[Kansas City.com] Will Shields has made his decision to play football next season, according to his agent. The Chiefs will make the decision today whether it will be for them.
The situation with Shields, an 11-time Pro Bowl guard, illustrates the depth of the Chiefs’ salary-cap problems.
The Chiefs were among the NFL teams hardest hit by this week’s breakdown in negotiations for an extension of the collective-bargaining agreement. An agreement would have provided teams an expected $10 to $15 million of extra salary-cap space – a useful tool for the Chiefs, who have one of the league’s most bloated payrolls.
Without an agreement on an extension today – Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said he was pessimistic that one could be reached – the Chiefs will proceed to the start of free-agency Friday with a salary cap somewhere between $92 and $95 million.
So the Chiefs were busy Wednesday hacking somewhere between $21 million and $24 million from their salary cap. Salary documents recently provided to The Star show the Chiefs with $116 million of commitments.
Shields is heading into the final year of a contract he signed in 2001, and its terms make him an inviting target for a team with severe cap problems. His release would save the Chiefs his salary of $5.1 million and his roster bonus of $400,000.
Shields’ agent, Joe Linta said the Chiefs have not given Shields an ultimatum to take a pay cut or be released.
“They’ve just said they can’t keep him at his current number,” Linta said. “There are different scenarios with Will, depending on what happens with the salary cap. They’re hoping for a last-minute agreement.”