Earlier this year, the Chiefs successfully avoided $3.5 million in guaranteed base salary that would have been owed to running back Larry Johnson this year.
Now, Johnson is poised to earn $4.55 million, guaranteed.
If Johnson, who made the cut to 53 in Kansas City seven months after proclaiming that he wanted out, is on the roster next week at this time, the Chiefs will owe him the full amount of his base pay for the year, given his status as a vested veteran.
There’s still a chance that the Chiefs will ask Johnson to take less money or take a hike, even though the Chiefs have more than enough cap room to carry his contract. At a time when many teams are cap rich but cash poor, an ultimatum would be aimed not at creating space for signing other players, but at saving money.