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Claynus
03-03-2006, 01:11 AM
FOUR DEFENSIVE VETERANS ARE RELEASED
CAP-SIZED CHIEFS

Shields isn’t one of four cut, but he is not sure he’ll return

By ELIZABETH MERRILL
The Kansas City Star

Wacky would be the word to describe Thursday in Kansas City and throughout the NFL. On a day when negotiations for an extension of the collective-bargaining agreement reached an impasse and then ended with a glimmer of hope, starting cornerback Eric Warfield was cut along with three other Chiefs defensive veterans.

And guard Will Shields was in the same spot he was 10 hours earlier.

In limbo.

“I could play here, I could play for another team, or I could not play at all. You never can tell,” said Shields, an 11-time Pro Bowler whose $5.1 million salary, coupled with the Chiefs’ dicey cap situation, led a couple of media outlets to jump the gun Thursday and report that he had been cut.

“I’m not going to worry about it. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”

It happened Thursday afternoon for Warfield, who got a call from Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson saying the club had terminated Warfield’s contract. Warfield had been in Kansas City for eight years that were scarred by legal issues and the ire of fans. He was considered the Chiefs’ top cornerback before the 2005 season.

Linebackers Gary Stills and Shawn Barber and cornerback Dexter McCleon also were cut in an attempt to get below the salary cap by the Thursday night deadline.

Just after they were released, word hit that the start of the NFL new year had been pushed back to 12:01 a.m. Monday, meaning the deadline for teams to get below the salary cap is now 5 p.m. Central time Sunday.

Thursday’s moves cleared about $6 million for Kansas City, and Peterson said between four and six players have agreed to restructure their contracts to help the Chiefs get below the cap.

Salary documents recently provided to The Star showed the Chiefs with $116 million of commitments before the cuts and adjustments. In a recent interview, Peterson ballparked the Chiefs to be about $14 million over the cap. If there is an agreement this weekend, teams could be provided with at least $10 million of extra salary-cap space over the 2006 number of $94.5 million.

“Right now we’re kind of hitting a moving target,” Peterson said. “So I’m going to keep our options open as I always do to try and determine what the best thing is for the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Warfield’s release leaves a gaping hole in the secondary. He started 77 games and spent his entire career in Kansas City. But Peterson said he’s confident in backups Julian Battle and Benny Sapp and said the Chiefs might try to acquire a cornerback through the draft.

Asked whether veteran Ty Law could be in the mix, Peterson said, “No, not really. It’s someone we’ll talk about, but we’re looking for younger guys, OK? We may talk to him, but he’s not a long-term solution, that’s for sure.”

Retaining Shields would go against that youth movement, but Peterson made it clear Thursday that Shields is a special situation. He’s started 207 straight games and has been the anchor of one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. He sat for much of training camp in 2005 but made it back to the Pro Bowl again this winter.

Shields was uncharacteristically pessimistic Thursday morning when he showed up at Operation Breakthrough as part of Read Across America Day. He said he still had the urge to play but wasn’t sure whether he could continue as a Chief.

At one point during his reading session, a Chiefs public-relations person mentioned something to Shields about making a mental note for next year.

Shields flashed back a coy look. “Next year?” he said.

“You always think you’re worth the money you’re due,” Shields said. “If not, what are you negotiating for?”

Peterson said there is a misunderstanding about the media’s perception of Shields’ situation.

“If it’s necessary for us to terminate the last year of his contract,” Peterson said, “No. 1, it’s not going to be a surprise to Will or his agent or anybody else because when we did this contract six years ago, I think all of us at the time understand free-agency, and very, very seldom does a guy get to play the entire contract out that he signed.

“Based on what happens here, if we terminate his contract, we are not terminating Will Shields’ opportunity for finishing his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. The first and foremost thing from the beginning has been Will’s decision about what he wants to do.”

Shields has contemplated retirement for at least a year, but his agent, Joe Linta, said Shields wants to play at least one, maybe two, more years. Peterson said Shields has not told the Chiefs he intends to keep playing.

“I’ve done everything except hire a skywriter,” Linta said. “He’s playing in ’06.”

But by Thursday afternoon, nobody in Shields’ camp knew much more than that. He planned to coach basketball Thursday night. He planned to stay far away from the phone.

Shields finished Dr. Seuss’ Wacky Wednesday and sat for a minute while the kids filtered out of the room. One little boy stopped and said, “Goodbye, Dr. Seuss.”

As coy as Shields has been in 13 years in Kansas City, one thing is clear. He’s not ready to say goodbye.

Claynus
03-03-2006, 01:12 AM
Eric Warfield

■ Years with Chiefs: 1998-2005

■ Highlights: Intercepted 20 passes in eight seasons and returned three for touchdowns.

 Dexter McCleon

■ Years with Chiefs: 2003-05

■ Highlights: Had 10 interceptions and three fumble recoveries in three seasons with the Chiefs.

 Gary Stills

■ Years with Chiefs: 1999-2005

■ Highlights: The team’s all-time leader in special-teams tackles with 148 made the Pro Bowl in 2003.

Shawn Barber 

■ Years with Chiefs: 2003-05

■ Highlights: Had 183 tackles, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries in three seasons with the Chiefs.

Deberg_1990
03-03-2006, 02:03 AM
I wont miss any of these guys. Warfield had his moments, but IMO he can be replaced. No Big whoop.

Short Leash Hootie
03-03-2006, 02:08 AM
Gary Stills was a good player. He'll be remembered for the guy that missed the block that should've given Dante the record.

Otter
03-03-2006, 02:13 AM
William Bartee: the proverbial post-apocalyptic cockroach of Arrowhead Stadium.

I guess Mike Stock needed to pass on "The Gleem" to someone.

Deberg_1990
03-03-2006, 02:19 AM
William Bartee: the proverbial post-apocalyptic cockroach of Arrowhead Stadium.



haha..i couldnt have said it better. IM in constant amazement that this guy still has a job every year? Hopefully Herm takes one look at the guy in camp and cuts his butt immediatley.

Short Leash Hootie
03-03-2006, 02:24 AM
haha..i couldnt have said it better. IM in constant amazement that this guy still has a job every year? Hopefully Herm takes one look at the guy in camp and cuts his butt immediatley.
I'm amazed that he continuously gets a good Madden rating. The guy develops in this years game. He's done nothing in the NFL, ever, and he still gets a good Madden rating year in and year out.

tk13
03-03-2006, 02:35 AM
I'm amazed that he continuously gets a good Madden rating. The guy develops in this years game. He's done nothing in the NFL, ever, and he still gets a good Madden rating year in and year out.
That's because he's very talented physically, Madden tends to favor those players I guess. If he could get the mental aspect of the game down he'd be dangerous. He's tall and can run, jump, and tackle very well.

Short Leash Hootie
03-03-2006, 02:40 AM
That's because he's very talented physically, Madden tends to favor those players I guess. If he could get the mental aspect of the game down he'd be dangerous. He's tall and can run, jump, and tackle very well.
For QB's, the Madden game hit it right on the spot this year. Now, awareness is more important than accuracy/throwing power. You can't beat QB vision, it is amazing. I can't get enough of 2006 this year. I play it way too much.

huskerdooz
03-03-2006, 02:42 AM
That's because he's very talented physically, Madden tends to favor those players I guess. If he could get the mental aspect of the game down he'd be dangerous. He's tall and can run, jump, and tackle very well.

Would've made a helluva Safety coming out of OU. The Chiefs had to go and F that up and try and make him a Corner.

kcfanXIII
03-03-2006, 03:09 AM
good moves to get under the cap. i guess shawn barber signed for vet min. and it was time for mecleon to go. i agree warfield had his moments, but is easily replacable.

greg63
03-03-2006, 05:18 AM
We need to retain Shields. IMO

ChiefButthurt
03-03-2006, 05:27 AM
Those cuts are a perfect example of rubbing off the dead skin. See ya guys.

the Talking Can
03-03-2006, 05:36 AM
"...and Peterson said between four and six players have agreed to restructure their contracts to help the Chiefs get below the cap."

uh, so would that be 5?

Bell, Green, Gonzo...Surtain?

Inspector
03-03-2006, 05:43 AM
This could have been a lot worse.

Hopefully they can keep Shields - hate to see him go.

kepp
03-03-2006, 07:12 AM
Do you guys think we cut the right LB - i.e. cut Barber instead of Bell? Thinking back to when Barber was healthy, didn't he play a lot better than Bell?

StcChief
03-03-2006, 07:13 AM
Gary Stills was a good player. He'll be remembered for the guy that missed the block that should've given Dante the record.
Yep..

I was at the game and couldn't believe he didn't see the guy coming.

Otter
03-03-2006, 07:27 AM
Do you guys think we cut the right LB - i.e. cut Barber instead of Bell? Thinking back to when Barber was healthy, didn't he play a lot better than Bell?

Bell deserves one more season. He was coming off a major injury into a new system on a new team and to top that off the defensive linemen didn't exactly do a whole lot to tie up blockers from getting to the LBs.

I seem to remeber a guy named Trent Green coming off an injury into a new system and new team that didn't look too good his first year either.

I'd say he turned out OK. Just my opinion though.

tiptap
03-03-2006, 07:34 AM
One would like to retain Shields but he would have been paid LT type salary for playing RG. Our best guard right now is Waters.

It would be different, as was suggested 5 years ago, that Shields could play LT if needed. But last year was when this was needed and Shields didn't step up and replace Roaf while he was out.

THAT kind of versaltility would maybe warrant a bigger number. As it is the offensive line of KC is a well paid group.

Three years ago the offensive line with Tait at RT really was the best line in the NFL. That line ran plays equally to the left, right and the middle. Only the Greenbay team could do that. That team was truly dominant on the offense. But the teams of the last two years has been a PORT side line. The team saw success running to the left and to the middle but not to the right. Since that part of the line is still intact we will see about the same production. (It would make the offense dominant again to see good production going to the right)

As far as Warfield, I do think a good pass rush will do more for passing defense than a CB. The enforcement of the no touch rules changes this. It is true that without a good pass rush we will most likely have a fall off in the coverage.

Bartee will show his stuff as a safety this year.

As I understand it, Bell is looking to change up his contract and one has to imagine that Barber really can't come back from his injury.

TEX
03-03-2006, 07:41 AM
This could have been a lot worse.

Hopefully they can keep Shields - hate to see him go.

I agree. However, it sounds to me like Shields is not going to play for less than his last year of his contract states. Funny how a guy can contemplate retiring one season, and not the next, when the last year of his contract has a balloon payoff... :hmmm:

Claynus
03-03-2006, 08:07 AM
But the teams of the last two years has been a PORT side line. The team saw success running to the left and to the middle but not to the right.

That is kind of a myth.

Observe the splits. (Also, Welbourn was a beast last year on the right side).

Runs to the right side:

2002 - 99 attempts, 437 yards

2003 - 103 attempts, 380 yards

2004 - 60 attempts, 299 yards

2005 - 105 attempts, 445 yards

fan4ever
03-03-2006, 11:59 AM
Gary Stills was a good player. He'll be remembered for the guy that missed the block that should've given Dante the record.

That's what I'll remember him for. I was soooooooooooooooooooo freakin' pissed.