Priest Holmes reiterated this week his belief that he's fully healthy and will get the contract extension -- with its significant signing bonus -- he wants sometime either before the regular season begins or sometime soon afterward.
Holmes, who before camp hinted that he might not play in the opener if, after demonstrating his full recovery from last December's hip injury, he did not have a contract extension, softened that stance last week.
Or did he just elude the issue like it was an opposing tackler?
"I will suit up because I will have a contract," he predicted. "Carl Peterson has said he wants to see if I still have a burst of speed, if I can fall down and get up, and I've done all those things.
"The first week of camp was basically conditioning, but since then I've taken the hits I usually take," Holmes added. "I've been pulled down from behind, I've been pushed in the back, I've been tripped, and for the most part I've been able to keep my balance.
"I'd say I'm at 100 percent. I'd say I'm actually better," he added defiantly.
Holmes even took something of a cheap shot from Minnesota linebacker Greg Biekert after he'd run out of bounds during a joint workout Wednesday. Chiefs coaches howled in protest, but Holmes merely bounced up and said nothing.
Holmes was expected to see only limited duty, in maybe two series, during the preseason opener, Monday's Hall of Fame Game against Green Bay. But coach Dick Vermeil said that with five games on the Chiefs preseason schedule this year, Holmes would likely get more carries this preseason than he got a year ago (44) when he was fully healthy and the reigning NFL rushing leader.
If Holmes holds up the way he thinks he can in the preseason, Chiefs president Carl Peterson should see enough to make him reward Holmes for his past two seasons -- when he was the league's most productive running back -- with the extension Holmes wants. The only possible stumbling block, as it usually is, would be the signing bonus. Holmes has joked that he feels like $15 million. Peterson likely feels only about half that good. "I agree with Priest," Peterson said when told of Holmes' belief that a deal with be completed sometime soon. "Now, maybe the media wants to make this into a problem, but it's not going to be a problem."
"Nothing has changed," Peterson added. "I said at the end of last year that based on his performance in training camp, that if he's the Priest we knew before the injury, I would certainly consider an extension.
"We still need to see where he's at. He's making great progress, and I'm certainly pleased with it. But, he hasn't played in a game yet, he hasn't been knocked down with a live hit yet, he hasn't made a move on a guy and scored a touchdown yet. We all want to see that, including Priest."
CAMP CALENDAR: The Chiefs officially enter the dog days of August when they return from Canton, Ohio and the Hall of Fame Game with Green Bay on Monday Night Football. They'll work for three short days in River Falls before going back to Kansas City to play San Francisco on Aug. 9. They will then return to Wisconsin for a final week before breaking camp on Aug. 15 and returning to the summer heat of Kansas City.