Huard Gets His Chance

At the beginning of the month, I put together a list of 10 things the Chiefs must do in their attempt to win the AFC West next season. One of them was re-sign quarterback Damon Huard, and the Chiefs did just that yesterday.

Before we over analyze the signing and put our spin on what this means for the future of incumbent starter Trent Green, let's recognize that this was a well-planned move by the Chiefs organization.

Huard clearly showed he was capable of running KC's offense in 2006. He won more games than Green and displayed a leadership quality that not many thought he had.

He surprised his teammates, and if you asked some of the coaches early on in training camp last season, few would have given any indication he could run this offense as a wily veteran should.

By agreeing to a three-year deal reportedly worth $7.5 million, the Chiefs have all the insurance they need in the event Green is cut or Brodie Croyle isn't ready to be the man in 2007.

According to Huard, the Chiefs didn't promise him a chance to be the starter. I'm betting that conversation came up a few times with management, his agent and the coaches, however.

"I'm real excited about this," Huard told me Tuesday night. "I'm very happy."

The Chiefs now have an experienced backup in the event Green comes back, and someone who can also serve as a bridge until the Croyle takes over.

The good thing is that Huard won't need much time developing his own style if he is the man next year. He already has a grasp of the offense and his learning curve will be short when he begins offseason workouts next month in Kansas City.

"This makes so much sense for me," said Huard. "I already know the system. I love the city."

That brings us to Trent Green. What do the Chiefs do with him? With a cap hit of $9.2 million in 2007, common sense would indicate the Chiefs would like to restructure his contract.

According Jim Steiner, Green's agent, the Chiefs have not contacted Green about such an option. That could mean that the Kansas City brass has made up their minds about Green. He could be a cap casualty either on Thursday, or on June 1st when they can spread out the cap hit over 2007 and 2008.

Last year Green faltered down the stretch. He went 2-3 as a starter the last five games to end the regular season and his playoff performance against the Colts had everyone outside of the organization wondering if they'd seen the last of him in a Chiefs uniform.

The saddest part about aging players who have lost some of their skills is they are only remembered for their most recent past. To even further add insult to injury, there is always someone ready to take their job.

That appears to be the case in Kansas City. Huard might very well get his chance, even though many thought it would not be with the Chiefs.

Tomorrow: An exclusive one-on-one chat with Damon Huard.

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