2. Anthony Hitchens, LB
One of the larger contracts on the Chiefs is inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens.
After spending the first four years with the Dallas Cowboys, Hitchens earned himself a five-year, $45 million contract from the Chiefs in 2018. Hitchens was used heavily in Kansas City’s defense in his first season with the team, as he logged a hefty 944 snaps. He recorded 135 combined tackles and one forced fumble. In coverage that year, Hitchens allowed 59 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference.
This past season, Hitchens posted 80 combined tackles (four for loss), two defended passes and one interception in 15 games (598 snaps).
Overall, Hitchens tallied 381 combined tackles, four defended passes, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception in his four years with the Chiefs.
Tthe Chiefs had used back-to-back second-round draft picks on linebackers. Those players were Willie Gay (2020) and Nick Bolton (2021). With their arrivals, plus the possibility of selecting another linebacker in the upcoming draft, that does open the door for the team to move on from Hitchens in the final year of his deal if they so choose.
According to Spotrac, the Chiefs can save $8.4 million if they are to part ways with Hitchens at any time. But, they will have to eat $4.2 million in dead money for the 2022 season.