After a quick blast into free agency and the week long NFL meetings in Hawaii, Chiefs President Carl Peterson and Head Coach Dick Vermeil will return to Arrowhead today to discuss the next moves in the Chiefs pursuit to upgrade the defensive personnel.
The hot topic remains cornerback Patrick Surtain. The All-Pro cornerback was rumored to be close to coming to Kansas City late last week. Though we have confirmed the two sides talked through the weekend; no deal has been yet been reached. It appears from all accounts, that the Chiefs are more than willing to pay Surtain the kind of dollars he's seeking but the stickler in this deal remains compensation to the Dolphins to conclude the trade and sign deal.
Kansas City has refused to part with their second round pick and have only offered Miami one of their two fourth round picks in April's draft. The Chiefs appear determined on keeping the second rounder as leverage in the event another player such as the Saints Darren Howard who is still on the trading block after the Dallas Cowboys backed off of him last week. But if not for that reason, the Chiefs might be targeting a certain cornerback from Miami in the draft, but as it appears now they'd have to move up into the Top 10 to snag the Hurricanes Antrel Rolle.
Surtain is clearly the choice of the Chiefs but the teams reluctance to trade that second pick could lead them back to Ty Law. The former Patriot is supposed to shed his walking boot this week and the Chiefs as well as the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts are eager to take a look at him again. He could return for another visit with the Chiefs next week if talks with Surtain and the Dolphins fall apart.
Law's agent Carl Poston, who also represents Surtain, has indicated that the Patriots have a standing $24 million offer on the table for their former cornerback. But that report has been flatly denied by New England as they appear to have no interest in retaining his services once again.
The Chiefs now face a dilemma as they don't want to get into a bidding war for Law and they have to know eventually another team is going to get into the Surtain sweepstakes. The latest rumor has the San Diego Chargers interested in Surtain and they have plenty of draft picks to send to Miami if they so choose. Now the Chargers have a plethora of young defensive backs but they could make a serious run at Surtain if the Chiefs don't make a move soon.
Kansas City also has interest in Tennessee Titans restricted free agent defensive end Carlos Hall. His agent the infamous Drew Rosenhaus is trying to get the Chiefs to pony up a late round draft pick for his client. Hall is a restricted free agent and the Titans can match any offer for their young defensive end. If they don't match the offer, then Kansas City would have to send Tennessee a seventh round draft pick. But it's unlikely they'll match the offer. The Titans don't feel Hall has much upside. The knock on Hall is his lack of focus on the field. Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham knows Hall very well and he'd like to bring him to Kansas City and is confident he can turn his career around. Hall was very good for the Titans early in his career but struggled in 2004. The Chiefs could probably acquire Hall for a sixth round draft pick if they can come to terms with him on a new contract.
Veteran defensive end Jay Williams was reportedly offered a contract by the Chiefs last week but we've learned that was false. The former Ram and Dolphin is expected to visit St. Louis on Tuesday and will consider playing for either of the Show Me State teams if the money is right. Personally I think Hall has more upside but Williams is a veteran and is very familiar with Vermeil who coached him while he played with the Rams. But my source with the Chiefs told me this morning that he doubted KC would make him a solid offer.
The other hot name on the tongue of Chiefs fans is Houston linebacker Jamie Sharper. The Texans announced they're only seeking a fourth round draft pick for the seven year veteran. The Chiefs still have nobody to play alongside Kendrell Bell, who they signed as a free agent two weeks ago. Both Monty Beisel and Scott Fujita remain unsigned and injuries to Mike Maslowski and Shawn Barber have the team considering trying to fill that linebacker void in the draft. Now that might be hard to do if the Chiefs don't add a veteran cornerback before the draft. They must find another starting cornerback before they can consider upgrading the linebacker position.
So this could be a big week because the Chiefs who have maneuverability with 11 draft picks. It's very unlikely the Chiefs will keep all those picks. They could trade three of them to acquire, Surtain, Hall and Sharper if they so choose. With a defense that is still not ready to compete in the AFC West, the Chiefs can't wait too long to pull the trigger.
Everyone knows that NFL Free Agency is a sprint and not a marathon. But the Chiefs need to kick it in high gear and acquire more defensive help before they reach the finish line. They can't rely on the NFL Draft to solve their woes on defense. If they do, it could be another cold winter for Chiefs fans.