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No Mistake This Time … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

There’s one name to keep in mind when it comes to the situation between the Chiefs and Jarrad Page, their unsigned restricted free agent safety: Bernard Pollard.

Wondering why the Chiefs don’t cancel their tender offer to Page and allow him to find another place to work? Bernard Pollard.

It is unlikely there would ever be a public confirmation of the mistake the Chiefs made in slicing Pollard last season as part of the final cutdown before the regular season. But, bet on the fact that internally the organization knows that situation wasn’t handled very well.

They dropped a young player who had been a starter and got nothing for him in return. Pollard landed with the Texans where he became a starter and a key player for the Houston defense. Let’s remember that the Texans finished the season with a 9-7 record, quite a bit ahead of the 4-12 season put up by the Chiefs. It wasn’t like there was a major improvement in the Chiefs defensive production with Pollard out of the lineup and Mike Brown in at one of the starting safety spots.

Don’t get me wrong, Bernard Pollard was not an All-Pro safety in 2008 or 2009. He’s not a player without flaws. But releasing him without compensation was a bad decision by the Chiefs. Releasing him and not replacing him with a better player was a bad decision by the Chiefs.

That brings us to Page. It’s quite obvious that he does not fit the Chiefs future on defense. He didn’t fit last year when he lost his starting job to Jon McGraw. There’s no question that the head coach and player had their differences in the time when Page was still on the roster and not moved to the injured-reserve list with a calf problem.

But the Chiefs protected themselves with Page by giving him a tender offer back in February that made him a restricted free agent. The signing period for RFAs came and went and Page did not receive any offers. The NFL Draft came and went and the Chiefs were unable to package him up in a deal with another team.

 That there’s not a great demand for Page’s services should not come as a surprise; again, we are not talking about an All-Pro level safety. But any NFL team that might be interested in him is sitting back and figuring the Chiefs will at some point simply dump Page, much as they did Pollard. Why give up a draft choice, even a conditional pick for a player when he could be free tomorrow?

Bet on this fact: there’s one man waiting for Page to become available: former Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham (left). Remember earlier this year when Gun was quoted as saying he was waiting for his former team to continue releasing familiar names. One of those Cunningham would like to see on the waiver wire is his former safety.

What we have here is a Mexican standoff. There’s no reason for Page to sign the tender offer at this point, and even if he did decide to ink the deal, it wouldn’t mean anything other than committing him to the Chiefs for that number. There’s no reason for the Chiefs to withdraw the tender at this time; there’s always a chance that an opportunity to get something for Page may come up, although the odds are long.

A divorce is needed, but both sides are concerned about looking bad with the breakup, so they are putting off what is inevitable – Page will play for somebody else in 2010 and the Chiefs will move on. In fact, they already have. They just need to make it official.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE DRAFT PICKS

The Chiefs are one of 13 teams that has not signed any of their 2010 draft choices. No big deal there, since most of these deals don’t fall together and get finalized until he week before the start of training camp. Last year, half of the Chiefs draft choices signed the week that camp started, with first-rounder DE Tyson Jackson getting his deal done a week into camp.

Joining the Chiefs with no signed draft choices are Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Oakland in the AFC, and Arizona, Dallas, Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans and St. Louis in the NFC. The team with the most draft choices signed is Philadelphia, as the Eagles have inked 10 of their 13 picks. Chicago has signed all five of their picks and Pittsburgh has eight of their 10 under deals.

It’s all so silly because things are pretty basic once one gets out of the first round. Most teams are signing players to four-year contracts, although the Steelers seem to like signing their guys to three-year deals. Take the minimum salaries for each season and years of experience (rookie $320,000, second-year $405,000, third-year $490,000 and fourth-year $575,000) and that totals $1,790,000. What’s left to negotiate are some pretty common escalator clauses and the signing bonus. That’s where the slotting system comes in, as teams aim to have their bonus offer land somewhere between what the team ahead of them paid and what the team behind shelled out.

Let’s take 5th-found choice S Kendrick Lewis. The players ahead and behind Lewis have already signed their contracts – CB Dominique Franks in Atlanta and CB Perish Cox in Denver. Based on the bracketing from those deals, Lewis will sign a four-year contract worth just short of $2 million, with a signing bonus in the $200,000 range.

In the third round, the player taken before G Jon Asamoah has a deal; Tampa Bay signed S Myron Lewis to a 4-year, $2.72 million deal with a $930,000 signing bonus. Asamoah’s deal should roll in at something just under those totals.

Right now here are 79 of the 255 draft choices committed to contracts.

NFL PERSONNEL & NEWS FILE FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 17

  • NFL – the league penalized both the Jaguars and Lions by eliminating the remainder of their OTA practices because they violated league rules on these sessions. Jacksonville is out two practices on Monday and Tuesday, while Detroit also lost two dates. They join Baltimore and Oakland as teams that have been disciplined for their tenor and length of their off-season workouts.
  • BRONCOS – signed 3rd-round draft choice C J.D. Walton to a 4-year, $2.588,000 contract with a $798,500 signing bonus – he’s already working with Denver’s No. 1 offensive line; released FB Kyle Eckel and DL Jaron Baston – Eckel was added two weeks ago and was released injured, while Baston was a two-year starter at Mizzou.
  • BROWNS – released K Shaun Suisham, RB Thomas Brown, OT Jason Capizzi, LB Auston English, WR James Robinson, DB Ramzee Robinson, RB John Bowe and DB Benjamin Burney – Suisham previously kicked for the Redskins, Capizzi was with the Chiefs and Steelers, Bowie put in time with the Raiders, the rest are undrafted rookie free agents.
  • DOLPHINS – signed ILB Tim Dobbins to a 2-year contract extension.
  • EAGLES – released CB Devin Ross – an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Arizona.
  • PANTHERS – signed 6th-round draft choice DE Greg Hardy to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – at Ole Miss, hardy struggled his senior season; signed 6th-round draft choice DB Jordan Pugh to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – at Texas A&M, he played both CB and S and Carolina sees him as a free safety; released RB Daniel Porter, TE Andrew George, K Aaron Pettrey, P Blake Haudan, DB Matt O’Hanlon and OT Mark Ortmann – all were undrafted rookie free agents.
  • RAVENS – signed S Ken Hamlin – veteran DB was released after last season by the Cowboys. He’s insurance for Ed Reed and the chance the All-Pro safety doesn’t play in ’10; released S Ashton Hall, S Brad Jones, CB Courtney Smith, LB John Fletcher and G Daniel Sanders – undrafted rookie free agents that were found wanting.
  • SEAHAWKS – agreed to terms with 4th-round draft choice DE E.J. Wilson to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – out of North Carolina, he provides some bulk for the Seattle front seven.
  • TITANS – signed 6th-round draft choice QB Rusty Smith to a 4-year contract, terms undisclosed – dealt with injuries the past two seasons at Florida Atlantic after being conference player of the year in ’07.

20 Responses to “No Mistake This Time … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • June 18, 2010  - Anonymous says:

    IF we still had page and pollard, we could have gone elsewhere with our 1 pick…the names tank and turk come to mind while on the subject. I hear tank is supposed to start in carolina this year.


  • June 18, 2010  - Jake says:

    ^^Why would we have wanted to go elsewhere with our #1 pick, a guy light years better than either Page or Pollard could ever dream of being?


  • June 18, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Players switch teams. Players get unhappy for whatever reason, and want to go elsewhere. Money. Contracts. They come…they go. It’s just a fact of life in the NFL. Next year, it will be someone else. And it’s not like it only happens to the Chiefs. There are situations like this on most teams. Certainly no reason to get your Fruit of the Loom’s in a wad. Especially in this case…over a couple of fairly average DB’s.


  • June 18, 2010  - el cid says:

    It is more of a case of defense not matching players. And that is my issue with the switch to the 3-4, the Chief’s defensive roster was full of guys who could not contribute to a 3-4. But we are in it for real and those guys who could not adapt are gone or will be going. Still, all in all, it seems like a huge waste of years to switch to something you do not have the players to achieve.


  • June 18, 2010  - Anon says:

    I don’t understand how releasing Pollard can be considered a mistake? So he played well for another team. That’s no indication he would have played well for the Chiefs. So the Chiefs got nothing in return for him. He was cut right before the season started – they kept him as long as they could. What more could the Chiefs have done with a player they didn’t want?


  • June 18, 2010  - el cid says:

    I will keep it simple. Releasing Pollard was not the mistake, not evaluating him properly and deciding he had some value, as in draft picks, was the mistake. Not many teams can be successful in the LONG run by just cutting guys who do not fit. If they can play in the NFL, get something for them. Otherwise you really discount your draft and how you need to build a team.


  • June 18, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Problem with that is…teams are not going to give anything for players that are likely to be cut. I’m sure Pollard was “shopped” before being released. And I’m sure Page has been, too. But, the fact that Pollard sat unemployed for nearly three weeks tells you that there was no interest. Nobody wanted him for free, until Houston finally took a chance…and it seems to be working out for them. Good for them. Good for him.


  • June 18, 2010  - Sean says:

    Bob you always keep it real!! In my opinion Pollard was better than Page. I would love to see the Chiefs put someone else out there (especially since we actually have a few decent players at the position now). Anyone can miss tackles and blow coverage assignments so why coddle Page?


  • June 18, 2010  - Mark says:

    Pollard indeed did play at an all pro level in 2009, and he should have been in the pro bowl. He was the main ingredient in turning around the Teaxan’s D after a dreadful first 3 games against the run.
    It was a big mistake to cut him, even if he and Clancy couldn’t get along. That’s on the Coach. Pollard had never been an attitude problem and was becoming a leader. Even at his inconsistent worst, He was light years better than Mike Brown, PLUS he was a tremendous special teamer, even when he was struggling on D. It was just a bad decision by the Chiefs. Page doesn’t have Pollard’s upside to come back and haunt us, but it would still be a mistake to dump him for nothing.


  • June 18, 2010  - RW in the ATL says:

    Pollard had a knack for making plays on the punt defense team and was always around the ball or, as Brady will attest, the QB on the blitz packages. This was a skill set sorely needed in 2009 so I’ll leave it there.

    I’m assuming he was released for an attitude problem and if that was the case, I can understand it in terms of not wanting to run the risk of having it infect others on the team. Pollard, or Page for that matter, never struck me as those kinds of guys but that’s only an opinion voiced from afar and one not privy to the inner workings of the team or its locker room.

    But, it’s like life in general. Some people you can work with, work for and there are a few you just cannot. Why is a NFL franchise any different?


  • June 18, 2010  - Xalvion says:

    Allow me to address a couple of points that have been made here:

    On changing to the 3-4 without the proper personel: How on earth would you ever change schemes if you don’t go through that transition period? You’d be stuck with the same defensive philosophy forever.

    On getting something for Page: Here’s the simple truth. Any team interested in him will just wait to see if they get him for nothing. It would be different if this was a game-changing-caliber player (see McNabb, Donovan or Marshall, Brandon). THEN, you might see teams getting antsy that another organization would make a deal and snatch their coveted player from under their nose, prompting something to get done. But when it’s someone like Pollard or Page (the “useful-but-not-critical” level player), why “spend” assets for him when the downside is merely losing out on a guy who’s not critical in the first place? Every team gets an opportunity to acquire talent released from other organizations (the Chiefs included) for precisely this reason. And SOMEtimes, those pick-ups turn out sweet for the new team. Fact of life. Deal.


  • June 18, 2010  - Big Al says:

    Getting nothing for a player who becomes a contributer elsewhere happens in the NFL. Last year the Chiefs got two starters, Ryan O’Callaghan and Chris Chambers, “for nothing”–are the Patriots and Chargers weak franchises because of it? I’d still like to see the Chiefs keep Page–at 25 he’d be the veteran starter in the Chiefs defensive backfield. Too bad it can’t happen. Note to Jerry–Brian Waters is actually one of Dick Vermeil’s guys. He converted him from bakcup tight end to all pro guard.


  • June 18, 2010  - SG says:

    “BRONCOS – signed 3rd-round draft choice C J.D. Walton to a 4-year, $2.588,000 contract with a $798,500 signing bonus – he’s already working with Denver’s No. 1 offensive line;”

    This will be an interesting base for comparing…since we took Asamoah in the Draft after getting Casey back from the Donks (never shoulda been allowed to go).


  • June 18, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Jerry, Brian Waters was not one of Herm’s guys… Alberts, Flowers, Pollard, Page, Leggett, Carr, Dorsey were all Herm’s guys, plus Croyle, Charles, Battle, Savage, Bowe and even McGraw, whom Herm drafted, came over after the Jets let him go. Kinda crazy, how after 2 years a lot of the starting players are still herm’s players…

    Page still is a commodity, there are teams out there that will grab him as soon as the Chiefs drop him, hoping he can turn out like Pollard did for the Texans


  • June 18, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Page is a good player he was on the ascend not descend, he was a young guy who I am sure got cursed at like a dog. I’m not sure if Jarred is married and has children but alot of these guys are heads of their house holds and, no grown man deserves to be talked to like that unless he did something criminal. Is it common, I’m sure it is. I know Parcells dressed down his men quite often but that doesn’t make it right. I get it this isnt’ peewee football here but these are college graduates for the most part who are educated at a higher level. Passion is one thing but completely melting down and losing ones composure is another. I dont think Haley is Hitler or anything I just think he had too much pressure on him last year comming from the Super Bowl to the head of a franchise at the very bottom in a what have you done for me lately league, not having any time to throw a staff together and to work with what he could. Haley was a reciever coach and they wouldn’t catch very catchable balls last year. How could you forget your playing for millions to hang on to the rock when it gets close to you? I think its when the guy your accountable to explodes at random. I think Todd finally relaxed towards the end of the season but still has alot to show in the way of bieng a professional.


  • June 18, 2010  - ED says:

    The Texans finish with a better record than the Chiefs because they had much more talent than the Chiefs last yr not because they had Pollard. To make the comparison is ridiculous Bob. Come on now. In 2008 the finished 8 and 8 while we were 2 and 14. Yeah we didn’t get much for Pollard who cares Berry will end up being a better safety in the long run anyways.

    As for Page I mean might as well just release him to. IF their isn’t much of a market for Atogwe for former Rams safety who is an even better player than Page. Their definately isn’t going to be a market for Page. Even though I think Page can be a solid safety in the league I doubt if we get anything for him. With the fact that most people know he’s going to get cut anyways because of the direction we went in the draft.


  • June 19, 2010  - Sean says:

    @ Jerry:

    Brian Waters wasn’t a Herm guy. Gun guy I believe? Wow.


  • June 20, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Berry has yet to play a game!! I wish everyone would stop with the “he is going to be a great safety crap” until he becomes a great safety in the NFL. The chiefs are still only practicing with their receivers and QB’s, he hasn’t played against Peyton Manning yet…


  • June 20, 2010  - tbonz says:

    “June 18, 2010 – Anonymous says:
    IF we still had page and pollard, we could have gone elsewhere with our 1 pick…the names tank and turk come to mind while on the subject. I hear tank is supposed to start in carolina this year.’

    Yikes, you don’t know much about football, do you?




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