AJ's Monday Musings

In this week's Musings, I write about why Ryan Sims needs to finally sign with the Chiefs, Bojangles as opposed to Popeyes, and include a couple of interesting e-mails from N.C. State fans.

Just Sign Ryan

The contract negotiations between former North Carolina defensive tackle Ryan Sims and the Kansas City Chiefs has hit a major snag, and ultimately, Sims is to blame.

Sims, taken as the sixth overall selection in last spring's draft, should have accepted one of the team's earlier offers. As a rookie, being in training camp is as necessary as getting a deal done. Instead, he has no contract and has missed nearly for weeks of camp, and with less than a month before the season starts, he falls further behind with each passing day.

A genuinely nice young man with a good personality, Sims' name is now a bad word in Kansas City, a city that usually treats it football stars like heroes. "Sims is greedy," they might say. "He doesn't care about the team. He's out for himself. His agent is a jerk."

While that all may be somewhat true, it isn't entirely. By all accounts, Sims was an excellent teammate in Chapel Hill. He cared about winning and did the little things on and off the field.

Sims' agent recently expressed how exasperated he was with the Chiefs to the Kansas City Star.

"The Chiefs are making no effort to get a deal done," Hadley Engelhard said. "They're not even returning my phone calls."

He's actually surprised that the team has stopped making offers and appears disinterested.

"We are where we are," Chiefs president and General manager Carl Peterson told the Star. "We offered a fair contract. It's for them to hopefully accept sometime. The negotiations are stuck, but the Chiefs aren't stuck. We're moving on with training camp."

Moving on without Sims, and that is the rookie's fault.

So the Chiefs didn't offer him a deal his agent felt was satisfactory. So what? He's an unproven rookie! Ultimately, the difference in money gained by holding out may be lost down the road. Many rookie holdouts have never recovered from lost time, and have found it difficult to blend in with disgusted and unimpressed veterans.

Sims, the starter at defensive tackle when the June workouts ended, and the team agreed on a few essentials, including his signing bonus and length of the contract. But the sticking point is how much each yearly salary will escalate.

Considering all that is at stake, it's hard to believe any athlete who truly wants to be out there would allow this to happen. The agent works for him, not the other way around. It's time for Sims to either can his agent and sign, or to just sign the deal regardless.

Bojangles, Not Popeyes

Hopefully this won't become a habit, but I must correct something from last week's Musings.

In describing the preferred spread for tailgaters, I wrote that N.C. State fans are "Popeyes chicken…" Well, actually, as many Wolfpackers pointed out, it's Bojangles.

Since I grew up in Northern Virginia and Popeyes fast food chicken restaurants are everywhere, I had it in the back of my mind. Consider that both Popeyes and Bojangles use the same colors, and it was pretty easy to confuse the two.

So, I wanted to clear that up and thank the State fans who humorously reminded me they are indeed a Bojangles crowd.

N.C. State fan Matt Kinney sent me the following e-mail, making sure I would never make such a mistake again.

Popeye's chicken?

I take great offense at that!

It's common knowledge that Bojangles chicken is the only choice for Wolfpack tailgating. I don't know if it's urban legend or not, but I always heard that the Bojangles on Western Blvd. was the most successful franchise in the chain. Get your facts straight :)

Great column!

Last Week's Response

Last week I asked if I was off my rocker or right on target with my descriptions of UNC and N.C. State fans.

State fan Peter Wallingford wrote …

I read with great interest your article on the fans of the respective schools. It was very accurate in a great many respects. There was one point that I have to differ on...

They still think the Tar Heels get all the calls too, and that their football program has been more successful than UNC's, which isn't even debatable."

I know of no fans who feel that our football program has been more successful than UNC's. I would say many of them may scoff at UNC's "tradition" on the gridiron, but that is not to say that we have been better, or even equivalent.

And the tarheels do get all the calls :)

Andrew Jones is in his seventh year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He is also entering his fifth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a late afternoon radio show on ESPN Radio, WMFD AM630 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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