Chiefs Cuts Save Team Nearly $14 Million

With NFL free agency set to open this Friday, the Kansas City Chiefs freed up nearly $14 million in salary cap space by cutting ties with CB Patrick Surtain, LB Donnie Edwards, QB Damon Huard and TE Mike Merritt.'s Ed Thompson has the details inside...

The Kansas City Chiefs announced that they terminated the contracts of three veterans on Tuesday—CB Patrick Surtain, LB Donnie Edwards and QB Damon Huard. They also released TE Mike Merritt

The transactions will open up almost $14 million in cap space for the team according to figures provided to, a timely maneuver with the NFL's free agency period kicking in on Friday.

Surtain was due to earn a $7 million salary, a $250,000 roster bonus plus a $100,000 workout bonus in 2009. But the team opted to terminate the contract of the 11-year veteran, freeing up $6.18 million in cap space for this year despite having to absorb a $3.55 million hit in prorated bonus money. A starter in all but one game during his first three seasons in Kansas City, Surtain spent the past four seasons in Kansas City, starting all but one game during his first three years there. But he was limited to just two starts and eight game appearances in 2008 due to shoulder and quadriceps problems.

Donnie Edwards was entering the final year of his contract with the team and would have been eligible for a $500,000 roster bonus this year in addition to a $5 million base salary. With just under $1.1 million in prorated money left on his deal, Kansas City was able to free up nearly $5.44 million in cap space through his release. During his second season in Kansas City, Edwards started just four games and appeared in seven matchups. He injured his knee in Week 10 action and was eventually placed on injured reserve in December.

Huard was also entering the final year of his contract. While the team will take a $917,000 prorated bonus hit for his release, they'll save $2 million in salary that they can spend elsewhere. The 12-year veteran joined the Chiefs in 2007 after previous stints with the Dolphins and the Patriots. He started three games in 2008 for the Chiefs and appeared in five.

With the release of Merritt, a rookie out of Central Florida last year, the team will save roughly $375,000 against the cap.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the network and at You can follow him on Twitter for NFL updates and insights. And you can contact him by email through this link.

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