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InChiefsHell
03-04-2005, 12:52 PM
Lots of talk, but no deals

Three defenders visit Chiefs; Blaylock lost to Jets

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star

The first wave of free-agent visitors departed Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday, and none carried a signed Chiefs contract.

The Chiefs did enter into preliminary contract discussions with linebackers Ed Hartwell of Baltimore and Jeremiah Trotter of Philadelphia and cornerback Samari Rolle of Tennessee. But the Chiefs appeared ready to wait on any agreement until they've met with the second wave of visitors consisting of Pittsburgh linebacker Kendrell Bell and Tampa Bay defensive back Dwight Smith.

Bell and Smith arrived Thursday night and were to be at Arrowhead today.


“We'd really like to talk to the whole group before we make any firm decisions,” president/general manager Carl Peterson said. “I think it would be premature to have a deal (Thursday) with any of them. There's still some work left to do.'

The Chiefs lost one of their own free agents Thursday when reserve halfback Derrick Blaylock agreed to terms of a contract with the New York Jets. Blaylock, who backed up Priest Holmes for the last two seasons, reportedly agreed to a five-year, $11.1 million deal that includes a $3.2 million signing bonus. He will be a reserve behind Curtis Martin in New York.

The Chiefs may take a break from entertaining free agents for at least a couple of days after Bell and Smith depart later today. But a visit from former New England cornerback Ty Law may come as soon as next week.

Peterson indicated last week after meeting with Law's agent that Law, a four-time Pro Bowler, wouldn't be making visits until his injured foot was on the mend. Law missed the last half of last season because of the injury.

But Peterson said Law's camp had an abrupt change of heart even though, according to Peterson, Law is moving around now only with the aid of a wheelchair.

“They're probably coming to the conclusion that the money may dry up if he takes too long,” Peterson said.

“We're hoping we can arrange this. We'd have to have a discussion with his doctors. We'd have to give him whatever physical exam we can at this point. We'd have to figure how long his rehab will be. We'd like to talk to him and have our doctors talk to him.”

The Chiefs will interview Bell as a possible alternative to either Hartwell or Trotter. Bell is one of the top linebackers available in free-agency, but he missed all but three games last season because of a sports hernia and his health remains a question.

Smith is also an intriguing prospect. He was mostly a safety in four seasons with Tampa Bay, but also played some cornerback. The Chiefs are looking at Smith as a player who can help at both spots.

“He can play both, and that's one of the things we like about him,” Peterson said. “He's got that versatility.”

The Chiefs moved quickly to bring Rolle, Hartwell and Trotter to Kansas City on the first day of free-agency. But all three players escaped without a contract even though the Chiefs were talking with the agents for all three players.

“They just need a few pieces to the puzzle, basically,” said Rolle, who was with his wife, Danisha, and said the couple would be returning to Nashville rather than immediately head for more visits. “A couple of additions here and there, and they'll be all right.”

Trotter left Kansas City for an NFL location he wouldn't disclose. He indicated he wanted a new contract sooner rather than later.

“I'm going to get it all settled quickly,” Trotter said. “I know all of the teams are trying to do the same thing. I want a quick decision, too.”

Hartwell was also headed for a visit with an undisclosed team. His agent, Harold Lewis, indicated Hartwell had decided he wanted to play for the Chiefs.

“The most important thing is that he's comfortable with the situation,” Lewis said. “I can give you good news on that front. He absolutely loved his visit. We've just got to find a deal that works for us and works for Kansas City.”

THis is driving me nuts. Should we have a bigger sense of urgency, or is this just the way that the game is played? I've never paid this much attention to free agency, so I honestly have no idea...