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RINGLEADER
04-02-2005, 01:26 AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two South Florida newspapers reported Friday that the Chiefs have agreed in principal on a multi-year contract extension that would be the first step in a trade for Miami cornerback Patrick Surtain.

<B>If those reports are true, it's news to Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil. "I don't know if that's true or not," Vermeil said Friday. "I was with Carl (Peterson, team president) all day yesterday in Baton Rouge, and he didn't say anything about it. I think it's more of a rumor."</B>

But even if the Chiefs and Surtain have agreed on number, Kansas City would have to secure his rights in a trade with Miami that might be more difficult to secure.

New Dolphins coach Nick Saban told south Florida reporters Thursday that the team would not compromise on its trade demand, which is believed to be a first-day pick in this year's draft.

Kansas City, which has picks in the first and second rounds plus a compensatory pick that cannot be traded late in the third round, reportedly are offering a fourth-round pick.

Both the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the Chiefs and representatives for Surtain had agreed on an extension to Surtain's contract that would pay a signing bonus of more than $10 million.

Surtain, a Pro Bowl cornerback in 2002 and '03 and an alternate last year, is a 28-year-old corner who has been a starter in the talent-laden Dolphins secondary since 1999, his second pro season. His 25 interceptions over the last five years are the most by an active NFL corner in that time.

He has one year remaining on his Miami contract that calls for him to receive a $6 million base salary with an $8.38 million cap number. The Dolphins, who feature a veteran corner in Sam Madison and a promising newcomer in Will Poole, gave Surtain permission in February to seek a trade.

The Chiefs, who failed in their bid to recruit free agent corner Samari Rolle of Tennessee and never even got a visit from Washington free agent Fred Smoot, have acknowledged their interest in trading for Surtain before they go into the April 23 draft.

"It would be nice if we were going to do it because that frees you up to look at other players at other positions," Vermeil said. "It allows you more flexibility."

Saban, though, says the Dolphins will be inflexible in their trade demands.

"If someone else wants to work a business deal for (Surtain), fine," Saban said. "But we will not compromise on our price. I'm not going to tell you what that is, but it's not to be compromised.

"I like Patrick and want him to be on our team," Saban added. "If he's not, it's going to be because it can't work out business-wise. I don't know if we can sign him long-term."

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CHIEFS NOTES - Vermeil said Friday that he still anticipates having nine-time Pro Bowl guard Will Shields available for duty in 2005. Shields, who has played 12 seasons and has made 192 consecutive starts for the Chiefs, is considering retirement.

"I think he's planning on playing, but he hasn't made it official," Vermeil said. "We'll get together this next week and talk about it. I expect him to (play), but I don't want to speak for him."

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Chiefs free agent linebacker Monty Beisel, a Kansas native who played at Kansas State, is expected to visit the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers soon after talking to Pittsburgh this week.

Vermeil said the Chiefs continue to be interested in retaining Beisel, who has played all three linebacking positions. "He knows we want him back, but he's also free to shop for a better opportunity," Vermeil said. "But if he isn't coming back, we need to know that, too, so that we can go on."

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