Inside Skinny: Surtain Deal Still Up in the Air

Still no word on any impending activity involving the Chiefs attempt to acquire Miami cornerback Patrick Surtain in a trade either before or on draft day. The quiet, however, is not unexpected. There probably won't be any activity until draft day itself - the point at which somebody will have to blink.

The Chiefs know Miami's asking price, a second-round pick in this year's draft. They think that's too high, considering that they have only a compensatory pick late in the third round, and will try to negotiate a more palatable deal -- like, Surtain and some lower-round pick of the Dolphins, or maybe an exchange of picks in a lower round.

Any such concession on Miami's part will probably get this deal done. The Chiefs want and need Surtain badly. The second-round pick is not too high a price for a 29-year-old corner with two Pro Bowl appearances on his resume. Not for the NFL's worst pass defense of 2004, it isn't.

CHIEFS DRAFT STATEGY:
Let's just assume for the sake of discussion that the Chiefs know they can make the deal for Surtain. (And why shouldn't we assume that. All they have to do is pay the asking price, even if they think it too high.) With a proven cornerback now on board in a draft-day deal, where do the Chiefs go with the 15th pick in the first round?

Do they continue to look at cornerback? If the top two guys in the draft, Antrel Rolle and Adam "Pac Man" Jones are gone as expected, would the Chiefs take a likely-to-be-available Carlos Rogers, a physical corner from Auburn who's been invited to Arrowhead for a pre-draft visit?

The Chiefs like Rogers, who has the size defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham likes in a corner. He may not be the pure cover guy that Rolle and Jones project to be, but the Chiefs also need a corner who can play the run, and Rogers has shown such skills.

But Kansas City also has some glaring needs at linebacker, and some interesting prospects await them there.

Much, of course, depends on who falls to the 15 spot. If Derrick Johnson of Texas were to fall to 15 -- and few mock drafts think he will -- the Chiefs would be very, very interested. Johnson also was scheduled for a pre-draft visit, but the Chiefs probably won't get that lucky.

Which brings up another prospect that will get strong consideration.

Should Kansas City pony up and trade the second-round pick Miami wants for Surtain, the Chiefs will be looking for picks elsewhere to fill that void. One way of getting them would be to trade down from the 15 spot in the first round.

Several defensive ends and linebacker who likely would be available in the low- to-mid-20s have attracted Kansas City's interest.

Wisconsin's Erasmus James is more of a pure DE, but the Chiefs have asked him to make a pre-draft visit. Troy's Demarcus Ware is a DE/LB tweener who could go in the mid-20s after also making a visit to Kansas City. Daryl Blackstock also is a tweener reportedly very visible on the KC radar.

Among other possible high draft picks invited to Arrowhead were cornerback Fabian Washington of Nebraska (an underclassman) and safeties Brodney Pool of Oklahoma and Thomas Davis of Georgia.

CHIEFS NOTES & QUOTES:
Former Chiefs punter Jerrell Wilson, voted the all-time American Football League punter after the league's merger with the NFL in 1970, died April 9 at his home in Bronson, Texas. A member of the club's Hall of Fame, the man they called "Thunder-foot" was 63.

Wilson played 15 seasons (1963-77) for the Chiefs, more than any player in team history. He averaged 43-yards gross punting over his career and had four kicks go 70 yards or more. He led the league in punting four times. His Super Bowl average of 46.5 yards on 11 punts in two championship games remains a record.

CHIEFS QUOTE TO NOTE:
"That just crushed me. I understand his decision. They told him he might be a starter. But we invested four years with the kid and converted him (from defensive end) and made him into a player at (linebacker) or else he's probably not even in the league. Then, when we get him to the point where maybe you can get even more miles out of him, he's gone. I miss him already, "Dick Vermeil on the free-agent departure of versatile linebacker Monty Beisel to New England.


CHIEFS OFF-SEASON MOVES
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FB Omar Easy (not tendered as RFA); LB Fred Jones.>BR> RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Marc Boerigter.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: LB Quinton Caver; LB Scott Fujita; S Shaunard Harts; TE/LS Kendall Gammon.
PLAYERS ACQUIRED: LB Kendrell Bell; DE Carlos Hall; WR Darrell Hill; RB Robert Holcombe; S Sammy Knight.
PLAYERS LOST: LB Monty Beisel (Pittsburgh Steelers); RB Derrick Blaylock (New York Jets); DE Vonnie Holliday (Miami Dolphins).


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