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Tribal Warfare
03-17-2010, 01:40 AM
Chiefs add former K-State player Lilja to offensive line (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/03/16/1817743/chiefs-add-former-k-state-player.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs have made plenty of mistakes on players in recent seasons, and one of the biggest came six years ago when they let offensive lineman Ryan Lilja out of their grasp.

When they finally got another chance to acquire Lilja this week, they didn’t let history repeat itself. Lilja paid a visit to the Chiefs, and before it was over on Tuesday, he had put his name on a three-year contract worth $7.5 million.

Lilja, who played in high school at Shawnee Mission Northwest and in college at Kansas State, spent the last six seasons with the Colts. He started in all of those seasons except 2008, when he missed the entire year because of a knee injury.

The Colts recently released Lilja. Sources around the league said the move was less a reflection on Lilja and more on the fact the Colts wish to get bigger in the middle of their offensive line. Lilja, listed at 290 pounds, is on the small side for an NFL offensive lineman.

The Chiefs obviously weren’t concerned about that. They jumped in first to get Lilja, who never had a chance to make his tentative visit to the Seahawks in Seattle.

Lilja, who will be 29 in October, declined an interview request.

Coach Todd Haley was unavailable to speak on his plans for Lilja. But Haley figures to plug in Lilja as the starting right guard.

That gives the Chiefs an offensive line that includes — for now — Lilja and Brian Waters at guard, Branden Albert and Ryan O’Callaghan at tackle and either the recently signed Casey Wiegmann or incumbent Rudy Niswanger at center.

The Chiefs aren’t necessarily finished adding to their offensive line. They may have other free agents in mind, and the draft is a little more than a month away. The Chiefs have three picks in the first two rounds.

Lilja’s first NFL stop was with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State in 2004. Despite such meager beginnings, he distinguished himself almost immediately and made a strong claim for a roster spot.

But the Chiefs then had a strong offensive line that featured Waters, Wiegmann, Willie Roaf and Will Shields. They felt they could take the risk and try to get the rookie free agent through waivers and onto their practice squad.

The move failed when the Colts claimed Lilja. He wound up starting six games as a rookie and became a regular the following season. He was a starter in both of Indianapolis’ Super Bowl appearances, including the one last season.

All along, Lilja maintained his ties to the Kansas City area. His mother Linda lives at Lake Quivira. Lilja is getting married this summer and is building a house, also at Lake Quivira.

CoMoChief
03-17-2010, 01:42 AM
Thanks for the thread. I don't think anyone here would have known that the Chiefs signed Lilja if it wasn't for your thread almost 1 day after the fact.

Tribal Warfare
03-17-2010, 01:48 AM
Thanks for the thread. I don't think anyone here would have known that the Chiefs signed Lilja if it wasn't for your thread almost 1 day after the fact.

No shit, it was an article by Teicher with his opinion sprinkled in. It wasn't a true informative piece like something that was just through the wire.

Fairplay
03-17-2010, 01:53 AM
Does that mean we won't draft on o-linemen in the first round?

Marcellus
03-17-2010, 06:21 AM
Very reasonable price.

Count Zarth
03-17-2010, 06:50 AM
Wow, I guess that's starter money.

dirk digler
03-17-2010, 06:58 AM
Wow, I guess that's starter money.

$2.5 million a year and looks like no guaranteed money.

In contrast Wade Smith got a 4 year contract at $12 million with $6.25 million guaranteed.

They got a starter and a better player for alot less money = win.

Count Zarth
03-17-2010, 07:07 AM
Well, the jury's out on whether he's better than Wade Smith. I would hope so. I thought Lilja would sign a one year deal for about a million bucks. I'm gonna have to go download some Colts games now because if he's being paid starter money maybe he's better than everyone thinks.

CoMoChief
03-17-2010, 07:43 AM
$2.5 million a year and looks like no guaranteed money.

In contrast Wade Smith got a 4 year contract at $12 million with $6.25 million guaranteed.

They got a starter and a better player for alot less money = win.

Still should have paid Wade regardless. It's a no cap season. That's not breaking the bank by any means, and more depth the better when it comes to Oline, a position where we have no depth.

OnTheWarpath58
03-17-2010, 07:45 AM
Wow, I guess that's starter money.

Not far behind what they are paying Waters.

IIRC, he's scheduled to make something like $3.1M

OnTheWarpath58
03-17-2010, 07:48 AM
Still should have paid Wade regardless. It's a no cap season. That's not breaking the bank by any means, and more depth the better when it comes to Oline, a position where we have no depth.

I feel dirty, but I agree completely.

It makes no sense to let go one of your more talented, and definitely most versatile lineman, yet re-sign someone like Vrabel.

This team isn't going to get better by letting the few talented players you have walk.

dirk digler
03-17-2010, 08:29 AM
Still should have paid Wade regardless. It's a no cap season. That's not breaking the bank by any means, and more depth the better when it comes to Oline, a position where we have no depth.

I don't necessarily disagree but they might be thinking that Darryl Harris and Colin Brown should be 2nd string and they are both young guys.

ForeverChiefs58
03-17-2010, 08:38 AM
I wonder how he could handle Cody who is almost 100 pounds more than our C or G.