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Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

While Traveling America’s Highways and Byways

Now the Chiefs and Larry Johnson wait to see what the Commissioner has to say.

And what an arbitrator has to say about his contract in a grievance proceeding filed by the NFL Players Association.

And yes, it’s another Chiefs soap opera that has little to do with football.

Let’s start with the judicial end. On Friday, Johnson pleaded guilty to a pair of disturbing the peace charges in a plea arrangement with Kansas City prosecutors from two separate incidents involving women at K.C. nightclubs. The first happened last February at the Grand Emporium; the second incident came in October at Club Blonde.

Johnson was sentenced to two years probation by Kansas City Municipal Court Judge Joseph Locascio, but if he follows all the court’s orders and gets through two years without further problems, the guilty pleas will be removed from his record.

What everyone waits to see is whether Johnson’s ability to play in the NFL will be removed for a game or two. Johnson was suspended by the league last November for one game after he was charged with the October incident.

At that time, Commissioner Roger Goodell was very clear in what he told both Johnson and the Chiefs. The suspension was one game, but there could be additional sanctions based on the outcome of legal proceedings.

The legal outcome is not good for Johnson in the eyes of the league. By pleading guilty to the lesser charges without going through any type of trial or presentation of evidence, that’s a pretty good indicator that Johnson and his legal eagles were not especially confident about winning in court as they knew the evidence was not in their favor. In fact, when asked by Judge Locascio whether he would be found guilty of the charges in a trial, Johnson replied in the affirmative.

Based on how Goodell has handled things during his reign as Commissioner, there seems little doubt that Johnson will receiver further league discipline. What Goodell looks for in these incidents is a pattern of behavior and there’s no question there’s a pattern with L.J. These two incidents bring to four the number of times law enforcement was called because of problems involving Johnson and women.

To be able to remove all of this from his record, Johnson must stay out of further trouble. He is not allowed to consume alcohol or be present in any Kansas City bars or nightclubs after 9 p.m. He must also complete anger control counseling and perform 40 hours of community service with the Police Athletic League.

Then, there is the grievance that has been filed over his contract. When Johnson signed his new deal, he signed a contract that included a clause that laid out situations where if he had problems off-the-field, whatever guaranteed money that remained at that time in the contract would no longer be guaranteed. One of those situations was being suspended by the NFL for non-football behavior.

Johnson signed off on the language, as did his agent at the time Alvin Keels, as did the league and as did the players association, which sees every contract. When Johnson was suspended by Goodell for a game, that triggered the clause and future bonus money and base salary guaranteed in the deal were no longer locked in. Johnson can still earn those dollars, they are just no longer guaranteed.

When he was suspended, Johnson was reminded of the contract’s language and raised no complaints at the time. He also re-paid a pro-ration of his signing bonus because of the one-game suspension.

The union has pursued the grievance, and they’ve attached it with a case that involves former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Jimmy Williams who was released by the Falcons are being arrested. His contract contained similar language.

It’s hard to imagine how the Chiefs lose this grievance, given that everyone involved was aware of the language and raised no objection at the time.  But stranger things have happened.

If they are interested in trading Johnson, or even releasing him outright, the arbitrator’s decision will be important. If he rules in the Chiefs favor, it would mean those guaranteed future dollars would not count against the Chiefs salary cap and accelerate into this season. The team has plenty of room under the salary cap, but no team likes to see cap space wasted on situations like this one.

The grievance will be heard this coming week.

CHIEFS WILL GET TO KNOW AARON CURRY

Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry is considered by most NFL teams as the top defensive player available in this year’s Draft. For weeks now, mock drafters have him slotted for the No. 3 pick to the Chiefs.

Whether that’s true or not, the Chiefs are certainly showing they want to know all they can about Curry. They’ve set up a private workout with him and he’ll make a visit to Kansas City before the Draft.

Curry will work out next week for the Chiefs in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Then, he will visit Kansas City on April 14.

In the workout, the Chiefs will want to see Curry do some specific things that they’ll ask him to do in their defense. Otherwise, there’s little reason to work him out because he did so at the NFL Scouting Combine and Wake Forest’s Pro Day earlier this week.

But it’s the time spent with Curry on a one-on-one basis that will be important to Scott Pioli and his crew. They want to know what kind of person they would be drafting and especially, how important football is to the young man. The search for these so called intangibles is what these meetings and workouts are really all about.

Curry has already visited Detroit, as the Lions have the first pick. He’ll leave Kansas City on April 15 and go to St. Louis and visit with the Rams, who have the second selection. Reportedly, Curry has visits scheduled with the six teams holding the top slots in the first round.

TYLER THIGPEN IS B.M.O.C. IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Chiefs quarterback Tyler Thigpen is getting a lot of attention in his home state of South Carolina for his performance last year with the Chiefs. Just as he was getting ready to head back to Kansas City to begin the team’s off-season program, Thigpen was honored by the South Carolina legislature.

Here’s part of what the resolution said:

Whereas, Tyler Thigpen, a remarkable football player for Coastal Carolina University’s football team, became the first player ever from Coastal Carolina University to be selected in the National Football League Draft. He joined the elite of his sport by becoming a member of the National Football League as quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs; and

Whereas, a native of the Palmetto State, he is from Winnsboro, South Carolina. He attended Fairfield Central High School and became an ALL-South Carolina selection as a senior running back. In 2002, he selected to attend Coastal Carolina as the first quarterback in the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers history majoring in sports management. He led the Chanticleers to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs and a Big South Conference championship. He holds the single-season and career passing records in every major statistical category at Coastal Carolina; and

Whereas, South Carolina is proud of Tyler Thigpen’s outstanding achievements and is ecstatic about his becoming a member of the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League, where his excellent skills and ability are sure to distinguish him as a superb professional football player. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate:

That the members of the Senate of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, congratulate Tyler Thigpen, former star quarterback of the Coastal Carolina University Football team, on his exceptional contributions to that team and on becoming a member of the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League, and granting him best wishes for eminent success and an extended career in Professional Football.

Here’s a photograph of Thigpen receiving a copy of the resolution from the South Carolina legislature.

FROM THE NFL PERSONNEL WIRE

49ERS - released OT Jonas Jennings; signed OT Marvel Smith (Pittsburgh).

RAVENS – restricted free agent punter Sam Koch signed tender offer.

SAINTS – signed DT Roderick Coleman.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

March 28

Born on March 28, 1975 in Alpharetta, Georgia was P Daniel Pope. He joined the Chiefs as a rookie free agent out of the University of Alabama in 1999. He was the Chiefs punter that season, kicking 101 times and average 41.8 yards per kick, with a net average of 35.1 yards. Pope finished up his career with a season in Cincinnati and one-game with the New York jets.

March 29

Born on March 29, 1966 in Portland, Oregon was WR Robb Thomas. He was the Chiefs sixth-round pick in the 1989 NFL Draft out of Oregon State. Thomas played three seasons with the team (1989-91), appearing in 39 games with 25 starts. He caught 92 passes for 1,098 yards and seven touchdowns. After three seasons at Arrowhead, Thomas spent four years with Seattle and then three years in Tampa Bay. He finished his career with 174 catches for 2,229 yards and 11 TD catches.

Born on March 29, 1956 in St. Louis was TE Paul Randolph Coffman. In his 11-year NFL career, Coffman played two seasons with the Chiefs (1986-87). He appeared in 27 games with 24 starts. Coffman caught 17 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns. He spent most of his career with Green Bay.

Born on March 29, 1969 in Fort Pierce, Florida was G Jeff Blackshear. He played nine NFL seasons, including 2000 with the Chiefs where he started 15 games at guard. Blackshear also played with Seattle, Baltimore and Green Bay.


30 Responses to “Weekend Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 28, 2009  - Scott says:

    I’d say LJ is history with the Chiefs. With the off the field problems…being on probation for two years…and a looming suspension? And if the arbitrator rules in favor of the Chiefs over the “guaranteed money” on top of that? He’s gone. Hiss-toe-reee.


  • March 28, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    In addition to the issues already noted he’s repeatedly said he wants out of KC and criticized the team, coaches, city and fans. Oh yeah, and he’s never been a leader on the team. It’s hard to see them keeping him beyond the time it takes to recoup some cap space. It would be nice if we could get a draft choice but who’s going to give us anything with all of the issues noted? Bye Larry. Next!


  • March 28, 2009  - findthedr says:

    It appears that LJ can consume alcohol and be in bars after 9pm so long as he does it OUTSIDE of KC.

    No wonder he wants so badly to get out of this city!


  • March 28, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    It is to easy to say dump LJ. His carl’s special contract probably makes that impossible. It is just business, if I can barrow from the Corleones. I figure he is stuck with us until the Chiefs can figure some way to get out from underneath the cap impact.

    To bad, I would like him to be the “resident example” of what happens when you are a “bad” Chief.


  • March 28, 2009  - RedandGoldRice says:

    Let’s see….Hanging out in bars + drinking alcohol + women problems. Sounds like Pacman Johnson is on his way out of the league. Too bad. Sucks for him.
    I can’t figure out how so many players in todays NFL can’t figure out that all they have to do is to keep their nose clean for 10-12 years and they would be financially set for life, and yet here’s another Rickey Williams example. “I just gotta smoke that pot”!!! “I just gotta punk that one last Ho”!!! STUPID!!


  • March 28, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    “Pacman Johnson”…from Red&Gold. THAT was too good and I might have to steal it from time to time. :)

    So if the Chief’s win their ruling, the guaranteed money left on LJ’s contract went thataway and no cap hit if he’s released or traded? I think I got that right.

    Then, the comish is not through with LJ in HIS court of law so Larry could be looking at anywhere from a 2-4-8 game suspension? That won’t enchance his trade value, especially if Roger comes down hard on the weeks out.

    Anyone care for a 2003 draft rewind, pull the phone out of the wall when Pittsburgh calls, and take Polamalu instead? Hindsight is 20-20 vision and all that but who would have thought Larry’s career would go so far deep in the dumper at this stage?


  • March 28, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    Some clubs are smarter about this than others but you can’t pay people to stop being dysfunctional human beings. Money doesn’t make emotional and mental health issues disappear. It typically magnifies them. Larry Johnson’s issues aren’t as severe as some others. Perhaps the Chiefs do plan to keep him since he has talent, his trade value is too low and salary high but that’s a dicey gambit that could come back to haunt us in the long run. The coach and GM have repeatedly said on record they want players who want to be Chiefs so we’ll see. It’s not the right 50 plus a few other guys that might help us but really don’t want to be here.


  • March 28, 2009  - Adrian says:

    I really hope that Haley is legitimately considering Thigpen for the starting job. He has earned the right to that position with stats comparable to those of Matt Cassell with LESS playing time.

    Plus, he should get a raise. I mean, how many other third-string quarterbacks have legislation declaring how awesome they are? =) Just saying.


  • March 28, 2009  - Niblick says:

    If he is released, which it looks like he may be, he woundup only playing in about 19 games with his injury in 2007 and the suspension in 2008. In some of those games he rode the bench for much of the game. What a tremendous waste of Clark Hunt’s money. In hindsight, perhaps we could have resigned Jared Allen to a long term contract with that money. I don’t know if he would have stayed here, even with the big long term deal. He probably would not have stayed here under any circumstance, with Carl still here.


  • March 28, 2009  - Kenny says:

    Thank God there weren’t any dogs involved…


  • March 28, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    I just saw a post on profootballtalk.com that if correct explains the grievance and salary implications. The Chiefs are trying to get out of guaranteed future money which is unprecedented and contradicts provisions for similar circumstances in the CBA. Even if we prevail we will still take a cap hit of over 8 million dollars if we release him. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. It could have major implications for the league if the Chiefs prevail. Gee, who gave “low risk Larry” that deal?


  • March 28, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    Good one Kenny! Are we sure there were no dogs involved?


  • March 28, 2009  - RedandGoldRice says:

    And if there were dogs involved, did they have proper union representation?! Or were they scab dogs?


  • March 28, 2009  - ArrowheadHawk says:

    No, no, if they didn’t have proper union representation then they would be RAT dogs. If the said dogs were performing the wrong functions THEN they would be scab dogs! Lets be politically correct here!


  • March 28, 2009  - ED says:

    HOpefully Larry is going to grow up from all this garbage he’s doing off the field. Good to see Tyler getting honored. Would love to see him improve in the offseason and win the starting job and lead the Chiefs to the playoffs this upcoming season.


  • March 28, 2009  - Anonymous says:

    Having an 8 million dollar hit on their cap is exactly what the Chiefs are hoping for.

    It gives them a way out of being so far under the cap minimum with out spending any money! They will get out of having to pay Johnson the ridicules amount of guaranteed money that Peterson gave him and they get rid of a problem child in the process.

    The Hunt family is not going to spend any more than is absouluty necessary. Par for the course.

    But suckers will line up tp buy tickets to this schrade.


  • March 28, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    Probably your dumbest `to date, I seem to recall how in love you were with Herm and crew. Talk about lack of honesty?


  • March 28, 2009  - ricky-poo says:

    Maybe what the Chiefs could do is to arrange for any one of the cheerleaders at an opportune time to get in the way of LJ or bump into him causing a controlled but crazy frenzy. Then, because he is on or near the field of play, he can channel that subsequent attack onto opposing players. People talk about his ability depends on playing with a chip on his shoulders, this strategy could ignite a career year, considering the cheerleaders do their job right.


  • March 28, 2009  - SBIVVictors says:

    I remember Robb Thomas. I always admired that such a little guy (around 175 lbs) could play in the NFL.

    Robb’s father, Aaron Thomas, was a pro-bowl tightend in the league during the 60s. He was drafted by…guess who…. the Dallas Texans in 1961. However, he was also drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and that is who he initially went to play for.

    I believe Aaron Thomas holds the record for a tightend for the highest average per reception over a career at 17.4 (4,554 yards on 262 receptions). Granted, averages were higher in the 60s, but he still had the highest.


  • March 28, 2009  - ArrowheadHawk says:

    Anonymous,

    The Hunt family is FAR from the Bidwells or the Fords and they don’t have the mental instability that Al Davis has. They may not spend like Daniel Snyder or Jerry Jones but they sure aren’t the bottom of the barrel as ownership goes!


  • March 28, 2009  - citk says:

    LJ is gone so is Thigpen. Still find it funny that no one went after Carl or Herm. I think all four of these names go together.


  • March 29, 2009  - Alex Kor says:

    I love the chiefs, and if someone asked about ONE negative with the chiefs….it has to be larry johnson..I dont like him, even when I play madden, I take him off the roster completely because Ill take people who block…

    Considering the money spent so far, 14 mil to cassel, and curry or whoever at 3 getting money…I think that leaves room with all the little signings made, to cut johnson, and move on…hes a cancer, you remove him, and add a guy like curry, that changes the locker room…

    And Ill take Kolby/Charles 1/2 combo….it can work.


  • March 29, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    It’ll be really interesting to see how this turns out. If the Chiefs can relieve themselves of future guaranteed money as you point out Bob, it could have implications for all contracts of high risk athletes. If the Chiefs prevail certainly we, and other teams, will insist on using the language included in this contract on others to protect against having to keep players who misbehave or consistently get in trouble or suspended by the League. This is especially important with the Commissioner taking a tough stance against bad examples. It also may give us the opportunity to tell Larry not to let the door hit him on the way out or to shut up and play for his pay.


  • March 29, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    It’ll be really interesting to see how this turns out. If the Chiefs can relieve themselves of future guaranteed money as you point out Bob, it could have implications for all contracts of high risk athletes. If the Chiefs prevail certainly we, and other teams, will insist on using the language included in this contract on others to protect against having to keep players who misbehave or consistently get in trouble or suspended by the League. This is especially important with the Commissioner taking a tough stance against bad examples. It also may give us the opportunity to tell Larry not to let the door hit him on the way out or to shut up and play for his pay.


  • March 29, 2009  - DAVE. H. says:

    As fans maybe we should contact the players union and tell them we don’t want high paid criminals to play football for us. They are the ones that keep reinforcing the do anything you want and still get paid mantra! I understand the union looks out for the players but they shouldn’t protect criminals, especially once they are found guilty.I’m not saying no one gets a second chance, but four chances?


  • March 30, 2009  - Devildog 1976 says:

    DAVE H.
    AMEN TO YOUR POST

    Found guilty or even worse admission of guilt, should equal,YOUR FIRED!!
    That is how it works in “the real world”. Does anyone who posts here have any guarantees about their job…………….anyone?? NO

    It is all about the TEAM……….and……….

    THE RIGHT 53 2009

    In Pioli I turst!!




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