As a result of locking up safety Kam Chancellor through 2020, the Seattle Seahawks have their defensive core locked up through the 2018 season. That's important for any NFL team starting to age just a bit, but with a window of Super Bowl opportunity that likely is open for the next two years.
The Kansas City Chiefs, however, are in even better shape in terms of having key players locked up, on both side of the ball.
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While QB Alex Smith and RB Spencer Ware are signed only through 2018, the lone lineman not signed through at least 2019 is Mitch Morse.
The team did lose Dontari Poe to free agency (Atlanta) over the offseason but have built and secured a core on both sides of the ball that suggest long-term stability under head coach Andy Reid.
Here's a look at the Chiefs keepers:
Smith may very well be replaced before his contract is up after the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes II in the first round of this year's draft. Morse may be next in line to get an extension, a deal that may hinge on the expectation the team does not carry Smith's $20.6 million cap hit for 2018.
*Bennie Logan, Raheem Nunes-Roches, Phillip Gaines, Derrick Johnson and Rakim Wilson are siogned only through 2017.
Of course, quarterback play will dictate to a large extent how deep the Chiefs can go in the playoffs, not just in 2017, but in years to come. Mahomes clearly is the plan beyond this season and if he performs, a la Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott, the west may be the Chiefs' division for awhile, despite a solid young core in Oakland and the Broncos boasting one of the game's elite defenses.