Chiefs Sign Vermeil to Contract Extension

Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil signed a two-year contract extension securing his services through the 2005 season.

Vermeil inking the contract was merely a formality. Vermeil previously told his staff that he would indeed return for at least one more year and his staff was welcome to return as well.

As per Chiefs policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Vermeil just completed a three-year deal worth $10 million.

Vermeil's two-year contract coincides with Chiefs President and GM Carl Peterson's contract - both run through the 2005 season.

In originally hiring Vermeil following the 2000 season, the Chiefs were forced by the league to send the Rams a second round draft choice. But the cost has been well worth it.

In his three seasons as the Chiefs head coach, Vermeil has overhauled the entire organization for the better and posted a 27-22 record.

Vermeil's 2001 team finished 6-10. The 2002 team finished 8-8 and the 2003 team went 13-3 and claimed the AFC West title for the first time since 1997.

Defensive Coordinator Update

Vermeil will have the final say-so in the hiring of the Chiefs new defensive coordinator. The Chiefs have asked for and received permission to talk to Gunther Cunningham about the position.

Cunningham recently interviewed with the New York Jets about their defensive coordinator job and Cunningham also interviewed in Atlanta today.

Both Peterson and Vermeil have talked to Cunningham and early indications are that all three parties have a willingness to get a deal done. Vermeil is expected to interview Cunningham sometime over the next several days.

The Chiefs would like to have a defensive coordinator in place before the coaching staff leaves for Mobile, Alabama on Monday.

In Other Coaching News

Offensive coordiantor Al Saunders had another interview with Oakland Raiders Managing General Partner Al Davis but Saunders informed Vermeil on Thursday that he was staying put in Kansas City. Over the past two weeks Saunders has told both Nebraska and the Raiders on two occasions each that he was not interested in their head coaching positions. Ironically the Cornhuskers hired former Raiders head coach Bill Callahan last week.

Terry Shea the Chiefs quarterbacks coach is the front-runner to become the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator. New Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith has received permission from the Chiefs to talk to Shea. The former Rutgers head football coach has been a steady influence on the development of Chiefs quarterback Trent Green. Shea also assisted Saunders in preparing game plans each week.


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