The Chiefs’ acquisition of cornerback Stanford Routt on Monday decreased significantly the likelihood that the Chiefs will use the franchise tag on cornerback Brandon Carr. It also increased significantly the likelihood that the franchise tag will be used on receiver Dwayne Bowe.
On Tuesday, General Manager Scott Pioli told WHB radio in Kansas City that the Chiefs will try to work out a deal with both players.
“The signing of Stanford Routt does not impact where we’re at with Brandon Carr,” Pioli said. “As a matter of fact, Romeo [Crennel] and I both reached out to Brandon yesterday as this was unfolding and talked to him. I spoke personally with Brandon, and without getting into the details of what that conversation was, he knows and he’s known before that he’s someone that we want to try and keep here and he’s still someone we want to keep a Chief. This signing doesn’t eliminate the feelings that we have for Brandon and how we want to have him here. He knows that. He wants to be here. We want him here. And we’re going to try to work. If both sides find a deal that makes sense for one another, we’d love to have Brandon back.”
Pioli echoed those same sentiments as to Bowe. “We’re hopeful to re-sign Dwayne,” Pioli said. “One way or another, we would love to have Dwayne back here as a Chief. And just like Brandon, we would like to find a way to keep the good players that we have. The important part is that you have to come to an agreement. Dwayne is a player — again without getting into the specifics — but we’ve had conversations with Dwayne’s representatives as well as Brandon’s, and truthfully, a number of other players of ours that are free agents or are about to become free agents in a couple of weeks. We’ve been trying to get players signed and we are going to continue to do that right up until whatever that date is and then when free agency starts, we are going to continue to try to sign some of those players or players from other teams.”
Some would say the Chiefs have more than enough cap room to sign both guys. But Pioli explained that the $63 million number recently publicized doesn’t reflect incentives and escalators from 2011 that hit the cap in 2012. He said that roughly $25 million will be consumed by such payments, which puts the real cap bulge in the neighborhood of $38 million.
Regardless, the Chiefs have $38 million to play with. Unlike, say, the Steelers, who are still scrambling to eliminate $25 million in cap excesses for 2012.