Around The Web: Training Camp Details, June 1st Boredom, Vrabel Not Upset

Back in April we reported the Chiefs new training camp site in St. Joseph Missouri was in doubt.  The main issue was the tax credits being held back until Kansas City agreed to stay at the new site for 10 years instead of the 5 year with 5 one year options they preferred.  While that issue has yet to be ironed out, that hasn’t stopped contractors from lining up for the project.

Dave Williams, Missouri Western State University’s athletic director, said about 18 contractors have picked up plans for the indoor training facility. He said the university already has received 16 letters of qualifications.

“There has been an incredible amount of interest in the plans.”

Construction expected to start July 1, But the $25 million in tax credits that the Missouri Development Finance Board approved for the Chiefs — $10 million which the team pledged to donate for the practice building — has been on hold because the state wants a 10-year commitment to keep the camp in Missouri.

The Department of Economic Development has stuck by its stance that it will not release the $25 million in tax credits the Chiefs want for infrastructure improvements to Arrowhead Stadium, unless the team commits to 10 straight years of training camp at the university.

The university is continuing as if the money will come through.

If the Kansas City Chiefs open training camp next season and it isn’t in St. Joseph, Missouri you will see a nastier-than-normal election season in 2010.  And for that reason alone this deal will get done.  No one wants to try and explain why Missouri was denied the boost to the local economy in such dire financial times.  The fact that the university and contractors are moving forward should be all the signs you need that a deal will finally be agreed to.

June 1st is known as the unofficial re-start of free agency when teams cut players to save salary cap room.  Bob Gretz breaks down why this year you won’t see the same kind of activity.

What happened in the past was June 1 was an accounting benchmark.  If a player was released before that day, then anything left on his contract was accelerated into that season’s salary cap.  If a player was released after June 1, then those accelerated monies would get pushed into the next season.   Since there’s no cap next season, any future money that must be accounted for under the cap comes this season.

Every year it’s been fun to see the mass cuts around the league and try and figure out a way for every big name to end up in Kansas City.  I imagine this year things would have went into overdrive with Scott Pioli and Todd Haley and their wide ranging connections around the league.  Oh well, I guess the players on the roster now are the ones we’ll see at this weekend’s mandatory mini-camp and training camp in July.

After the first week of OTAs, Todd Haley was asked about Mike Vrabel’s absence and the coach responded that the veteran was “excited to get here”.  Without any more details it was believed Vrabel might be upset with being sent to the Chiefs in the trade that also delivered Matt Cassel to Kansas City.  This morning, Pro Football Weekly is “hearing” that Vrabel is indeed excited.

Although Vrabel has been absent for all of the Chiefs’ voluntary offseason practices, it is not believed that he is upset about his trade from a perennial contender in the Patriots to a rebuilding Kansas City club, as had been speculated. Instead, Vrabel is working out on his own — as many veterans do at this time of year — and is expected to report to the team once mandatory sessions begin.

Under normal circumstances I would have no problem with Vrabel or any other veteran skipping voluntary workouts.  But when a team is trying to adjust to a new regime and bounce back from a 2 win season, every single player associated with the team should be at every single practice.  So for me Brian Waters, Mike Vrabel and even Larry Johnson (skipped out on practice last week) all should be chastised for staying home no matter the reason.  Get to town and get with the program.

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