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Patrick Mahomes will be restrυctυriпg his coпtract to create aп additioпal $21.6 millioп worth of salary-cap space for th

As has often happened since quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed his 10-year, $503 million contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs in July of 2020, general manager Brett Veach has used the deal’s structure (and its provisions) to create the amount of salary cap space he thinks he needs to take care of the business before him.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs had “restructured” Mahomes’ contract to create $21.6 million in cap space.

But that’s not really the right word for what Veach did.

“Restructured” typically means taking the base salary due to a player over an NFL season and paying all of it to them before the season begins. Then, it can be considered a signing bonus whose impact on the salary cap may be spread over the life of the contract — but never more than five years.

“Restructured” can also mean creating a contract extension to do essentially the same thing.

But those things require getting the player (and their agent) involved in a negotiation; you’re changing the terms to which the player and the team agreed. While these are almost always the simplest negotiations imaginable — “Say, do you mind if we write you a check for your whole year’s salary today?”

 — there’s still a process that must be followed.

But since most of Mahomes’ compensation comes from roster bonuses that are paid to him on specific dates, Veach doesn’t have to bother himself with any of that. He and Mahomes have already agreed that at any time before a specific date every year, the Chiefs can simply change how that money (or a portion of it) is counted under the salary cap.

So on Tuesday, all Veach had to do was send a note to the league office, explaining that Mahomes’ $34.9 million roster bonus for 2024 has been reduced to just $7.9 million — and that in 2024, Mahomes is being paid a signing bonus of $27 million. This means that just one-fifth of that amount ($5.4 million) counts against the team’s salary cap — not only in 2024, but also in each of the next four years.

On Tuesday morning, Mahomes was expecting a payment of $34.9 million in May. On Tuesday evening, he’s still expecting that check to come at just the same time. But in the NFL offices on Park Avenue in New York City, the $34.9 million that counted against the 2024 cap has been reduced to $7.9 million — and $5.4 million has been added to the “restructure bonus” column alongside Mahomes’ name on the team’s 2024 salary-cap page.

When those amounts are added to the rest of the items that go into a player’s cap hit for a given year — such as base salary, prorated signing bonus and workout bonus — Mahomes’ 2024 cap hit will be $37.0 million. That’s $21.6 million less than it was on Tuesday morning.

And all Veach had to do was send a note to the league office. From now on, we might as well just describe this process as “visiting the Bank of Mahomes.”

Before Tuesday’s trip to this virtual bank — and including all of Tuesday’s signings, plus the $19.8 million the team is carrying against the cap for the franchise tag on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed — we estimated that Kansas City was $259,000 over the cap. Now, however, we estimate that the Chiefs have $21.3 million in space.

And it’s time for Veach to roll up his sleeves and get some things done.

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