Around The Web: Thomas Plays To Win, Undrafted FA Lock?, Darling Knew Raiders Draft Plan

Many Chiefs fans believe Zach Thomas signed with Kansas City to serve as a mentor, but as Adam Teicher reports Thomas wants nothing to do with rebuilding.zachthomas5

His one-year stop in Dallas proved to Thomas that nothing is guaranteed and teams change year to year.  That set Thomas to thinking as he embarked on the Kansas City portion of his career.

“I have high expectations for this team. I’m excited to come out here and try to make a difference. I’m not coming to be a coach or help this team try to rebuild. I’m not here for that.  Everything has changed here. It all starts at the top, and I’d like to be there for that transition, that change, kind of like Miami did last year. It can be done.”

I like to hear a guy like Thomas, who has nothing left to prove, come in from day one and not only show the younger players how to be a professional but also talk about winning.  But at the same time as a fan I have to temper by enthusiasm when it comes to having a Miami-type year.  I am 100% sure this team will be a whole lot better than last season, but with the schedule the Chiefs are facing it is hard to imagine a playoff run is in the cards.  The only saving grace could be another down year for the AFC West where 8-8 wins the division.  Either way, having Thomas in Kansas City fired up and ready to go will help this new regime get out of the gate quickly.

When Kansas City signed Pierre Walters as an undrafted free agent, there was no indication he was any different than the dozen or so or other UDFAs the Chiefs brought in.  But could he have the inside track on a guaranteed roster spot?  If Kevin Murphy at The Daily Eastern News has his numbers straight, Walters very well could.

As the only Eastern Illinois player to appear in a national All-Star game, playing in the Texas vs. the Nation game, Walters will be entering the Kansas City Chiefs mini-camps and practice camps this summer.  He signed a three year, six figure contract after the draft as a free agent.

Walters was the first player signed by Scott Pioli so you have to imagine that alone might give him the inside track at winning a roster spot.  But the question is, how much of that “six figure contract” is guaranteed money and how much is salary.  Because if you count just what Walters’ salary would be if he made the team, then of course it would be six figures.  But if his guaranteed money is upwards of six figures then Walters will be a Chief on opening day.

It’s safe to say no one knows what Al Davis will do when it comes to the draft.  But if you ask Chiefs WR Devard Darling, he knew exactly who the Raiders would take with the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft.

Darrius Heyward-Bey hugged close friend and mentor Devard Darling as soon as Raiders coach Tom Cable called with the news that he was the newest member of the team.  The news might have caught Heyward-Bey and others by surprise.  However, Darling said he knew Heyward-Bey was destined to be a Raider once he ran a 4.3 at the combine and is confident in his friend’s ability.

“The sky’s the limit for this guy.  People will say he’s going to be a draft bust, but it is what it is. He deserves to be there, and he proved a lot of people wrong.”

We talked about the relationship between Darling and Heyward-Bey a while back.  Darling clearly is a bit biased when it comes to declaring Heyward-Bey a bust — and really it’s too early for anyone to use the “bust” label — but everyone knows the Raiders reached with their top two picks.  Everyone also knows that Al Davis loves collecting track stars and Heyward-Bey is immediately one of the fastest players in the NFL.

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