Chief Debate: Greg Wesley

My grandfather once told me if a man pays you for a day's worth of hard work, you should give him your all for that day of work. In the NFL, the same should apply to every player who straps on a helmet, but that doesn't always happen and there is a case to be made that Chiefs' safety Greg Wesley is that type of player.

Yesterday we talked about defensive end Jared Allen. Today we look at one of the most gifted safeties in the NFL - a hard hitter with a nose for the ball who plays hurt at times, but does he give it all he's got?

Herm Edwards told me last November that he felt Wesley could be an All-Pro someday, but required motivation. What? I'm sorry, but if I was making millions of dollars to play this game I wouldn't need any extra motivation.

Therein lies the problem with Wesley, one that is being debated inside Arrowhead Stadium.

The money isn't really an issue with Wesley. According to the NFLPA, he's set to earn $2.7 million for the Chiefs in 2007. The decision to keep Wesley on the roster doesn't really boil down to dollars, but rather common sense.

The Chiefs have already cut Sammy Knight. They will go into the offseason with Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page as the starting safety tandem. That leaves Wesley on the outside looking in.

It's a plan the Chiefs should stick with because Wesley might not fit with what Edwards is trying to instill in his players. His job is to teach everyone on the roster – regardless of how they got their uniform.

But those players - all of them - have to buy into the system. I'm not sure Wesley has done that, and that's too bad, because he has some game left and he might someday turn into an All-Pro. But right now he's not at that level.

To get there a player has to sacrifice and lead by example. When Wesley came out of Arkansas Pine-Bluff, he had a chip on his shoulder, and that fire helped him start 16 games as a rookie – the first defensive rookie in Kansas City to do it since Kevin Ross in 1984.

As a wide-eyed but talented rookie he snagged six interceptions, showing a playmaking ability that many in the organization thought someday would make him one of the game's best.

But six seasons later, Wesley hasn't grown much as a player. Physically, maybe he's not the same player he was seven years ago, but being in Kansas City for as long as he has – he should have become more of a leader in the locker room.

Two years ago he was in an altercation in Minneapolis during a break from two-a-days in River Falls. That sort of action doesn't garner any respect from your teammates, coaches or the fans.

As we look ahead to the 2007 season, it appears Wesley might be someone who could use a new NFL address.

There have been reports – despite some comments he made toward the end of last season – that he's really not interested in returning to Kansas City. Teams such as the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings have made inquiries about the availability of Wesley, but those have just been talks. How serious those rumors intensify might not be known up until the NFL draft next month.

According to someone inside Wesley's own camp, he has come to terms with the fact his playing days as a Chief are over. From what we were told, he would welcome a fresh start elsewhere and that might be best for everyone.

I just can't get over the fact he needs motivation from this coaching staff. That's a sign of a football player who is only willing to accept being average at his craft instead of striving to be one of the all-time greats at his position.

Wesley belongs on another roster where someone else can try and get the best out of him. It's time for the Chiefs to part ways with him.

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