreases.

Contract Extensions

The contract extensions of wide receiver Tyreek Hill and defensive lineman Chris Jones would be priorities for the off season. Preliminary selections for 2016 are entering the final year of their rookie contracts.

Hill set a franchise record of 1,479 yards at the front desk, making it fourth in the NFL. He also set career records with 87 shots and 12 touchdown receptions. One of the NFL's most explosive playmakers because of his rare speed, Hill led the league with 27 receptions of 20 yards or more. His 17.0 yards per shot was fifth in the NFL.

Watkins' $ 16 million per year contract sets a salary floor for Hill since he is clearly the primary recipient of Kansas City's broadband processing. Odell Beckham, Jr. signed an extra $ 18 million a year with the Giants during the pre-season, making him the NFL's highest paid wide receiver. His contract contains $ 65 million worth of guarantees, of which $ 40.959 million was fully secured at signing. It is conceivable that Hill overshadows Beckham's contract.

Jones has attracted the attention of the NFL with his prowess. He was third in the NFL with 15.5 sacks. Jones set an NFL record by scoring a sack in 11 consecutive games this season. His defense against the race is not quite up to his abilities. It's not going to hurt Jones financially. A bonus is paid to players who can constantly put pressure on opposing quarters, not those who excel at stopping the race.

Eagles All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is the second-best-paying home defender, with $ 102.6 million over six years and a $ 63.299 million guarantee. that he signed in 2016. A long-term agreement with Jones will probably be more advantageous. $ 17.1 million a year that Cox.

2019 is also a year of contract for cornerback Kendall Fuller, who was awarded the Redskins in Alex Smith's trade. Keeping Fuller in the long run becomes more important if Nelson loses his head-to-head.

Perspective

The Chiefs have solved the biggest problem by creating a franchise quarter with Mahomes. His talent should allow chefs to remain competitive for years to come.

The chefs have a small window to enjoy Mahomes, which is arguably the biggest market in the league. He will be eligible for a contract extension at the end of the 2019 regular season. Chefs will certainly choose his fifth year option for him in 2021, which could be around $ 25 million. If Mahomes does not get a new deal before its option year, the Chiefs will have two years to improve the talent on the list, especially in the defense field, before it does. reset the pay scale of the NFL. It will be even more difficult to maintain success when Mahomes no longer has his recruit contract and takes an excessive number of caps.