Chiefs Officials Talk Draft

With the upcoming NFL Draft set for this Saturday and Sunday, Chiefs President Carl Peterson and V.P. of Player Personnel Lynn Stiles met with the media early this afternoon. It was their intent to talk exclusively about the upcoming NFL Draft but the media wanted to know about cornerback Patrick Surtain.

As these pre-draft press conferences generally go, we didn't learn much about the Chiefs plans in regards to which players they might draft this weekend. But that wasn't the media's agenda. They wanted to know where the Chiefs stood in their quest to acquire Patrick Surtain and they were relentless about it.

Carl Peterson was very clear this afternoon that no contractual deal has been made with Gary Uberstein the agent for Patrick Surtain. "The deal is not dead and it could (still) happen after the draft but we are still working on it," Peterson told reporters.

The interesting aspect of the conversation that differed from Peterson's statements on Monday night; that the Chiefs and Dolphins could strike a deal that does not involve any 2005 draft picks. He pointed out that even if the deal does not happen by Friday that they could still sign and trade for him next week. Peterson also made it clear that he would prefer not to trade the teams' second pick. However he did not rule it out either.

Even if they can reach a deal by Thursday and the Dolphins agree to compensation; Surtain still has to pass a physical and the NFL has to approve the contract. Regardless the Chiefs and Uberstein have yet to agree to a deal and that will dictate when things go to the next level.

The problem with Surtain for the Chiefs and the Dolphins remains the 2005 cap hit. He'll count $8.3 million against Miami's cap and if we don't sign him to a long term deal and trade for him straight up, then Kansas City would be strapped with finding a way to fit $6.5 million on this years cap. That can't happen.

Reading between the lines it was obvious to me that the Chiefs want to get this deal done as soon as possible. Granted they are playing a game of Chicken with Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban but they must move on a cornerback now and its either a rookie from the draft, Surtain or Ty Law.

We did learn that the Chiefs and the agent who represents Ty Law, Carl Poston are still talking about a contract that could bring the former Patriots cornerback to Kansas City. Those talks could intensify if the Surtain deal remains unresolved.

That might seem more plausible at this time considering the Surtain sweepstakes could include another couple of suitors, the Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders.

In other tidbits from the press conference, it appears to me the Chiefs could be trying to swing a trade that would result in acquiring a pair of draft picks by vaulting either Jerome Woods or Greg Wesley from the current roster on draft day. When I talked to a Chiefs official after the game and I posed that question, I didn't receive a denial but it's clear that Kansas City is not going to keep three starting safeties on the roster.

When I pushed the question even further and mentioned if they did trade one of their starting safeties could those picks satisfy the Dolphins. I received the same sort of response. That means I was probably pretty close to on the mark. Both questions were greeted with smiles and silence.

One player that everyone continues to talk about is linebacker Derrick Johnson from Texas. The Chiefs like him a lot and if the correct deal presented itself the Chiefs could move up into the Top Ten to draft Johnson. But all that depends on what happens in regards to trading one of the starting safeties. I don't think the Chiefs will trade their #2 and #1 to move up for DJ.

Speaking of trades Carl Peterson was shocked that the Washington Redskins gave the Denver Broncos as much as they did to gain another first round draft pick. "I wish the Redskins would have called me on that deal," said Peterson shaking his head.

On the local college front, Peterson and Stiles both were very high on Kansas State running back Darren Sproles. They like everything about him but neither of them feels that he'll be taken in the first day of the draft.

Lynn Stiles talked about Maryland linebacker Shawne Merriman. He along with Peterson and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham attended his workout at Maryland. Stiles and Cunningham felt that he'd be drafted as a defensive end and not a linebacker.

Other items of interest. Peterson indicated that linebacker Shawn Barber was making strong progress from his knee surgeries and he expected him back by training camp. He said that Scott Fujita would be fine and the surgery was simply to clean out the area and that is was nothing serious. He wasn't as optimistic about Mike Maslowski who is recovering from experimental knee surgery.


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