Q: I was wondering how contract talks are going with the following players: Larry Johnson, Jared Allen, Dwayne Bowe, Turk McBride, Tank Tyler, Justin Medlock, Herb Taylor?
CI: I think Larry Johnson will be in training camp. From what we've heard the gap between dollars offered and dollars wanted is less than it was when contract talks began. That's good news. Now, if a recent rumor about Priest Holmes wanting to make a serious run at resuming his career are true, those numbers could go the wrong way for LJ. If Holmes shows up in River Falls and is medically cleared to play, the Chiefs have more leverage.
Jared Allen is in the best shape of his career and he's settled down a bit since the contract talks hit a sour opening note. If he comes back and plays well after his extension, Carl Peterson will negotiate a fair long-term contract with Allen – despite the fact he has an agent who is in over his head.
As far as the rest of the draft picks, I can't see any of them being late for training camp. Even Dwayne Bowe, who is being represented by Ethan Locke's agency.
Q: I saw that the Chiefs released quarterback Omar Jacobs. Does this mean Casey Printers is the third-team quarterback and will make the club?
CI: It seems like Printers has that spot locked up. I never quite saw the reason to sign Jacobs. He had virtually no shot at making the final roster or surviving the first cut. I would not be surprised, however, if he makes the practice squad come September.
Q: With Brian Moorman signing a new contract with the Bills, are the Chiefs going to give punter Dustin Colquitt a contract extension to keep him from hitting restricted free agency next year? Or do you see him signing a long-term deal with the Chiefs?
CI: Funny you should ask that question, because as you know Dustin Colquitt is going to be contributing a weekly blog this season for Warpaint Illustrated. He knows what's at stake this year and he loves Kansas City. This is a match made in heaven and one that will get him a new contract well before Colquitt hits the open market.
Q: I was listening to the new Podcast earlier and I have to say I like what I heard in segment #1 about the chemistry in the locker room. I feel it resembles a championship-caliber team. Based on what you've seen so far, do you think Herm is the coach to get us over the hump and actually bring us a championship? Do you expect him to end his career in Kansas City?
CI: I do. I like Herm Edwards immensely. He's been good for this franchise. He brings much-needed energy to a team that had some players who were a bit full of themselves. They were talented, but sometimes the best thing to do is blow it up and rebuild.
That's what Edwards has done in a very short period of time. I've never seen the locker room as it is now, where it's actually fun to be in and banter with the players a bit. Everyone likes one another and that is the first step in building a team that can win a division title. If that happens in 2007 or 2008, I believe Edwards can get the Chiefs into the big game. If Clark Hunt is patient with him, he will eventually lead them to a Super Bowl.
I think Edwards' tenure in Kansas City could be similar to the one Bill Cowher had in Pittsburgh. They are similar coaches and have the same philosophy. I believe Edwards, in the end, will have a far better grasp of offensive football than Cowher – who really struggled with that his entire career.
If Edwards' teams will score more points than some believe. I base that on the fact his defense will score points and set his offense up in good field position. I think you'll see his defense double their turnover ratio in the next year or two.
Right now Edwards has the makings of a top 10 Defense this year, and I believe it will be a top five unit by 2008 (if they can develop some young cornerbacks). I think Herm understands what has to be done long term.
He's building this team one section at a time on both sides of the ball. I think Hunt will probably extend his contract after this year if he gets the Chiefs back into the playoffs.
And yes, I believe this will be the last place Edwards will be a head coach. He's come home to his coaching roots in Kansas City and I believe he'll get it done.
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