[ESPN.com] Thirteen-year veteran guard Will Shields, one of the most celebrated offensive linemen in recent NFL history and a fixture in the Kansas City community during his long career with the Chiefs, could be a salary cap casualty if his contract for 2006 is not readjusted.
Chiefs officials have been discussing with Shields and his representative various scenarios to reduce his cap figure for 2006, the final season of his current deal. Shields is scheduled to earn a $5.1 million base salary, and is due a $400,000 roster bonus, and he carries a 2006 cap charge of $6.67 million.
Like many teams in the league, the Chiefs may have to make some roster moves to get into compliance with a 2006 cap projected to be $95 million-$96 million. The Tuesday breakdown of negotiations that would have extended the league’s collective bargaining agreement, and the resultant likelihood that 2007 will be played as a so-called “uncapped” year, only makes that task more difficult.
Shields, 34, may have to weigh the advantages of staying in Kansas City, even at less money, against the prospect of being cast into an uncertain free agent market, one in which teams are expected to proceed with great caution and in which it could be impossible to meet players’ financial expectations.