Chiefs Release Jerome Woods

We first reported it was likely to happen on Wednesday evening, and the Kansas City Chiefs made it official when they cut former All-Pro safety Jerome Woods today.

The 10-year veteran safety spent his entire career in the Chiefs organization. The former 1996 first-round pick from Memphis had 15 career interceptions. He was one of the team's best tacklers, racking up 720 tackles to rank seventh in franchise history.

Woods signed a new contract after the 2004 season but became an almost permanent resident of the injured list. He never regained his 2003 Pro Bowl form and when the Chiefs signed free agent Sammy Knight before the start of the 2005 season, the writing was on the wall for Woods.

Last year, when he was healthy, he was relegated to special teams and never saw much playing time on defense. During that period, Woods clearly demonstrated a desire to play elsewhere.

In April, the Chiefs added a pair of safeties in the NFL draft by selecting Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page. When combined with the fact that Woods didn't want to play for Kansas City anymore, the decision to release him was best for the organization.

And so the Chiefs expedited his departure by officially releasing him on Thursday afternoon.

"It is always difficult to say goodbye to good football players and very fine people," said Chiefs president Carl Peterson. "Jerome Woods certainly fits into both of those categories. He was our number one draft choice in '96 and went on to serve as a starter for us for seven seasons. Jerome was a consummate professional both on and off the field. While injuries certainly curtailed his contributions in recent years, he earned a Pro Bowl berth following the 2003 season after missing all of 2002. We wish Jerome Woods and his family the very best in the future and we thank him for his contributions to the Kansas City Chiefs organization. As everyone knows, we drafted two young safeties this year, Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page, who will give us added depth behind our starters Sammy Knight and Greg Wesley."

Woods' 2004 contract was for six years, and he received a $5 million signing bonus, but under the new CBA agreement the Chiefs can use one of their two exemptions to spread his signing bonus out over the next two seasons. Without the exemption, the Chiefs would be forced to accelerate the signing bonus and it would count against the 2006 cap.

We don't know if the Chiefs used one of the exemptions, but it would make sense, especially if they're still looking for salary cap room to spend on Ty Law.

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