Chiefs Don't Make A Play for Vincent

What was thought to be the teams highest free agent priority, Troy Vincent left Kansas City without a contract offer from the Chiefs.

After a physical this morning, Vincent met with Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and President Carl Peterson.

According to reports, the two sides talked about the opportunity to play for a true Super Bowl contender but the two sides never took the talks any further. That means the Chiefs don't feel Vincent is any better than Eric Warfield or Dexter McCleon. Vincent is 32 years old and if his contract demands are anywhere near the dollars he could earn being in the prime of his career, the Chiefs have little desire to overpay for an aging veteran.

Vincent has received several contract offers from Cincinnati and late Wednesday evening the Bengals released starting cornerback Jeff Burris. That move might signal the arrival of Vincent. Burris had a decent season with the Bengals last year but he's a true nickel back and not a starter. Kansas City was also trying to secure William Bartee to a new deal but he's contemplating offers from the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants.

The Chiefs for the first time on Wednesday acknowledged a priority in trying to sign back-up tight end Jason Dunn to a new deal. Dunn visited the Rams on Tuesday and left St. Louis without a contract offer. He visited the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday but it appears the Chiefs might be willing to increase their initial offer to get Dunn under contract.

Dunn becomes invaluable to the Chiefs running game if Kansas City does not match the offer sheet for starting right tackle John Tait. The Chiefs must match the offer by 11:00 PM Friday evening or they lost Tait to the Chicago Bears. Dunn is a key component of the Chiefs offense and he's probably more valuable on the roster now since it appears that Tait has played his last game in a Chiefs uniform.

As for Tait, though he accepted the Bears offer, reports are circulating that he wants to remain in Kansas City. After the whirlwind ride from Miami to Chicago and given time to think about the Bears offer, Tait still would like to stay in Kansas City.

It appears the only way that can get done is if Tait agrees to alter the 24-hour roster bonus of $10 million dollars that the Bears have offered. If he agrees to that, then the Chiefs could pro-rate the signing bonus over the next three or four seasons and that would save them valuable cap room this year and allow them to sign several mid-level free agents before the NFL draft in April.

If the Chiefs don't match the offer and can't come up with a new deal for Tait, they will lose him to the Bears without any compensation. That means they'll have a big hole to fill at right tackle. Kansas City has lots of confidence in second year tackle Brett Williams. The former Florida State lineman was selected by the Chiefs in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. He should have been a #1 draft pick but injuries cost him to slide to the middle rounds.

The Chiefs have been very quiet in free agency and that might continue the balance of this week and into next week. The Tait saga will end by Friday and the pursuit of Vincent appears to be nothing more than a back-up plan in the event the Chiefs don't sign Bartee.


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