Back Surgery for Warfield

According to <I>Metro Sports</I> in Kansas City, Chiefs starting cornerback Eric Warfield had back surgery in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Rumors started surfacing three weeks ago that Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent was the Chiefs top free agent target. Those rumors will only intensify if the surgery to Warfield prevents him from playing for the Chiefs in 2004.

The report indicated that the Chiefs deemed the surgery necessary and after consulting with doctors; the operation was preformed to reduce the pain in Warfield's lower back.

Warfield played the entire second half of the season under pain and was not 100% with constant lower back pain. No details of the surgery were announced and the Chiefs have made no comments about Warfield or confirmed that the surgery took place.

This is the third Chiefs player on defense to have off-season surgery. Linebackers Mike Maslowski and Shawn Barber each went under the knife. Maslowski had knee surgery and Barber had surgery on his wrist. Both players are expected to be ready for training camp.

If Warfield is unable to play next season, the Chiefs will have to upgrade their cornerback position. At the NFL combines the Chiefs tried to swing a deal with the Washington Redskins for cornerback Champ Bailey.

It appears that the Redskins and the Denver Broncos are close to a deal that would send Bailey to Denver for running back Clinton Portis. However, according to the Associated Press, another team has entered the bidding war for Bailey.

Kansas City might be forced to sign two cornerbacks this off-season if Warfield is unable to play. Another Chiefs cornerback target could be Vincent's teammate Bobby Taylor.

In other Chiefs news…

The Chiefs have not officially signed Jerome Woods to a new deal. The Chiefs confirmed this afternoon that they have no deal with their Pro Bowl safety. ESPN reported that the six-year deal would pay Woods $3 million per season with a $5 million signing bonus.

Woods had made it very clear that he wanted to stay in Kansas City and play for new defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham.

There has been no word on defensive end Eric Hicks or back-up tight end Jason Dunn. It would appear that Hicks might be expendable since the Chiefs might make a free agent run at Grant Wistrom or Jevon Kearse.

Wistrom was originally drafted by Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil when he was coaching the St. Louis Rams and Kearse played under Gunther Cunningham in Tennessee. Wistrom would be an upgrade to Hicks but then again Hicks was unable to show his true pass rushing skills in Greg Robinson's defense.

Kearse is rumored to be the top target of the Washington Redskins who continue to throw money around to under-achievers. They've already agreed to a deal for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell and now are about to acquire Portis.

Don't look for the Chiefs to be pursuing free agent wide receiver Dennis Northcutt of the Browns. His agent failed to notify Cleveland in writing that Northcutt intended to void the final three years of his contract; thus making him a free agent.

The agent for San Francisco 49ers Terrell Owens made the same mistake and now he's still part of the team and has lost his right to become a free agent. Both agents are going to appeal the oversight to the NFLPA and also to the NFL.

Northcutt was high on the Chiefs wish list as a potential upgrade to the wide receiver position. But that could be a moot point now.

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