I understand their frustration because I'm questioning it myself. From the outside looking in and that's where I stand; this deal makes sense. Outside of three NFL drafts in the Carl Peterson era only center Tim Grunhard and last years pick Kris Wilson have made an impact in the second round. I'm stretching it a bit on Wilson because I think his potential is outstanding. He'll be a difference maker in some games this season for the Chiefs.
Now I could bore you with some of the other picks in that time frame but it's quite candidly not worth it. Bottom line is a lot of them have failed. To the Chiefs defense, the entire NFL Draft is a crapshoot. You role the dice on each and every player you draft. There is a reason players like New England Quarterback Tom Brady fall to the sixth round. There is a reason that newly acquired defensive end Carlos Hall wasn't drafted until the seventh round. You just never know but the Chiefs have been snake-bitten when it comes to drafting in the early rounds; especially in the second round.
But this year, they can't afford to make any mistakes. Nor can they justify any more excuses in not acquiring Surtain before Saturday. The bottom line is Peterson and Gary Uberstein the agent for Patrick Surtain have both been diligently working on an agreement that would bridge the gap for a satisfactory contract to facilitate a trade with Miami. How close are they? Only two people really know for sure and that's the combatants in the negotiations.
Still in virtually every NFL circle that we scour for information; this deal still has a strong likelihood of happening. The main reason is the same one that I've hounded and pounded on in the past. The Dolphins can't afford to keep Surtain and his $8.3 million cap hit for 2005. They've been unable to renegotiate the contracts for defensive end Jason Taylor and linebacker Zach Thomas. They have managed to re-work several other veteran players like Junior Seau but it's nowhere near enough to create enough cap room to keep Surtain on the roster beyond Saturday morning. Without moving Surtain, how is Miami going to sign their 2005 draft picks.
What complicates that even further is the Dolphins are in serious negotiations with the Washington Redskins about shipping their two first round draft picks to Miami in exchange for the second overall pick. If that happens, they'll need even more cap money to sign two first round draft picks instead of one. But with that said the Redskins are also talking with the Cleveland Browns about moving up into the third slot, so that deal could go either way. The Redskins are eying Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards who in my opinion is the top player in this draft.
That leads us back to the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Surtain. In my opinion there is little doubt the Chiefs will draft a cornerback in the first round. Even if they sign Surtain they still need another young cornerback who can help them compete with their Pass-Happy AFC West division counterparts. There is no guarantee that Pac-Man Jones, Antrel Rolle or Carlos Rogers will be on the board at the 15th pick on Saturday afternoon.
In the last 24 hours the Chiefs have seen the Oakland Raiders make a pair of deals that have given them some extra draft picks. But with that said, I think the Raiders actually might have done the Chiefs a favor yesterday by sending cornerback Phillip Buchanon to the Texans for a pair of draft picks; a second and third round choice.
Honestly it was not the wisest of choices by Houston who have made their second blunder of the off-season. First they cut linebacker Jamie Sharper without trying to get any compensation for him and second they gave up a pair of good draft picks for a player who has questionable talent to begin with.
But he's also four years younger than Surtain; and his price was very affordable to the Texans cap both this year and in 2006. Some would say the Dolphins would jump all over that and say they want a similar package. But the difference is the Texans didn't have to give Buchanon a dime or give him a new contract; they are content to keep him on the roster for two years and let him go as a free agent when his contract expires. The Chiefs have to shell out a double-digit signing bonus at a minimum; plus sign Surtain to a long term contract. That's no easy feat in these circumstances.
So you really can't compare the two scenarios. That's why the Chiefs are holding strong in their efforts to only offer a 4th round draft pick for Surtain because of the money they would have to pay Surtain just to get to the point that a trade can be made with Miami.
Well that's a good strong stance especially when you consider that the Dolphins have little options left in regards to Surtain. The Arizona Cardinals have recently been rumored to be in the mix and so has division rival Oakland who made another trade last night sending tight end Doug Jolley to the New York Jets for the 26th pick in the first round.
Now that move does not indicate the Raiders interest in Surtain. Instead I think that move was made to try and draft a promising defensive lineman that could slide down to the end of the first round. Oakland needs even more defensive help than the Chiefs. But as long as cornerback Charles Woodson and his $10.5 million cap hit remain on the roster, trying to obtain Surtain would be a reach. Still you can never under-estimate Raiders owner Al Davis. He has his critics but he generally tries to shine on draft day and he would surprise no one if he found a home for Woodson on Saturday and then made a run for Surtain.
That means the Chiefs can't wait any longer. Granted the reluctance is to give up this year's second round pick and that has been the sticking point all along. But Peterson did indicate that this deal could be done that won't include a 2005 pick but instead a 2006 draft pick. That makes much more sense to me and I doubt that would have been said if not for the two sides talking about that option over the past couple of days.
Still the Dolphins are holding firm and contacted the Chiefs yesterday afternoon to tell them just that. Now the ball is really in the hands of Carl Peterson. It boils down to a simple yes or no if they are serious about upgrading this defense in 2005.
Do you take an unknown by drafting one of the top three cornerbacks or do you take an absolute in acquiring Surtain. The choice is clear. You do both.