AFC Notes: Chiefs, Raiders, Jaguars

Having officially made the decision today to use their non-exclusive franchise tag on Justin Houston, the Chiefs will be back over the projected cap for 2015 until they make some more cuts or restructure some contracts. Still, that doesn’t mean the team won’t be able to eke out some cap room to potentially make some moves in free agency, as chairman Clark Hunt said this weekend (link via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star).

“We always want to be a smart player in free agency,” Hunt said. “We want to sign guys that can be here and make a contribution, not necessarily (sign) somebody just because he makes a splash. … We also pay a lot of attention to the salary cap because you … can spend whatever you want and circumvent the cap, but every one of those dollars eventually comes back and hits you on the cap. So when we look at the salary cap, I’m not just looking at 2015, I’m thinking about 2016, 2017. So those decisions are made in that context.”

Let’s round up a few more items from around the AFC….

  • Teams like the Raiders and Jaguars will have to spend over the next two years to reach the NFL’s minimum requirement of 89% of the cap over a four-year period, and both clubs have the cap space to make a splash in free agency this month. However, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) points out that both teams have starting quarterbacks eligible for extensions after the 2016 season, so if Blake Bortles and Derek Carr develop as expected, the Raiders and Jags could extend them prior to the 2017 league year as a means of reaching that 89% threshold. In other words, there’s no urgency to reach that minimum threshold immediately.
  • In another video for Bleacher Report, Cole weighs in on Percy Harvin, reiterating what we’ve heard as of late: the Jets receiver appears open to restructuring his deal, but not to taking a pay cut. Harvin is confident that he’ll do fairly well on the open market, and it looks like that’s where he’ll end up, since the Jets are very unlikely to keep him at his current price.
  • The Jaguars have yet to decide whether or not to tender contract offers to any of their players eligible for restricted free agency, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. The club has been in touch with UFAs Tyson Alualu and J.T. Thomas though.
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