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Tribal Warfare
02-26-2011, 12:26 AM
NFL combine buzz | Chiefs have contracts to work on (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/02/25/2682994/nfl-combine-buzz-chiefs-have-contracts.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

INDIANAPOLIS | General manager Scott Pioli said the Chiefs were trying to reduce their considerable list of players without 2011 contracts before the league’s collective-bargaining agreement ends next Thursday.

The Chiefs have 25 players without a 2011 contract. They recently placed the franchise player designation on outside linebacker Tamba Hali.

“We’ve talked to some guys,” Pioli said at the NFL’s scouting combine in Indianapolis. “It’s not just a matter of whether we want to talk to guys but also whether they want to talk to us. We’re hopeful, but I don’t know if I anticipate getting anything done with anybody.”

Next week is also the deadline for offering tenders to players the Chiefs believe will be restricted free agents whenever a new agreement is reached. But, absent a new agreement, none of the teams are certain what will constitute a restricted free agent.

Until last year, it required three years of experience. Last year, it changed to five. Since five was the most recent qualification, look for the Chiefs to offer tenders to many of their unsigned players with five or fewer seasons of service.

That list includes a couple of starters, cornerback Brandon Carr and offensive tackle Barry Richardson, and three key contributors: pass rusher Wallace Gilberry, tight end Leonard Pope and special-teams player Cory Greenwood.

Ten other players have five or fewer seasons: quarterback Brodie Croyle, running back Jackie Battle, fullbacks Tim Castille and Mike Cox, tight end Brad Cottam, offensive linemen Rudy Niswanger and Ryan O’Callaghan, linebacker Corey Mays and defensive backs Reshard Langford and Maurice Leggett.

Under this rule, the Chiefs would have nine unrestricted free agents. Their most immediate target to be re-signed is likely Ron Edwards, their starter at nose tackle. The Chiefs would probably like to retain reserve wide receiver Terrance Copper, their best special-teams player; Jon McGraw, a versatile defensive back; and defensive lineman Shaun Smith.

Linebacker Mike Vrabel and center Casey Wiegmann face retirement decisions. The Chiefs would probably like to re-sign both players.

The other potential unrestricted free agents are wide receiver Kevin Curtis, linebacker Charlie Anderson and defensive back Travis Daniels.

Draft candidate for KC?

David Arkin is by all accounts a high-character guy who was a two-year captain and never missed a game in four seasons as an offensive lineman at Missouri State.

All of which seems to make him a good candidate to be selected by the Chiefs, who need to add to their offensive-line depth. Arkin, who is from Wichita, projects as a late-round selection.

He said this week at the NFL’s scouting combine in Indianapolis that his two-year captaincy of the Bears is one of the features of his college career that he’s most proud of.

“It was voted on by the guys on the team,” Arkin said. “It kind of lets you know they respect what you have to say and your leadership ability and how you play.”

Football will factor into the drafting decision, too. Arkin played right guard his first three seasons at Missouri State before switching to left tackle last year. He said most teams are considering him a guard.

While Arkin played mostly against competition in the Missouri Valley Conference, he also has video to show from games against Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Arkansas.

“I got a good opportunity to show against some Division I schools,” Arkin said. “It’s not that big of a jump in competition. I played in the East-West Shrine game and I felt like I hung with those guys so I’m excited to show how I compare to these guys.”

Wildcat won’t run

As one of the bigger running backs available in this year’s draft at 230 pounds, Kansas State’s Daniel Thomas wasn’t going to run one of the best 40 times at the scouting combine. But he said today he won’t run anyway because he’s still rehabbing the hamstring he pulled before the Senior Bowl last month.

Thomas indicated he intends to work for scouts at Kansas State’s pro day on March 15. If he shows well there, he could be one of the first backs selected.

No matter when he’s drafted, Thomas said his NFL team would be getting a back similar in running style to former Chief Larry Johnson, except more versatile.

“I was asked to pass-protect and catch the ball as well,” Thomas said of his time at K-State. “I’m a guy that can carry the load the whole year if you need me to. I can do whatever you need me to back there.”

Also, Thomas measured at just 6 feet at the combine. He was listed by Kansas State at 6-2 and 228 pounds.