Shields Not on the List of Chiefs Cuts

On Thursday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs were rumored to be releasing All-Pro guard Will Shields in a move that will save the team nearly $7 million on the 2006 salary cap. However, Warpaint Illustrated has learned that that might not be case. We have the details on Shields and the other veterans on the chopping block.

Updated 4:25 PM Central Time We've confirmed that Will Shields will not be cut from the Chiefs and the two sides are expected to work out a new deal!

The team also released linebacker Gary Stills and three more defensive players including cornerback Eric Warfield, Dexter McCleon and linebacker Shawn Barber. In addition Warpaint Illustrated has learned that guard/tackle Chris Bober could also be a cap casualty today though that's not confirmed.

The move to release Shields was not a surprise. As we first told you last week, Warpaint Illustrated confirmed with a Chiefs official that it was 95% certain Shields would have to accept a lower salary to remain on the team.

Though the two sides could not come to a deal before today to resolve their financial impasse, his agent Joe Linta confirmed to that Shields does intend to play for someone in 2006 and would not rule out a return to the Chiefs in the very near future.

"Will Shields will play this year, hopefully with the Chiefs but certainly with someone," his agent told us on Thursday afternoon. "Will Shields has never missed a game in his 13 years of service with the team."

With the negotiations breaking down on a new CBA that would extend the labor agreement between the NFL and the owners, teams will be forced to cut numerous veterans on Thursday in an effort to get down to the league mandated $94.5 salary cap.

The Chiefs are expected to release several more veterans today and one of them could include running back Priest Holmes. Warpaint Illustrated has confirmed through a Chiefs official that the sides are trying to work out a contract that would indeed secure the services of the Holmes at a salary more in line for a back up running back.

Warpaint Illustrated also confirmed two weeks ago that Warfield would be cut. McCleon had been a favorite of former Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil but he did not fit into the teams plans for 2006.

Linebacker Shawn Barber who has been working out in Florida and appears to be 100% healthy now, could return to the Chiefs.

One player who won't be cut is linebacker Kendrell Bell who has agreed to restructure his contract to remain on the team in 2006 and beyond.

For Shields and his agent they could enter some unfamiliar waters if they can't get a new deal done with the Chiefs.

"Will understands the landscape of the NFL without a CBA and it's disappointing that his career with the Chiefs went this way now," his agent Joe Linta told on Thursday.

His agent did confirm that Shields is still very interested in rejoining the Chiefs as the two sides are expected to continue talks throughout the day. President Carl Peterson is in New York but is expected to try and get a deal done today.

Per our source inside the organization the Chiefs are hopeful that they can sign Shields to a two-year deal that would secure his services though the 2007 NFL season.

The release of Stills means the teams all-time leader in special teams tackles has been let go and Kansas City could look for a special teams standout in free agency, which is set to begin tonight at 12:01 eastern time.

Another player who had been rumored to be cut was tackle/guard John Welbourn but he appears to be safe for now. The offensive lineman has one year left on his deal and it's likely that Welbourn will stay now that Shields has been released. Even if Sheilds returns, Welbourn could play right tackle for the team in 2006.

It's also very likely that Welbourn who was promised a new deal when he was traded two years ago from the Eagles to the Chiefs could get a new contract in the very near future.

Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated for more news on the Chiefs cuts throughout the day. Top Stories