Warpaint Roundtable – Offseason Edition XV

This week our crew tackles dancing safeties, cuts, rookie contracts and Napoleon Harris.

Will there be a dance off with the safeties and cornerbacks this year in training camp? I hear Morgan dances after big plays. Who was the other Chiefs player dancing in the locker room?

Nick Athan: I'm not sure anyone can top the moves of Bernard Pollard. He's always singing, laughing and can accurately throw a wet towel at another player from across the locker room. I've not seen Morgan dance, but in my opinion Pollard should worry about his starting job. Right now I give Morgan the edge to line up in the secondary against New England.

Michael Ash: I'm not sure if there are any good dancers among the cornerbacks. But considering the heated competition that's sure to exist between Morgan and Pollard during camp, any dance-off may be done Capoeira style (editor's note: a blend of martial art, game, and dance that originated in Brazil), with the defense forming a circle and the two safeties fighting within.

C.E. Wendler: I'm excited to attend training camp this year, because you know Morgan and Pollard are going to tear up the dancing scene at River Falls' nightclubs. Or at least, they'll dance in the one bar in the town that passes for a nightclub. OK, maybe two, but seriously folks, it's not exactly Los Angeles. Shouldn't be too difficult to run into a Chiefs safety busting a groove this August.

On a more serious note, I doubt Herm Edwards would permit any extravagant post-play dancing from anyone on his football team. And the other player dancing on Hard Knocks last preseason was cornerback Tyron Brackenridge.

Who are some of the potential cuts from other teams? What are the top three positions of need as we stand right now?

Nick Athan: It's way too early to look at possible cuts because training camp rosters aren't set, but some wily veterans will be cut before late July and into August that could help the Chiefs.

LeCharles Bentley could upgrade KC's line.
Matthew Stockman

As far as needs, I'd still take a look at a veteran wide receiver. Not Koren Robinson, but maybe an Eddie Kennison-type. The Chiefs have to look at linebacker depth as well. Lastly, there's a need for another defensive end. Tamba Hali, Turk McBride and rookie Brian Johnston are good, but I'm not sold on Alfonso Boone. He's too valuable inside, anyway.

Michael Ash: The Chiefs could always use more bodies on the offensive line. I'm still not thrilled that Adrian Jones appears to have the inside track at right guard, especially with a player like LeCharles Bentley available. Granted, his injuries are a concern, but he's a two-time Pro Bowler and was one of the most sought after free agents in the league when he signed with Cleveland. He's also made it clear that he wants to play guard.

As for potential cuts, I don't think there will be any significant ones. There are occasional surprises here and there, but most of the roster trimming over the next month will consist of fringe players who won't attend training camp.

C.E. Wendler: I go back to an old Herm Edwards quote. I don't have it verbatim, but basically Herm was talking about "name" players acquired through free agency. Teams will sign a guy with a big, flashy name – Hugh Douglas, for example – but he might not live up to his name.

Obviously you're not going to find anyone too flashy during pre-camp roster cutdowns, but there are always some veterans with recognizable names out there. Guess what? They're out there for a reason. Eddie Drummond was on the street last season for a reason, and he proved it game after game as a Chief last year.

Please tell me Napoleon Harris won't be the Chiefs starting middle linebacker!

Nick Athan: It's possible, because right now there isn't a clear-cut winner in the middle. I'd say only Derrick Johnson has his spot nailed down. Harris must accept the teachings of his new linebackers coach, Gunther Cunningham. If I were Cunningham, I might move Donnie Edwards to the middle, but Harris has plenty to prove in the coming months to be the guy come September.

Michael Ash: Given that the other option is Donnie Edwards, I think Harris will keep the job. I'm just not sure if Edwards is cut out to play the middle at this stage in his career.

Another week, another fan complaining about Napoleon Harris.
Jamie Squire

Remember the Packers game, when Brett Favre threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Greg Jennings, who ran right down the middle of the field? It was Edwards trailing the play, unable to keep up.

Obviously the Chiefs don't want their linebackers in that kind of matchup, but knowing how often the middle linebacker drops back into coverage in the scheme, future opponents would surely find ways to create the same kind of mismatch.

But who's to say Harris would have covered Jennings on that play? Generally speaking, however, he's younger and faster and should have a better chance at making those plays than an older player.

C.E. Wendler: I'm probably one of the few people who actually has a modicum of faith in Napoleon Harris. For half of last season he wasn't horrible in the middle, and the Chiefs had a statistically solid run defense. I say KC's best chance to have a top 10 defense is with Harris staying in the middle and fulfilling his potential. The other options aren't much to look at.

Is it just me, or are we signing players to shorter term contracts than usual? When's the last time we signed a sixth rounder for less than four years? Does a potentially uncapped year have anything to do with it?

Nick: The NFL determines that. But most of the teams do that for the later rounds because many players drafted low don't make the roster after three years. If you asked my opinion, I'd sign them to longer term deals in case they do pan out.

Michael Ash: I don't think the impending CBA changes will have much effect on the late-round picks. Herb Taylor, last year's sixth-round pick, signed a three-year contract just like Barry Richardson did. Brandon Carr signed a three-year deal, just like fellow fifth-rounder Kolby Smith.

On the other hand, Will Franklin signed a four-year contract, which is actually a longer length than some previous fourth-round picks (Jared Allen, Craphonso Thorpe) were signed to. In fact, it's longer than the contract Tank Tyler signed last year, and Tyler went in the third round. What that means, I honestly don't have any idea.

C.E. Wendler: I don't believe there's any noticeable difference from years past. You may be playing too much Madden football, where you can sign any draft pick to any length of contract you wish. Nice realism, EA Sports!

As for a potential uncapped year, the big effect there will come in free agency. I hear Al Davis is furiously investing in high-yield money markets and CDs as we speak. He's going to buy every future Javon Walker and Ty Law that hits free agency and build the ultimate team of overpaid Vegas champagne bombardiers. Just make headlines, baby!

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