Chiefs Off-Season Strategy: Woods A Priority

After allocating 16 players to NFL Europe, the Chiefs are focusining on signing safety Jerome Woods and tackle John Tait.

The Chiefs have allocated 16 players for assignment in NFL Europe. Included were three players from Kansas City's active roster in 2003 -- WR Chris Horn (assigned to Amsterdam), and DT Montique Sharpe and WR LaShaun Ward, who both will play for Berlin.

The Chiefs have been working to sign FS Jerome Woods, RT John Tait and DE Eric Hicks prior to the opening of free agency, but nothing appears imminent.

Woods would likely get the franchise player protection if left unsigned. But because he wants to play for his old boss, new Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, he might well get a deal done before March 3.

If he does, the Chiefs might use the franchise protection on Tait, a player they really want to keep. Their offensive line has been intact for 33 straight games and has a chemistry the team does not want to disrupt.

Kansas City will pick No. 30 in the first round and should be looking hard for help at corner or wide receiver in the early rounds. Later on, pass-rushing ends and run-stuffing linebacker will be priorities.

Linebacker Shawn Barber had surgery on his hand and is expected to be sidlined for six weeks. Barber played the second half of the season with a cast on his hand but still managed to lead the team in tackles. He is expected to make a full recovery and could participate in off-season workouts by April.

Linebacker Mike Maslowski should also be ready for off-season workouts in April. He had sucessful knee surgery in January. Maslowski missed the Chiefs last seven regular season games plus the playoff game against the Colts. With Maslowski on the sidelines, the Chiefs defense gave up an average of 70 yards more per game on the ground as a defense. Top Stories