Jerome Woods is one of the most popular players for the Kansas City Chiefs, and rightfully so. He was a first round draft pick out of Memphis in 1996, and has been a solid contributor since his arrival in Kansas City.
The 2003 season was perhaps his finest season. Despite coming off a career-threatening leg injury in 2002, Woods set career highs in interception return yardage and forced fumbles. He also scored the first two touchdowns of his 8-year career, including a momentum shifting return at Green Bay.
With the return of Gunther Cunningham, the Chiefs face a difficult decision with regards to Jerome Woods. Cunningham has a close relationship with the first-time Pro Bowler, and Woods obviously wants to stay. He wants a chance at a Super Bowl ring, and he would obviously embrace Cunningham's style. The Chiefs though may not be so keen on the idea.
Though still a solid and productive player, Jerome Woods will be turning 31 in a couple of months. That is not exactly young in football years, especially considering his leg injury in 2002.
But, the Chiefs need a general on the field that is not afraid to hit somebody. They need a player that is familiar and also comfortable with Cunningham's schemes and style. That is where Woods comes in.
The Chiefs should reward a player such as Woods. He rehabilitated his injury in the hopes of returning to the playoffs, and in turn he had the best of his career. The Chiefs may want to turn to a younger and faster player, but that player would not be as smart, nor as dedicated to the cause as Woods.
The smart thing for the Kansas City Chiefs is to re-sign Jerome Woods for at least one more season. They will get the type of player that both Dick Vermeil and Gunther Cunningham cherish.
Jerome Woods is a solid football player, and one that the Chiefs need in 2004.