Vermeil Has Poker Face on as the Market Opens

Forget the rumors about St. Louis Rams defensive end Grant Wistrom heading to Kansas City anytime soon. He's already scheduled five visits and the Chiefs are nowhere on his preliminary list.

It seems the Chiefs are going to sit back, wait and go bargain hunting instead of being aggressive to shore up their needs at the start of free agency. It's not the best strategy but it apparently is the one Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil and President Carl Peterson are adopting this off-season.

As players like Jevon Kearse and Shawn Springs signed quickly, other primetime NFL free agents were scheduling interviews around the country and none of them were flying into KCI. Instead their agents appeared to be lining up visits for their premier players without out a whiff of interest in coming to Kansas City; at least not yet anyway.

Chiefs fans are no doubt disappointed especially after rumors that had Wistrom heading to Kansas City and spurring an offer from the Philadelphia Eagles. But those rumors might have been unfounded. Wistrom was in Seattle on Wednesday and will be on a U.S. tour the rest of this week.

Another player high on the Chiefs wish list was cornerback Troy Vincent. The five-time Pro Bowler seems to have fallen out of grace with the Chiefs who are looking to sign a younger cornerback. Kansas City would like to meet with Bobby Taylor, Vincent's former teammate in Philadelphia but he's planning other visits for now.

They could have made an offer for Shawn Springs who signed a 6-year, $30 million deal that included a $5 million signing bonus with the Redskins who seem to be hell bent on spending money despite the salary cap. Springs was expected to get in the neighborhood of $40 million so you'd have to consider that a bargain. Springs would have been a great addition to the Chiefs defense and certainly someone who would not have broke the Chiefs bank or hurt the salary cap.

Now Kansas City is content waiting for the market to be set but that could backfire as it has in the past in Kansas City. The Chiefs had hoped to secure all their own free agents but that goal has also eluded them.

Eric Hicks was in Arizona on Wednesday talking to Dennis Green and the Cardinals. William Bartee was in New York talking to the Giants and is heading to Green Bay to talk with the Packers. John Tait was in Miami on Wednesday and is expected in Chicago later today where the Bears are the front-runner to sign him to an offer sheet. Back-up tight end Jason Dunn could sign with the Broncos as Denver is preparing to make him an offer when he visits the Broncos on Friday.

Now one possibility for the Chiefs could be a trade that would involve not matching on offer for Tait in exchange for the rights to restricted Miami Dolphins free agent defensive end Adewale Ogunleye. A report surfaced yesterday that the Chiefs might pursue Ogunleye but if they sign him to a deal they'll lose their first and third round draft pick in April's draft. But the Chiefs and Dolphins could make a trade that would send Tait to the Dolphins in exchange for Ogunleye and Kansas City could get their coveted pass rushing end and not have to give up any draft picks.

It's remote but a possibility. Since the Chiefs put the transition tag on Tait, they prefer to have his agent, Ethan Locke, bring them an offer and thus the Chiefs won't have to get into another long and heated exchange with Locke over Tait. Kansas City simply chooses to match the offer or decides to cut Tait free.

The Dolphins, who want Tait badly, could not come to terms with Ogunleye who wants out of Miami and has asked for a trade. It seems that the Chiefs might be willing to part with Tait and the Dolphins the same with Ogunleye. That might be something to keep an eye on in the event the Chiefs fail to make a run at Wistrom.

One player on the Chiefs radar screen could also be Linebacker Warrick Holdman formerly of the Bears The Chiefs signed him to an offer sheet two years ago when he was with Chicago but he's now a free agent. If the Chiefs want Holdman, they better be prepared to fight for his services as the Steelers are meeting with him today and the Redskins tomorrow.

More than likely nothing is going to happen at Arrowhead this week and let's hope the activity picks up next week. The Chiefs can't afford to stand pat with their roster especially with the Broncos wheeling and dealing. They already secured cornerback Champ Bailey and the Raiders signed nose tackle Ted Washington yesterday.

Kansas City needs one or two new defensive additions and probably the same number on offense especially if they lose Tait. The Chiefs are high on last years fourth round pick Brett Williams and he could become the heir apparent to Tait if he's let go. Kansas City still wants to upgrade the wide receiver position.

The Chiefs did officially announce the signing of Safety Jerome Woods yesterday. The deal will insure that Woods will play his entire career with Kansas City as he officially signed a six-year contract. The Chiefs also signed deep snapper Kendall Gammons and back up tight end Billy Baber to one-year deals. Top Stories