Chiefs open $21.6 million cap space from Patrick Mahomes’ contract

Since quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed his 10-year, $503 million contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs in July 2020, general manager Brett Veach has used the deal's structure and provisions to create the salary cap space he needs to run the business.

ESPN's Adam Schefter claimed Tuesday that the Chiefs have “restructured” Mahomes' contract to create $21.6 million in cap space

“Restructured” usually means paying a player their whole NFL season base salary before the season starts. It can be deemed a signing bonus that affects the salary cap during the course of the contract, but not for more than five years.

“Restructured” can also mean extending a contract to do the same thing. Veach doesn't have to worry about that as much of Mahomes' pay comes from roster incentives on particular days. 

 He and Mahomes have agreed that the Chiefs can adjust how that money (or a portion of it) is counted under the salary cap at any point before a specific date each year.

So on Tuesday, Veach just wrote to the league office to inform them that Mahomes' $34.9 million roster bonus for 2024 has been cut to $7.9 million and that he is receiving a $27 million signing bonus. 

Only one-fifth of that sum ($5.4 million) counts against the team's wage cap in 2024 and the next four years.

Mahomes anticipated a $34.9 million May payment on Tuesday morning. He expects that check at the same time on Tuesday night. However, at the NFL offices on Park Avenue in New York City, the $34.9 million counted against the 2024 cap has been decreased to $7.9 million, and $5.4 million has been added to the “restructure bonus” column beside Mahomes' name.

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