The Duel

3 Most Underpaid Players on the Chiefs Heading Into 2020

By michael obermuller
Who are the three most underpaid players on the Kansas City Chiefs heading into 2020?
Who are the three most underpaid players on the Kansas City Chiefs heading into 2020? / Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images
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The NFL is always one of the most fascinating sports industries to watch over the offseason because of the salary cap dynamic. The roster now fields 55 players, and general managers are tasked with paying all of those players while keeping the salary cap in check.

To do this, teams must find cheaper options that are able to make a significant impact on a season. The Kansas City Chiefs need to find these value players more than most right now. They just won the Super Bowl and agreed to an extension that pays Patrick Mahomes $45 million per year.

With that in mind, here are the Chiefs three most underpaid players heading into the 2020 season.

3. Juan Thornhill, S (4 yr, $4.64 mill)

Juan Thornhill had three interceptions in his rookie season.
Juan Thornhill had three interceptions in his rookie season. / David Eulitt/Getty Images

Still on his rookie deal, Juan Thornhill jumped right in as a first-year, 16-game starter last season to help replace former star safety Eric Berry. Across from Tyrann Mathieu, the former Virginia Cavalier performed admirably with a 71.5 grade on Pro Football Focus. More impressive were his three interceptions and 58 total tackles as a rookie. Drafted in the second round, the 24-year-old talent is averaging a cap hit that is a little over $1.16 million per season. He was a huge part in the Chiefs' efforts to get younger on defense before their championship run.

2. Derrick Nnadi, DT (4 yr, 3.745 mill)

Derrick Nnadi during last year's Super Bowl win.
Derrick Nnadi during last year's Super Bowl win. / Elsa/Getty Images

Entering his third season after being drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Derrick Nnadi's addition helped allow Kansas City transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense after their AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots in the 2018 season. The run-stuffer slotted in alongside Chris Jones and started all 16 games in 2019, totaling 48 tackles, one sack and two turnovers forced. A sort of unsung hero for this Chiefs D, this 24-year-old actually makes less per season ($936,400) than his backup Mike Pennel ($1.047 million).

1. Charvarius Ward, CB (3 yr, $1.71 mill)

Charvarius Ward has gone from undrafted to NFL starting corner in a short period of time.
Charvarius Ward has gone from undrafted to NFL starting corner in a short period of time. / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The most underpaid player on the Chiefs is without a doubt cornerback Charvarius Ward. An undrafted rookie for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, Ward was traded to Kansas City for journeyman offensive guard Parker Ehinger. A horrible move for Dallas in hindsight. It didn't take long for the corner to carve out a role with the Chiefs, starting two games at the end of 2018 and all 16 in 2019. He had two interceptions and 79 total tackles in his second NFL campaign, grading out as a 69.5 on Pro Football Focus. Ward is now the number one corner for Kansas City, but makes an abysmal $570,000 per season, a shade higher than the practice squad players.


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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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