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Count Zarth
03-03-2006, 01:03 AM
DBs Warfield, McCleon among Kansas City's cuts

By Rick Dean
The Capital-Journal

A year ago the Chiefs shelled out some big bucks to land a starting cornerback, former Dolphin Patrick Surtain, for their downtrodden defense.

On Thursday they released two veterans corners -- both of whom had been starters -- in order to trim their budget to a still-to-be determined salary cap number.

Needing to meet a temporary cap of $94 million, the Chiefs released veteran corners Eric Warfield, a starter since the 2001 season, and Dexter McCleon, who started all 16 games in the team's 13-3 campaign of 2003 and an occasional starter in the two seasons since.

Kansas City also released linebacker Shawn Barber, who was expected to be a major free-agent acquisition when he moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City in 2003, and special teams standout Gary Stills, a Pro Bowl selection in 2003.

More tough cuts are likely to come. The Chiefs could be close to parting ways with guard Will Shields, an 11-time Pro Bowl pick and former NFL Man of the Year who is as much of a pillar in the Kansas City community as he is on the Chiefs offensive line.

Because the NFL -- still hopeful of agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement with its players -- moved back to Sunday night the deadline by which teams must be under the salary cap, the Chiefs still have time to ask Shields to play for less than his $5.1 million base contract in 2006.

With his pro-rated signing bonus factored in, Shields carries a cap number of some $6.6 million.

The Chiefs hope is that a new collective bargaining agreement raises the salary ceiling by as much as $10 million. That would give them more room to deal with their own players, such as Shields, or sign new free agents -- something the Chiefs can't afford to do in their current cap crunch.

But Shields, interviewed Thursday at an NFL-sponsored reading session with children, sounded like a player who knew he wouldn't play a 14th season with the Chiefs.

After playing at a high level in 208 consecutive games -- 207 of them as a starter -- since his 1993 rookie season, Shields expressed his reluctance to play for considerably less than the amounted agreed upon in this last year of his contract.

Chiefs president Carl Peterson said several players restructured contracts or agreed to play for less in order to help the club meet its salary cap obligations. Peterson wouldn't identify any of those players, but it is no secret he wants Shields to be one of them.

"There's a number of things we've done beyond terminating four players to create some cap dollars, and there may still be some things we do in the next 24 or 48 hours," Peterson said. "One of the things I learned a long time ago in the NFL, you never close any door completely, you never burn any bridge.

"I've gone through this with a lot of players over the years," Peterson added. "I'm trying to give Will as much time as possible to make that decision. If he wants to continue to play, that opportunity to play in Kansas City is going to be there."

Guru
03-03-2006, 02:57 AM
OOOOOKKKKKKKK? Hey Rick, what about the NFL allowing a recall of the cuts? Was that just a fantasy?

StcChief
03-03-2006, 07:09 AM
Went to press after the article done.
NFL relaxed the rules deadline would be my guess.

The Bad Guy
03-03-2006, 07:23 AM
OOOOOKKKKKKKK? Hey Rick, what about the NFL allowing a recall of the cuts? Was that just a fantasy?
No, it wasn't.

But you DON'T HAVE to recall the cuts.

The Chiefs didn't cut anyone they had in the plans for 2006 yesterday.

TEX
03-03-2006, 07:26 AM
So this ends the "outstanding" Chiefs Free Agent class of '03.

htismaqe
03-03-2006, 08:00 AM
No, it wasn't.

But you DON'T HAVE to recall the cuts.

The Chiefs didn't cut anyone they had in the plans for 2006 yesterday.

They were gonna cut Warfield anyway, without the CBA mess?

The Bad Guy
03-03-2006, 08:05 AM
They were gonna cut Warfield anyway, without the CBA mess?

I would say so. Herm hasn't spoken a word to him. Warfield said he hasn't talked to anyone in the organization since the season ended.

The writing was on the wall for him. He had a high base salary and with a new coach, who actually knows the position, I would say he was gone regardless.

ChiefsfaninPA
03-03-2006, 08:07 AM
It is amazing that we can cut half of the secondary and if we can't get any FA do you think anyone will notice they are gone?

Deberg_1990
03-03-2006, 08:11 AM
I would say so. Herm hasn't spoken a word to him. Warfield said he hasn't talked to anyone in the organization since the season ended.

The writing was on the wall for him. He had a high base salary and with a new coach, who actually knows the position, I would say he was gone regardless.

He also didnt help himself with getting suspended for 4 games last season. He really let the organization down.

TEX
03-03-2006, 08:12 AM
He also didnt help himself with getting suspended for 4 games last season. He really let the organization down.

As did Welbourn, but he's not due the really big $$$.

htismaqe
03-03-2006, 09:00 AM
I thought for the last couple of weeks that they were preparing for Warfield's release, but I guess I just never realized they might actually do it.

shaneo69
03-03-2006, 11:41 AM
I thought for the last couple of weeks that they were preparing for Warfield's release, but I guess I just never realized they might actually do it.

If they had a guy waiting in the wings to take his place, it would be easier to fathom. I'm glad he's gone, but I hope they don't expect Battle, Sapp, or Hodge to take over as starter.

Mecca
03-03-2006, 11:44 AM
As did Welbourn, but he's not due the really big $$$.

In fairness, what happened with Welbourne stemmed from when he was still with the Eagles.