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Winston signed a four-year contract worth $22 million last March and went on to start all 16 games at right tackle for Kansas City.
His four year deal came with a signing bonus of $8.4 million, meaning his release will cost the Chiefs $6.3 million in dead money against the salary cap, according to Spotrac. The move will save Kansas City $700,000 against the 2013 salary cap as the Chiefs clear his 2013 base salary of $4.9 million. Upon further review, Winston received a $4 million signing bonus which means his release will cost Kansas City $3 million in dead money while saving the Chiefs $3.5 million against the 2013 salary cap.
Winston's release could also clear a spot for Kansas City to draft an offensive lineman, possibly Luke Joeckel, with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Branden Albert and Winston started at tackle for Kansas City last season. The Chiefs designated Albert as their franchise player and could now start Albert or Joeckel at right tackle. Albert, for one, seemed surprised by the move.
What????— Branden Albert (@Balbert76) March 7, 2013
The 29-year-old Winston becomes a free agent immediately and isn't likely to be without a team for long. He played well last season, grading out as the 26th-best offensive tackle according to Pro Football Focus. He spent the first six years of his career with the Houston Texans.