Chiefs Notes: Woods Wanted to Stay in KC

When Jerome Woods flew in (on his own dime) from his offseason home in Memphis to Kansas City to attend Gunther Cunningham's re-introductory press conference in January, you began to suspect the Chiefs Pro Bowl free safety wouldn't be going anywhere in free agency.

That turned out to be the case as Woods agreed to a new six-year deal that not only will kept him off the free market before it opened, but also furthered his desire to finish his career with the same team.

Woods, who was Kansas City's No. 1 draft pick in 1996, has now re-signed twice in eight seasons with the Chiefs.

"Jerome has long expressed his preference to play in Kansas City, and that hasn't changed from four years ago," said Kyle Rote, one of Woods' agents. "He enjoys playing for coach (Dick) Vermeil, and now he's got his defensive coordinator back."

Chiefs Notes:

The Chiefs were pleased with their No. 5 finish of fan satisfaction conducted by ESPN The Magazine.

Some 31,000 fans were surveyed on various aspects of team/fan relationships. Among the considerations: fan relationship, ownership, stadium experience, player likeability, management and coaching and affordability. All professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey teams were surveyed.

Among NFL teams, only the Green Bay packers rated higher. The San Antonio Spurs rated highest among the franchises studied.

His ties to the Philadelphia area remained intact long after he stepped down as the Eagles coach in 1982. Dick Vermeil, consequently, was understandably pleased to be named the winner of the Maxwell Club's Earle 'Greasy' Neal Award as the Professional Coach of the Year. Vermeil, who continues to keep his family home in the countryside of Chester County, Pa., accepted his award at the club's 67th annual award banquet in Atlantic City.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"I just cannot believe he can't play. You draw up a great cornerback and there's not too many pictures that are going to look better than him. A lot of it is confidence, what's in his head.'' -- Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham on his desire to retain prospective free agent cornerback William Bartee, a player drafted while Cunningham was head coach but who lost his starting job last year under Greg Robinson.

Strategy Session-Draft Needs:
Cornerback, wide receiver, defensive end.

The Chiefs have two just OK corners in Dexter McCleon and Eric Warfield, but they needed an upgrade. The trouble is, they probably won't have the cap room to go after one on the free agent market. A wide receiver could be had in the draft should KC elect to think offensive for a second straight year.

The Chiefs have some rush ends in the stable -- R-Kal Truluck, Gary Stills -- but could use a run-stuffer there, especially if they don't retain Hicks in free agency.

TRANSITION PLAYER:
OT John Tait (tendered at $6.012M).

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (7):
CB William Bartee
TE Jason Dunn
LS Kendall Gammon
DE Eric Hicks
CB Darrius Johnson
QB Jonathan Quinn
S Lyle West

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (5):
P Jason Baker
LB Monty Beisel
RB Derrick Blaylock
LB Quinton Caver
DT Eric Downing

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS (3):
TE Billy Baber
S Shaunard Harts
DE R-Kal Truluck

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: S Jerome Woods. PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None. PLAYERS LOST: None. MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.


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