March Madness Starting Early for the Chiefs

It's getting tense around the NFL as the clock just struck 24 in the 2005 version of NFL Free Agency. The Kansas City Chiefs are at the center of the storm. To steal the thunder from the college basketball ranks this is really the start of March Madness. Kansas City could be on the verge of signing a pair of free agents and the surprises keep coming. We have the latest.

Reports late on Wednesday evening indicated that linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and the Kansas City Chiefs were near an agreement. In fact, Trotter has informed the Seattle Seahawks who he was scheduled to visit on Friday that he wasn't coming to the Pacific Northwest.

The Chiefs have made it very clear that Trotter was one of their highest off-season targets. When the Eagles mysteriously let Trotter walk after contract talks stalled to a crawl, rumblings began to indicate he was leaning toward Kansas City. But even after reports that he was signing with Kansas City, the Chiefs denied any deal was imminent.

Our sources indicate the two sides are working to get a contract done and Trotter was in town on Wednesday evening to meet with Head Coach Dick Vermeil and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. If Trotter is going to sign with Kansas City it will happen on Thursday. We have confirmed that the two sides talked contract numbers before Trotter made the Trek to Kansas City.

Cornerback Samari Rolle is also negotiating a contract with the Chiefs. The former Titan has been in town all day and he has not scheduled any other visits with NFL teams. Rolle is the prize of the free agent class and Cunningham wants him on the roster in the worst way.

But the Chiefs are not resting their laurels nor putting all their eggs on signing Rolle. Patriots cornerback Ty Law is scheduled to be in Kansas City on Thursday so the Chiefs medical staff can look at his surgically repaired foot. It's an interesting decision by the Chiefs and one has to wonder if they are intent on signing two premier cornerbacks to go along with Trotter.

But that's not all. Ed Hartwell is also in town and his agent has indicated that the former Baltimore Raven would like to join the Chiefs.

Now signing all four or even contemplating the though has Kansas City fans going nuts. But it makes some sense.

The attitude this off-season appears to be trying to fill the holes in free agency and then use the draft to build depth. That's a great plan and it appears if the Chiefs are bringing in all these free agents that Lamar Hunt is willing to shell out some major bucks.

Both Law and Rolle are seeking a signing bonus of $12-15 million. Hartwell and Trotter are looking for $10 million each. That's a lot of coin but the Chiefs understand if they want to compete in the AFC West they have to be aggressive and they have to act fast.

In the division the Oakland Raiders have re-signed wide receiver Jerry Porter, traded for Randy Moss and late Wednesday night they signed free agent running back Lamont Jordan. It can be argued that the Raiders could be favorites to win the AFC West. Their offensive could be near unstoppable.

The Chiefs have to move and move fast. They can't let these players leave town without making them significant offers. If they leave town, they won't likely sign with the Chiefs.

That's why Thursday is a huge day for this organization.


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