Five KC Chiefs who are under contract that should not be brought back

Eric Fisher #72 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Eric Fisher #72 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Anthony Hitchens (53) (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Anthony Hitchens (53) (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

KC Chiefs to move on from (but won’t) – Anthony Hitchens

Coming into the season, the idea of keeping Anthony Hitchens past this season sounded foolish, and even to a degree now, the idea of keeping the Iowa product sounds a bit nuts. However, in part due to a contract restructure from a few years ago, at this point, it doesn’t make sense for the Chiefs to release the linebacker.

First off, the team simply needs bodies in the position group. Ben Niemann and Damien Wilson are both free agents and Willie Gay is coming off a knee injury. The Chiefs are not in the position to devote draft picks or salary cap toward fixing the linebacker group.

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Keeping the veteran helps the development of the other linebackers, and the middle linebacker is good about making sure the other players in the defense are lined up correctly.

Secondly, the only way to save money is to designate Hitchens a June 1 cap cut.

What is that exactly?

Well, a player released as a June 1 has their cap hit spread out over two seasons instead of one. So releasing Hitchens today creates a $8.447 million in dead cap hit, but designating him a June 1 cap cut, the Chiefs would carry dead numbers of $4.223 in 2021 and 2022.

The problem with that strategy, the Chiefs have to keep Hitchens’ cap number, in full, on their books until June. So while the team may know money is coming off the books, they can’t take advantage of those savings in free agency.

The question, why would the Chiefs release a player they like, even if it doesn’t show up on a stat sheet, for savings unable to truly help in free agency this offseason and carry dead money for two years? They wouldn’t.

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These five players should be released, but it’d be shocking if Kansas City truly did let all five of them go, especially Anthony Hitchens.