Denver Broncos cornerback Kelly Herndon is scheduled to arrive this morning. The Chiefs are well aware of his abilities and it appears that our AFC West friends have no intention of matching any offer. Instead they hope someone takes them off their hands including the Chiefs. Denver Head Coach Mike Shanahan has little confidence in Herndon and is more than willing to part ways with the journeyman cornerback.
Herndon appeared close to a deal with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday but the two sides broke off talks when they failed to agree on a signing bonus. Herndon had spoke with Baltimore before they signed Samari Rolle. Herndon would be a strong nickel back for the Chiefs and he's a better pure cornerback than Dexter McCleon. Enough said!
The Chiefs are also entertaining safety Sammy Knight late of the Miami Dolphins. They would like to sign a veteran safety but my guess part of the reason for the visit could include probing Knight about cornerback Patrick Surtain. The Chiefs still are the front-runners for Surtain but the Dolphins want too much compensation to make the trade. I think the Chiefs are comfortable with the contract demands of Surtain's agent who is trying to get this deal done.
A couple of new names have hit or about to hit the free agent market. The Ravens cut cornerback Corey Fuller late last night and he could be an option if Herndon is not offered a contract. He started the last couple of years for the Ravens but with the addition of Rolle, he became expendable.
Safety Darren Sharper is due a $2.5 million bonus on Friday and the Green Bay Packers have told him they intend to cut him. If that's the case, the Chiefs could be interested in his services and would instantly become a starter for Kansas City. He brings the same type of attitude to the field that of the Patriots Rodney Harrison. If he were signed then the writing could be on the wall for incumbent safety Jerome Woods.
As for the man everyone wants to know about linebacker Ed Hartwell, we hear that his suitors are down to Kansas City, Miami and possibly the Bengals. We learned late last night that the Arizona Cardinals are not likely to make him an offer. The Dolphins want to make a couple of trades before they sign any other free agents. But Miami signed LB Donald Spragan to a contract last night so they appear to be out of the Hartwell sweepstakes. The Seattle Seahawks expressed interest but they've backed out thus far because of his salary demands.
The bottom line is the Chiefs have a standing offer for Hartwell and I guess as each day passes; that offer will be reduced. It might simply be about pride at this point and there have been rumblings that he has softened his contract demands. The Chiefs know they are the ONLY viable option of the NFL contenders and Hartwell has to decide to play for less money than he wants or make more money playing for an organization that can't compete on the NFL stage. The longer this drags out the less likely he could become a Chief and even further the less money Hartwell can make in the open market.
The internet was buzzing with false reports about his potential signing with the Chiefs last night but I assure all Warpaint Illustrated readers that we will check them all out. As of this writing, there is no real news on Hartwell. The football is in his court and sooner or later he has to make a decision or he might have to resign with the Ravens on a one-year deal.
As we reported yesterday, Ty Law is scheduled to be at Arrowhead on Monday to meet with team doctors. Law in my opinion remains the most viable cornerback option but he's not the last. Teams will release players before the draft trying to clear cap space to sign their draft picks and that could cause a few more casualties who could interest the Chiefs. Plus I think the Chiefs want to wait on Ty Law. My gut tells me he's the target at this point to start opposite Eric Warfield. If that happens, they could a Herndon or someone else via free agency and still draft a cornerback with their first pick in April's draft.
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