This would make Hudson the highest paid non-Pro Bowl center in the league, besting Bills C Eric Wood and his $6.3 million annual salary.
The Chiefs are widely expected to franchise OLB Justin Houston in the coming weeks, which means Hudson is in prime position to reach the open market.
Kansas City is already strapped for cash, so even after they free up enough cap space to take care of Houston, it’s unlikely that they would be able to lock up Hudson to a market-value contract and still address their other roster needs.
On top of that, a number of teams could use a solid interior offensive lineman like Hudson. Cap-rich teams like the Raiders and Jaguars could easily price others out of the market for Hudson, assuming he’s looking for the best available contract.
Paylor writes that the Chiefs could be forced to look to the draft, free agency, or possibly promote someone from within such as Eric Kush to replace Hudson.
It’s worth mentioning that Hudson said his preference is to remain with the Chiefs.
“Yeah, no doubt — I like it here.” Hudson said. “I’ve been here for four years, I’ve had a great time here so far … and hopefully I’ll be back.”
Hudson, 25, finished out his four-year, $3,506,100 rookie contract and will be an unrestricted free agent this March.
Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 3 center in the league out of 41 qualifying players with solid rating across the board. We have Hudson listed as the No. 20 player in our Top 75 Free Agents list.