Notebook: Chiefs will retire Thomas' No. 18

Nick Barnett avoids a criminal conviction in 2007 case

Emmitt Thomas, a former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator, will have his No. 18 retired by the Kansas City Chiefs this season.

Thomas, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month, ranks ninth in NFL history with 58 interceptions. He played 13 seasons for the Chiefs, including as a rookie for the squad that lost to the Packers in Super Bowl I.

Thomas was the Packers' defensive coordinator in 1999 under the ill-fated Ray Rhodes regime. Rhodes, Thomas and offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis were the first all-black trio to hold the three critical positions on an NFL coaching staff.

He has been an assistant coach for the Falcons since 2002.

Barnett in the clear

Packers linebacker Nick Barnett successfully completed an agreement in which he will avoid a criminal conviction stemming from an altercation last year.

Barnett was charged with disorderly conduct in June 2007 after being arrested for allegedly knocking drinks out of the hands of two women at a bar in downtown Appleton and throwing one of the women's cell phones against a wall. Later, he allegedly threw a drink in the face of one of the women and knocked her to the floor.

Barnett entered a deferred-prosecution agreement that allowed him to reduce the charge to a civil ordinance violation if he avoided further trouble with the law.

By doing so, Barnett avoided a criminal conviction. He had to pay fines and costs worth $753.

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