Chiefs Want Harrington, But At What Price?

On Tuesday, the official Joey Harrington sweepstakes will begin. Will the Kansas City Chiefs make a run at the soon to be former Detroit Lion quarterback? Warpaint Illustrated has the answers.

It's been an incredibly slow off-season for the Kansas City Chiefs. To date, they've only added former Denver Broncos running back Quentin Griffin and Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ron Edwards. Both are good moves for the price, but not exactly the stellar run of talented players that fans hoped management would have signed nearly one month into the free agency period.

It should be noted that the Chiefs have flirted with some free agents, most notably defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, who re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks and cornerback Will Allen, who ultimately signed with the Miami Dolphins. The Chiefs' efforts have mostly come up short, but they hope to change that in the near future.

The most recent name on the Chiefs' list is current Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington. Harrington isn't a free agent, but Kansas City has been in touch with the Lions about a potential trade package that would bring Harrington to the Chiefs. As soon as it was announced that the Lions no longer had plans for their former starting quarterback, the Chiefs immediately surfaced as the front-runner.

The feeling is definitely mutual. Warpaint Illustrated has learned that the Chiefs are in fact the team that Joey Harrington would prefer to join. That's great news for Chiefs fans. However, in preliminary contract talks with Harrington's agent David Dunn, which have already commenced, it appears the Chiefs initial financial offers have been less than satisfying to the Harrington camp. Not so great news.

Though Kansas City is his first choice; as many as seven teams are now trying to lure Joey Harrington onto their prospective rosters. At this stage of the off-season, there are no starting jobs available. The last was taken when former New Orleans Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks signed a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. Still, Harrington and his agent understand Harrington's value, and won't settle for a low ball deal simply because there aren't any starting jobs THIS season.

Harrington is going to start visiting teams beginning this Tuesday, and though the Chiefs are hoping to get a one on one with him; but as of this writing they have not scheduled a visit.

Harrington's next team could be a shock to Chiefs fans, according to sources close to his camp. We believe that two other AFC West teams are interested in Harrington; one being the Raiders and the other being the San Diego Chargers, who are looking for someone to back up incumbent starter Phillip Rivers.

For the Chargers, the interest makes perfect sense. Harrington would make a great insurance policy if Rivers can't get it together in time for the start of the season. On the flip side, it could be a blow to his confidence if the team brings in a player of Harrington's stature to the team. The Raiders did just sign Brooks, but it was only a two year deal-not exactly a huge vote of confidence. Still, it would be foolish for them to add another high profile quarterback, especially when they have a huge hole to fill at cornerback.

Other teams that we've been able to confirm that have shown an interest in Harrington include the Miami Dolphins, the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs don't like bidding wars, but could find themselves embroiled in one if they are careful. Still, Chiefs fans shouldn't panic. If Kansas City really wants Harrington, they will part with the late round draft pick necessary to make the Lions happy, and they will find a way to show him the money.

At this point, anything is possible and certainly everything is up in the air. The Chiefs are still in the game, but need to convince Joey Harrington that he will be their future at the quarterback position when Trent Green finally hangs up his cleats.

The primary goal for the Chiefs this off-season was to get younger and with Harrington in the fold, Kansas City won't have to spend a draft pick on a young quarterback. The 2006 draft class is very light on strong quarterback prospects. Only a three sure-fire quarterbacks are available in the first round: USC's Matt Leinart, Vanerbilt's Jay Cutler and Texas Longhorn Vince Young. All of those guys will be likely be gone once the Chiefs get their shot.

The Chiefs don't have a very good history of drafting and developing quarterbacks, anyway, so it would be easy to see why they have such a keen interest in Harrington. The finest quarterbacks in Chiefs history have all been acquired either through free agency or by a trade. Harrington has all the tools to be a successful quarterback, all he needs is a second chance to show that he isn't the bust that he's been made out to be.

The only question now is the color of the jersey he'll be wearing when he gets that chance.

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