Merritt was far from well known in Kansas City. But his release was
significant because it showed the new regime in Kansas City is not
going to take kindly to players who have off-field issues.
was arrested on marijuana charges last month in Florida. Now, he is a
former Chief. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, Merritt wasn't expected
to be a major impact player for Kansas City in 2009 and he was a
low-pay, second-year player.
The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed Tuesday that they have released CB Patrick Surtain, but they also terminated the contracts of LB Donnie Edwards and QB Damon Huard and waived TE Michael Merritt.
Edwards returned to the Chiefs in 2007 after spending five seasons
with the San Diego Chargers. He recorded 35 tackles in seven games last
season, missing the final six weeks because of a knee injury.
According to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter, Edwards
was scheduled to make $5 million in base salary in 2009, and the Chiefs
saved $4.5 million against the salary cap by cutting him. Edwards also
played in Kansas City from 1996 to 2001.
Salary Cap situation: The Chiefs are swimming in
salary cap room. They have in the neighborhood of $40 million in cap
room and could clear some more with the release of some veteran players
such as Patrick Surtain, Donnie Edwards, and Damon Huard in the coming days.
The standing room only crowd exchanged quiet glances, not sure if it should cheer or hold its breath.
The audience, which included most of the Missouri Western football
team and a bevy of civic officials, packed City Hall to hear the
council decide if it would contribute to an indoor training facility at
Missouri Western State University to house the Kansas City Chiefs
After a few nervous moments, Mayor Ken Shearin broke the silence.
“Since that was so quick, I’d like to give the council a chance to
comment on what we just did,” Mr. Shearin said. “We just passed it, in
case you didn’t notice.”
Cheers and a standing ovation followed the mayor’s words. With no discussion and an 8-0 vote,
the council set aside $2.25 million for Missouri Western. The only
council member not in attendance, Barbara LaBass, previously showed her
general support for the project when she signed a letter to the editor
that ran in Monday’s St. Joseph News-Press. The unanimous approval left
Western officials gasping for words — words other than ‘Thank you’,
that is. Speakers took turns at the podium after the council’s vote, drawing a round of applause each time.
Florio: Trading Patriots QB Matt Cassel not as easy as it looks
With $14.65 million in cap space devoted to a backup quarterback
and a starting quarterback who claims he'll be ready to return from a
major knee injury in 2009, the New England Patriots are in a bind.
The conventional thinking is that, whether he leaves via trade
or signs a longer-term deal to become the Steve Young to Tom Brady's
Joe Montana, Matt Cassel won't be playing this season under that
one-year cap-killing contract.
But trading Cassel won't be as easy as it looks. For starters, the team
that acquires Cassel's rights will have to be willing to give him the
kind of big-money contract that he and his agents deem appropriate.
Even then, it might be difficult to work out an arrangement. Here
are the primary options, and the problems associated with each one.
The easiest and cleanest transaction would involve sending
Cassel to the man who drafted him, former Pats Vice President of Player
Personnel and current Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli.
Easier said than done.
With both sides of the transaction fearful of the external
perception that one of them was snookered (and with each side surely
hoping to snooker the other), it'll be virtually impossible to forge an
agreement with which everyone feels comfortable.
Here's the other problem -- the Chiefs hold the third overall
pick in the draft, and the huge contractual commitment that goes along
with using it. The Patriots would surely prefer not to step into those
shoes, unless they believe that there's a must-have guy at the top of
the draft, and that he'll still be there after the first two picks are
So, in reality, Cassel has a better chance of becoming the starter at USC than he does in Kansas City.
Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, who is expected to be the first linebacker taken in the NFL draft, credits former high school teammate Tank Tyler, a Chiefs defensive tackle, for his success in college.
“He’s partly responsible for me being the linebacker that I am,” said Curry, the Butkus Award winner, told me on Saturday.
“When we were in high school (in Fayetteville, N.C.), there was a day when he just told me that I had all the talent and abilities to be a good linebacker. He always challenged me to be better than him, to be stronger than him, to be faster, to move to the ballcarrier, it was non-stop.