Chiefs Need to Snag Milloy Fast

With the sudden release of safety Lawyer Milloy by the New England Patriots, the Chiefs need to act fast and sign him before the Buffalo Bills get him.

The New England Patriots decided to release the four time all pro safety after he refused to take a pay cut. The Chiefs should sign him to shore up their defense.

The Chiefs have the best safety tandem in the AFC West in Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley but adding Millroy would be a stroke of genius by head coach Dick Vermeil and the Chiefs President, GM and CEO, Carl Peterson.

The Patriots had been trying to trim their payroll after a very active off-season. The team signed former San Diego Chargers safety, Rodney Harrison as insurance to upgrade their defense. Milloy had been asked to accept a pay cut and he refused to take anything less than the $4.5 million he was set to earn this year.

Milloy was in the third year of a deal that was to pay him $35 million over seven years but the Patriots felt this was too steep a price for a four time pro bowler who might be the best at his position.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has made some blunders with the Patriots over the last season as he relied on a aging defense to get them back to the Super Bowl. It didn't work and some questioned his reluctance to make change in 2002 and the Patriots were on the outside looking in when the playoffs began last year.

Now everyone in New England is in shock with today's development. By releasing Milloy, the Patriots will take a $5.8 million salary cap hit just to break even on the Milloy release. Seems to me that $4.5 is better than $5.8 but I'm not a capologist.

The Chiefs could move Jerome Woods back to corner and put Milloy in his spot. He is more athletic than Woods and this would give the Chiefs many options in disguising defenses and blitz packages.

The Chiefs very effectively used Wesley in many of their blitz packages last year and he was affective. He's amongst the best at the strong safety position in the NFL. The Chiefs signed him to a one year contract last year and he will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2003 season.

He's a very valuable commodity and with a solid season could command a hefty pay raise. But the trio of Woods, Wesley and Milloy would shore up any of the Chiefs deficiencies with their starting and back-up cornerbacks. In addition, the Chiefs could easily have Wesley cover the tight end of the line and that would free up their linebackers to blitz more often and concentrate on the running backs in passing situations.

Vermeil was unaware at his press conference today that Milloy had been released. He mentioned that he was very impressed with him in college and knows what a fine football player he has been for the Patriots.

The Chiefs still have one roster move to make. They appear to be very interested in getting wide receiver Troy Edwards in for a tryout. Edwards was cut by the Rams on Sunday. They are also looking at former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Hank Poteat.

Both would make good acquisitions for the Chiefs who currently have only 52 players on the roster. They must get to 53 before Sunday's game against the Chargers. But they would not have the impact on the roster nor the rest of the AFC West divsion, that Milloy would bring to the Chiefs.

If nothing else, the Chiefs should talk with Milloy and his agent. They need to get him into Kansas City for a visit. Division rivals, Oakland, Denver and San Diego will certainly all show interest in the safety. All three division rivals are weak in their secondary.

The Bills are the favorites to land him but if he wants another Super Bowl ring. His best bet is to sign with the Chiefs. If he's all about the money, then Buffalo will have a new starting safety Sunday when the play the New England Patriots.

If that happens, that will be the game to watch besides the Chiefs game.


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