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Old 04-27-2005, 09:25 PM  
philfree philfree is offline
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Gretz Says We're In Good Shape With The Cap For Next Year

GRETZ: Refocusing
Apr 27, 2005, 8:22:15 AM by Bob Gretz



The symbolic passing of the keys to the kingdom has occurred this week at Arrowhead Stadium. Carl Peterson, Denny Thum, Bill Kuharich, Lynn Stiles and Chuck Cook have been driving the bus for the last four months. Now, they still have work to do, but with the completion of the NFL Draft, theyíve turned over the seat behind the wheel to Dick Vermeil and his coaching staff.



That means itís time to look at the work thatís been done since the Chiefs walked off the field in San Diego, ending the disappointing 2004 season.

Obviously, the focus was on defense. As Peterson conferred with Kuharich, the teamís pro personnel director, and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, a wish list developed on possible additions at three key positions: cornerback, linebacker and safety. Hereís who they wanted, in order of preference, among players they thought would be available:

Cornerback: Patrick Surtain, Samari Rolle, Ken Lucas, Ty Law and Kelly Herndon.
Linebacker: Julian Peterson, Kendrell Bell, Jeremiah Trotter and Ed Hartwell.
Safety: Dwight Smith, Donovan Darius and Sammy Knight.
It took three months of negotiations to pull off the Surtain deal, but it got done, although the price tag was steep: a second-round pick and big dollars. At linebacker, Peterson was slapped with the franchise tag by San Francisco, so he was taken out of the equation. The Chiefs got Bell signed and even took a run at Hartwell as well, until the Atlanta Falcons drove up the price. At safety, Smith made a visit, but ended up signing with New Orleans, while Darius was given the franchise tag by Jacksonville. Knight was the man.

Add to this package the fifth-round draft choice that was traded to Tennessee to land restricted free agent DE Carlos Hall. That name was on Cunninghamís list back in January as well.

Surtain, Bell, Knight and Hall: four players the Chiefs wanted badly that they were able to land. As long as they stay healthy, all four will be major contributors to the defense in 2005.

And, the big picture is they should be contributing in 2006 and 2007, maybe even 2008. Surtain will turn 29 in June. Bell is 27 in July and Hall is 26. Knight is the oldest, as he turns 30 in December.

Hereís the other part of the big picture: did signing free agents Bell and Knight, and the new contract for Surtain put the Chiefs in salary cap jail for 2006, 2007 or 2008?

All things being equal, it did not. The Chiefs will have to do some tinkering this year to get the type of cap room they want for potential injured reserve players and replacements. That can happen if veteran players agree to redo their deals, or take less money. If they wonít, then the Chiefs may have trim familiar names.

Right now, the NFL is telling the 32 teams not to expect an increase in the salary cap next season. Itís hard to believe with several new TV contracts kicking in that the league will not be increasing the cap number. It all hinges on an extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the players.

If that cap number goes up by the normal 5 to 8 percent, then the Chiefs will have no serious problems next season either.

So no matter how you want to look at it Ė short term, long term, little picture, big picture Ė the Chiefs were able to improve their talent level on defense, without sacrificing the future of their salary cap in the next few years.

That, my red and gold friends, is a successful off-season. Now itís up to Vermeil and his staff to pull the pieces together and make it work on the field.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.
-------------------

PhilFree
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:41 PM   #2
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plus, figure in Shields and possibly Holmes retiring...
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:44 PM   #3
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Hmm, it looks like Bell was ahead of Hartwell on the want list. I thought Bell was the "fall-back" plan?
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by philfree
Right now, the NFL is telling the 32 teams not to expect an increase in the salary cap next season. Itís hard to believe with several new TV contracts kicking in that the league will not be increasing the cap number. It all hinges on an extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the players.

If that cap number goes up by the normal 5 to 8 percent, then the Chiefs will have no serious problems next season either.
That's the key, right there. We're banking on the new TV contracts kicking in more cap space. If not, people are going to be cut and the whole thing is moot. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it though.
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:58 PM   #5
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Sounds to me like a heavy defensive shift which might be around for a while.

Even after our older offense is gone. Other than LJ of course. Leaving us with a stout defense and a physical RB who ca-....I think I know who our next HC might be.
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rausch
Sounds to me like a heavy defensive shift which might be around for a while.

Even after our older offense is gone. Other than LJ of course. Leaving us with a stout defense and a physical RB who ca-....I think I know who our next HC might be.
We'll still have Tony G...albeit older.

ALOT hinges on who our next QB is going to be. We're going to need someone with alot of physical talent.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:03 PM   #7
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Gretz is a hack who kept Derrick Thomas from being a first ballot hall of famer. The Chiefs should be ashamed to let this guy be their mouthpiece.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:09 PM   #8
Rausch Rausch is offline
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Gretz is a hack who kept Derrick Thomas from being a first ballot hall of famer.
I've wanted to kill him for that for a good while now.

Real slow, in a Silence Of The Lambs type way.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pitt Gorilla
Hmm, it looks like Bell was ahead of Hartwell on the want list. I thought Bell was the "fall-back" plan?

Bell is a lot faster than Ed Hartwell is, and is more of your big play type of linebacker. 2 pro bowls and a def rookie of the year award.

Hartwell is more of your solid guy who will most likely be in the right spot to make the stop, but wont wreak a lot of havoc with the offense.

With the way Gun likes to blitz, it isnt surprising to see the faster, more disruptive Kendrell Bell's name higher on the want list than Ed Hartwell.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:39 AM   #10
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Gretz is a hack who kept Derrick Thomas from being a first ballot hall of famer. The Chiefs should be ashamed to let this guy be their mouthpiece.
Get over your bias. DT will be lucky to make the HOF. He was a one dimensional player who tended to disappear in the biggest games, i.e. playoffs.
I love DT but he'll be lucky to get in the HOF.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:59 AM   #11
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Get over your bias. DT will be lucky to make the HOF. He was a one dimensional player who tended to disappear in the biggest games, i.e. playoffs.
I love DT but he'll be lucky to get in the HOF.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:10 AM   #12
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Get over your bias. DT will be lucky to make the HOF. He was a one dimensional player who tended to disappear in the biggest games, i.e. playoffs.
I love DT but he'll be lucky to get in the HOF.
His number in relation to others that are in LT will ensure this. So he wasn't a first rounder HOF entry. He will make it. It works on the numbers long term. He as them. The last thing NFL HOF wants is to look biased.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:30 AM   #13
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Gretz says we'll make a play for Law

Knowing the familiarity this source has with Chief's management and reading between the lines, I can't help but think Carl will make a serious run at the only name on the list still unsigned, CB Ty Law. It's not like Warfield's on field play and off field actions make him indispensable.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:53 AM   #14
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Knowing the familiarity this source has with Chief's management and reading between the lines, I can't help but think Carl will make a serious run at the only name on the list still unsigned, CB Ty Law. It's not like Warfield's on field play and off field actions make him indispensable.
Warfield is several years younger than Law. With the uncertainty of Law's physical condition, you can't assume he will have a longer lasting impact than Warfield. Additionally, we still need a nickle back for this team. I just don't feel comfortable with Battle/Bartee fighting it out. McCleon is done with us and Sapp is not ready for the added pressure.
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:43 AM   #15
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Warfield is several years younger than Law. With the uncertainty of Law's physical condition, you can't assume he will have a longer lasting impact than Warfield. Additionally, we still need a nickle back for this team. I just don't feel comfortable with Battle/Bartee fighting it out. McCleon is done with us and Sapp is not ready for the added pressure.
I don't think any team, including the Chiefs, will offer Law a contract until he passes a rigorous physical. Law is 2 years older than Warfield and a year and a half older than Knight. And younger than Priest Holmes. If Holmes is good for two years, Law should be.

Warfield has been troubled with back problems for some time. Tricky thing backs. If Warfield's back flairs up or he hits the bottle again, the backup situation is the same.

Gretz writing an article about the favorable cap situation in '06' and beyond makes little sense to me unless at least one more significant contract is being considered. I don't think Gretz would set Carl up for "why didn't you spend it all for one big push at the Super Bowl" type questions. Others would, but not Gretz.
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