A year ago, the Chiefs let starting offensive linemen Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah, and Geoff Schwartz walk in free agency. This time around, the team is hoping to bring back its key free agent center. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the Chiefs are making a “strong push” to re-sign Rodney Hudson before he reaches the open market.
Hudson, 25, is one of the top interior offensive linemen on the market, ranking behind only perhaps Mike Iupati. When I identified my top 50 free agents earlier today, I placed Hudson 17th, and La Canfora notes that many teams are interested in landing him.
In my discussion of Hudson, I suggested that anything less than $6MM per year on his new deal would be a surprise, and it sounds as if bidding is going higher than that. Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star, citing a source, reports that offers from rival suitors are coming in at around $8MM per year, and could go even higher. An annual salary in that neighborhood would make Hudson one of the highest-paid centers in the league — per Over the Cap, Maurkice Pouncey, Alex Mack, and Ryan Kalil are currently the only players at the position earning more than $8MM per season.
Whether or not the Chiefs can afford such a deal remains to be seen. The team still has cap-clearing moves to make, perhaps involving Dwayne Bowe and/or Tamba Hali, but for now the team is still about $2MM+ over the cap for 2015.