One of three NFL teams currently projected to be over the 2015 salary cap, the Chiefs will move slightly closer toward getting under the threshold by parting ways with defensive lineman Vance Walker. Agent Chad Speck confirmed today (via Twitter) that the team has told his client he’ll be released.
It didn’t take long for the Chiefs to have second thoughts about the three-year, $10MM deal they signed Walker to just under 12 months ago, as the team will be cutting him with two years left on that contract. Walker, who started 15 games for the Raiders in 2013, never became a regular contributor for the Chiefs, playing just 238 defensive snaps after appearing in nearly 800 in Oakland a year earlier.
By cutting Walker, the Chiefs will reduce his $3.75MM cap number to $2MM in dead money, creating $1.75MM in cap savings. As for the 27-year-old lineman, he actually played reasonably well in limited action last season, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required), so he should receive some interest when he officially hits the open market.
Meanwhile, Kansas City is also looking to create some cap room by negotiating a new contract with edge defender Tamba Hali. Hali confirmed today to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com that he and his agent have engaged in discussions with the team about working something out, and he’s optimistic something will get done.
“It’s not about the numbers for me,” Hali said. “It’s about whether the situation makes sense for them because I want to be there and play for the Chiefs. The general manager [John Dorsey] and coach [Andy] Reid, they know I want to be there. That’s why I say it’s a matter of how I fit into what the Chiefs want to do for the season. … They’re talking numbers so I’m optimistic I’ll still be there.
Releasing Hali would create $9MM in cap savings, easily getting the team under the cap. However, restructuring his deal could clear a sizable portion of room as well, particularly if he’s willing to take a pay cut.