Where Will He Play?

The Chiefs may be planning on Trent Green being their starting quarterback in 2007, but that doesn't mean they're counting on it.

If signing Damon Huard to a three-year, $7.5 million deal -- as the Chiefs did Tuesday -- means anything, it means Kansas City is at least willing to consider the possibility that Huard, who replaced Green for eight games in 2006 and compiled much better numbers, could see the field next season.

Green, after all, will be 37 years old in July and is coming off a severe concussion that seemed to remove some of his timing and produced signs of nervousness in the pocket.

Huard is three years younger, and though no one has ever accused him of being more talented than Green, seems to be more comfortable in the Chiefs' Herm Edwards-induced run-run-pass offensive philosophy. Huard is far too advanced in his career to be a franchise quarterback, but he could serve as a bridge between Green and 2006 third-round draft pick Brodie Croyle, who the Chiefs hope will become a starter at some point.

Croyle clearly is not ready for that role yet. He attempted just seven passes in his rookie season. Three were complete. Two were intercepted.

Huard has said all along that he wants to play, meaning his willingness to sign again with Kansas City indicates that he believes he'll have a chance to do so. Though the $7.5 million is a huge upgrade for a guy who was a No. 3 until last season, his performance in 2006 when he threw 11 touchdowns, one interception and compiled the NFL's No. 2 passer rating would have gotten him comparable financial offers in the open market, though most likely as a backup.

There are rumors floating around Kansas City that the Chiefs are shopping Green, which wouldn't be an altogether disastrous idea considering the Chiefs are trying to get younger and may lose two of their starting offensive linemen Will Shields and Casey Weigmann to retirement anyway.

But Green is due to make $7 million this season, meaning the Chiefs would be hard pressed to get equal value. It also means cutting Green may be out of the question.

CHIEFS NOTES:
--Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen says he wants to be paid or traded.

And if it was only about the play on the field, Jared Allen might get his raise.

But with Allen, a restricted free agent who recently served two days in jail for his second DUI conviction, it's about more than that. The Chiefs' fourth-year defensive end, who led the team in fumble recoveries last year, was second in sacks and made more than one All-Pro team (though not the Associated Press's or the NFL Pro Bowl) is a good player, and an ascending one who makes plays all over the field and is one of the most popular players on the team.

But the DUIs have stripped Allen of much of his leverage. For one, he will be suspended by the NFL at the start of next season, though the length of the suspension has not been determined. Secondly, he hasn't demonstrated that he can stay out of trouble.

--Chiefs guard Will Shields said he will let the team know as soon as possible whether he will retire this year.

Shields, a 12-time Pro Bowl selection, has contemplated retirement for the last couple of years. He said he won't drag his decision out until training camp, as friend and former teammate Willie Roaf did last season.

--Shields will join Atlanta's Alge Crumpler, Tampa Bay's Shelton Quarles and New England's Ben Watson in an NFL-USO tour of the Persian Gulf.

The program began in 1966.

--One of the rumors that has spread through Kansas City is the Miami Dolphins' interest in QB Trent Green, though no one from either organization has commented. The Dolphins recently released quarterback Joey Harrington.

To date, the Dolphins haven't made a solid offer for his services, but that could change on Tuesday when Green and Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Carl Peterson are expected to sit down for the first time since the season ended at Indy.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The way Willie (retired) is wasn't the right way or the wrong way." -- Chiefs G Will Shields, on former teammate Willie Roaf's training camp retirement announcement last season.

CHIEFS PERSONNEL NOTES:
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:
--OT Jordan Black battled to replace the retired Willie Roaf at the left tackle position, but he is probably best on the right side where he can get help from a tight end. Still, his versatility and his willingness to play both sides make him a player the team wants to retain. However, on Friday he was being courted across the state by the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are interested in playing Black at Guard. Another team that would like to get him under contract is the Pittsburgh Steelers who were hoping he'd visit this weekend.

--RB Dee Brown was a little-used No. 3 runner behind Larry Johnson and backup Michael Bennett, but could have a spot here if Bennett continues to be unavailable because of nagging injuries. The Chiefs are in the market for a back-up.

--DT Ron Edwards came in and won a starting spot in a weak interior core, and will be welcomed back at a reasonable price. But Edwards spent the day in Cleveland on Friday in hopes of getting a deal with the cap friendly Browns.

--LS Kendall Gammon has a spot here for as long as he wants to play. However the Chiefs likely won't offer him a contract until they address other team needs along the offensive and defensive line.

--LB Kawika Mitchell has made tremendous progress in developing as a middle linebacker in pass coverage and a team leader. Probably won't be as welcomed anywhere else in the league as he is here, but the price will have to be right. So far the two side are far apart on dollars as Mitchell is receiving heavy interest from the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions.

--DT James Reed won a starting spot in his first year in Kansas City, but the Chiefs need more production than he provided. Has a place here, though, as a reserve.

--CB Lenny Walls didn't have a lot of impact in his first year, and he likely won't command a lot of attention on the market. He has a solid backer in secondary coach David Gibbs, but the Chiefs spent considerable time at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combines scouring the list of second tier cornerbacks that could be available in April's NFL draft. That does not bode well for Walls return to the Chiefs.

--DE Jimmy Wilkerson has the ability to play both inside and outside, which gives him a place, most likely as a backup, on a team struggling to patch holes on the defensive line.

--FB Ronnie Cruz (not tendered as ERFA) was slated to be the starting fullback until he went down with a knee injury. He's welcomed here, but the team is looking at other options, including TE Kris Wilson and possibly LB Boomer Grigsby.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:
--DE Jared Allen (tendered at $2.35M with 1st- and 3rd-round picks as compensation) should get a long-term deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2008. His pass rush from the right end spot is the best Kansas City has seen since Derrick Thomas. As noted the Allen has yet to sign a tender but one team, the Atlanta Falcons, might bring him in for a visit despite the fact they'd have to give up a 1st and 3rd round draft pick if the Chiefs failed to match any offer sheet.

--LB Keyaron Fox (tendered at $850,000 with 3rd-round pick as compensation) may get one more year to advance from prospect to player, something he has yet to do despite being given his chances.

--WR Samie Parker (tendered at $850,000 with 4th-round pick as compensation) hasn't shown enough as a starter to merit a long-term deal and might not make the team next season if the Chiefs can add a veteran wide receiver in the coming weeks.

--OT Kevin Sampson (tendered at $850,000 with 7th-round pick as compensation) has had two seasons when he's been given a chance to start, but has been unable to stay healthy. He was tendered and will be given one more chance.

--CB Benny Sapp (tendered at $850,000 with no compensation) is a productive reserve and nickel candidate with a pass-rush upside.

--LB Rich Scanlon (tendered at $850,000 with no compensation) is one of the team's most productive special teams players and has a spot.

--K Lawrence Tynes (tendered at $850,000 with no compensation) appears to be the kicker of the near-term despite a breakdown in the playoff loss to the Colts.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS:
--LB Kris Griffin will be given another shot, but is running out of time.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--TE Tony Gonzalez: Potential UFA; $30.5M/5 yrs.
--QB Damon Huard: Potential UFA; $7.5M/3 yrs.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

PLAYERS LOST: None.

Warpaint Illustrated contributed to this report.

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