The Chiefs had hoped to make a serious run at Warren Sapp but this morning he is mulling over the $16 million (4-year contract) offer from Cincinnati. The Bengals have tried to in vein this off-season to land an impact free agent and it appears according to Sapp's agent that they are the front-runner to land his client.
I don't think the Chiefs wanted to invest that much money into Sapp but I think they might be disappointed that at least for now; is not planning to honor his scheduled trip into Kansas City on Sunday evening.
Sapp would have been an important cog in the Chiefs defensive line and certainly would have been an upgrade for a defense unit that will return every starter next season. It appears the Chiefs are satisfied with the addition of new defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham because they are not going to add an impact defensive player this season.
One rumor we keep hearing that might is that the Chiefs could make a run for Miami defensive end Adewale Ogunleye is being shopped by the Dolphins again. The Chicago Bears and the New York Giants have showed the most interest to date but the Chiefs who were rumored several weeks ago to be talking to the Dolphins, might still try and swing a deal for Ogunleye.
With Ogunleye a restricted free agent, the Chiefs could sign him to an offer sheet, like the Bears did with John Tait, but they'd have to give up a first and third round pick this year unless they can work out a trade with the Fins.
Ogunleye is the type of player that Chiefs President Carl Peterson covets. He has plenty of upside and he's young and very talented player who could make an immediate impact. For whatever reason the Dolphins don't want to keep their sack leader around as they made him a qualifying offer and so that put the clamps on any further contract talks.
Now if the Chiefs were going to spend any money to sign Sapp, they'd be better off giving it to Ogunleye who would do cartwheels to get $16 million out of the Chiefs.
If the defensive side of the ball is getting little attention, the offensive side is not doing much either. The Chiefs who have a need to upgrade the wide receiver position have indicated they might bring in former Bear Dez White but with the NFL draft so deep in Wide Receivers; that appears unlikely.
In the upcoming April issue of Warpaint Illustrated due later this month, we feature two wide receivers that could be on the board when the Chiefs make their 30th selection of the first round; Wisconsin receiver Lee Evans and Oklahoma State standout Rashaun Woods.
Both players could have an impact on the Chiefs roster next season and also push Johnnie Morton off the roster or on the bench. Morton recently agreed to a pay cut for fear he could be a June 1st cap casualty. Morton has a lot to prove in the off-season workouts if he wants to get significant playing time in 2004. Though the Chiefs offense didn't have many shortcomings in 2003, when the team did struggle it usually centered on Morton and his dropped passes in key situations.
In Other Chiefs News:
Kansas City agreed to a new four-year deal with veteran cornerback William Bartee. The deal includes an out for Bartee after two season based on number of games played. If Bartee is elevated back to a starter, then he could become a free agent after the 2005 season.
The Chiefs also announced the signings of Safety Shaunard Harts and linebacker Monty Beisel. Both signed one-year contracts. Harts made great strides for the Chiefs in 2003 and Beisel was the Chiefs second best special teams' performer. But Beisel could be primed for a breakout season in 2004. He's a solid tackler and will quickly become a Cunningham favorite.