Pre-Camp Notes: DJ Still Unsigned

The agent for Derrick Johnson Vann McElroy continues to talk with the Kansas City Chiefs about getting his premier client into training camp in short order. Depending on whom you talk with; that story on how long negotiations might last; remains one of the primary questions as Training Camp opens later today in River Falls, Wisconsin.

After 72 hours of negotiations, the Kansas City Chiefs appear to have a little distance to make up in contract talks with Derrick Johnson and his agent. But even more surprising is that fourth round draft pick Craphonso Thorpe and sixth round pick Khari Long remain unsigned at the start of training camp.

Generally second day draft picks are signed well before the start of camp but only the Indianapolis Colts have signed all of their picks as the rest of the NFL tries to play catch-up.

Thorpe is looking for a better deal and part of that could be based on the fact that if he was not injured, he would have been a first day draft selection and that might be at the heart of the issue in delaying his acceptance to a contract. Thorpe is expected to compete for one of the back-up slots at wide receiver.

Long, who is also represented by Vann McElroy, was expected to be a back-up defensive end/linebacker in the mold of a Gary Stills this season. He had a solid spring and I expect that he'll be signed shortly.

A pair of veterans will return to the practice field today. Linebackers Mike Maslowski and Scott Fujita are expected to participate in the afternoon session today.

Maslowski who has been working very hard to comeback from an experimental knee surgery could give the defense a huge boost if he can return to his old form. But that could be a tall order to say the least for Maz who has not played since November of 2003.

Fujita has been cleared by Chiefs doctors and he'll be in a dogfight to retain his starting spot with rookie Derrick Johnson and second year man Keyaron Fox. This is a good problem for the Chiefs to have at the onset of training camp. Poor linebacker play a year ago was one of the primary deficiencies of this defense and with Maz and Fujita back in the mix those fortunes could change dramatically.

There is no real update in the Ty Law road show that seemed to halt in Detroit. Law has not made an official visit to New York to meet with the Jets but that could happen this weekend. Kansas City still has an interest in signing Law but reports out of Detroit claim the workout that spurned so much interest in Law's services; did not go very well.

Clearly Law is not ready for a full scale workout and until that happens don't expect the Chiefs to make him a contract offer until they are 100% convinced he'll be ready to start the regular season September 11th against the New York Jets.

Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated for the best Kansas City Chiefs coverage live from River Falls, Wisconsin.

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