For the first time since 1998, the Chiefs will have their No. 1 draft pick in training camp on time.
Casting aside his previous difficulties in getting first-round picks signed on time, Chiefs president Carl Peterson took advantage of his long-standing relationship with agent Marvin Demoff and managed to sign running back Larry Johnson to a seven-year contract, the financial terms of which were not immediately known.
The last time Peterson got a first-round pick in training camp on time was in 1998 when tackle Victor Riley reported on time. Johnson, the Doak Walker Award winner as the nation's best collegiate running back, represents only the fourth of Peterson's 13 first-round picks to sign on time.
"(Demoff) and I go back 25 years, so I see no reason on earth why we can't get it finished in time for camp," Peterson said before finalizing the deal with the 27th player taken in the draft. "I think (Johnson) knows the importance of getting to camp on time. He's going to get a lot of reps."
That could be especially true if Priest Holmes is limited to just one workout a day in the early stages of camp, which is the workload coach Dick Vermeil predicted for his workhorse running back.
The Chiefs top draft pick last year, defensive tackle Ryan Sims, missed the entire preseason and consequently was no factor in the four games he played prior to incurring a season-ending elbow injury. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel much better (going into a third season) than I ever have. That doesn't mean we're going to win a world championship. But I know this: I've never felt as confident that I have a good football team." -- Coach Dick Vermeil, on his team's outlook entering his third year with the Chiefs.