Chiefs release C.J. Spiller, Jordan Devey ahead of season opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs release running back C.J. Spiller — again — and offensive lineman just hours before the team kicks off the 2017 season against the New England Patriots.

Kansas City Chiefs running back C.J. Spiller returns a kickoff during a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 11, 2017. (Photo by Justin Olson, ChiefsDigest.com)

The move allows the Chiefs to avoid guaranteeing the contracts for the vested veterans for the coming season. Their contracts for the 2017 become fully guaranteed if they are on the roster for Thursday’s game.

Spiller signed a one-year deal for $900,000 but counts only $615,000 against the cap with a veteran exemption. Devey’s contract pays him a one-year salary of $690,000.

General manager Brett Veach said following the cut down to 53 players on Saturday and veteran contract guarantees play a factor in roster construction for him.

“It plays a role but it certainly doesn’t drive every decision we make,” Veach said. “We’re going to weigh and balance everything.”

Veach said he would not put the team at a competitive disadvantage playing caponomics.

“But you’re never going to sacrifice a guy that’s going to go out there and help you win a game versus New England,” Veach said.

The Chiefs have options on the practice squad to promote if necessary, but they likely choose to lave the roster spots vacant and list five five players inactive for Thursday’s game.

The release of Devey leaves the Chiefs with eight offensive lineman on the roster. The team typically keeps only seven active on game day.

Running back Kareem Hunt expects to receive the lion’s share of work out of the backfield with Charcandrick West. The Chiefs also expect to use Tyreek Hill at times in the backfield. De’Anthony Thomas remains an option as well.

If the Chiefs believe the cheaper option keeps them competitive, Veach says he’s not afraid the massage the cap when needed.

“If it’s dead even, then you’re going to go with the younger, cheaper guy,” Veach said. “It just makes sense. If the different is drastic where this vested veteran is absolutely going to give you an advantage this Thursday, we’re going with that guy.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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