Chiefs GM Scott Pioli needs to release Larry Johnson and make amends with Brian Waters says Jason Whitlock in his first column about the Chiefs in over a month. Johnson should be released because he has no trade value, refuses to block, is an unreliable runner and has a bad attitude. If Kansas City keeps LJ and he makes the opening day roster that would re-guarantee his contract and give fans a second reason to question the decision making of Pioli and coach Todd Haley.
The first reason was the new administration’s handling of the Brian Waters situation, which is still unresolved. Maybe the whole thing will blow over during the off season and Waters can return to his role as team leader but right now no one knows where the standoff stands. He can be easily persuaded to get on board with what Pioli and Haley are trying to accomplish if he is recruited and given the level of respect his consistent play and off-field professionalism demand.
General managers don’t win football games. Good players and coaches do. You do whatever is necessary to retain the good ones and you dump the Larry Johnsons of the world.
Good to have Whitlock back writing about the Chiefs again. We agree that Johnson needs to go and go now. But this idea that Pioli needs to kneel before Waters and kiss the ring is a joke. Sure, both sides could have handled things better but does Waters really need that kind of babying? In the past Waters absolutely has handled himself with the kind of off-field professionalism that Larry Johnson could only dream of. I have to wonder where that professionalism was when he decided to go whining to the press because a new general manager trying to get settled wouldn’t stop everything to shake his hand and promise him everything would be OK.
Zach Thomas’ contract with the Chiefs is worth $2 million according to ProFootballTalk. Thomas is also projected to start at inside linebacker next season.
Thomas, 35, will be entering his 14th NFL season and started 14 games for the Dallas Cowboys last year.
I liked this move from the start and still can’t find any downside. The worst case scenario has Thomas coming in to training camp after losing a couple more steps and serving as a backup linebacker throughout the season. Best case has him starting all year, racking up 100 tackles and helping turn one of the league’s worst defenses into one of the most promising. Even if we end up getting something in between the two it’s a great move especially with such a small contract.
There hasn’t been any news regarding Tony Gonzalez in about three weeks, when a “source” told the AP Gonzalez wanted out but he told Adam Teicher he was going with the flow. Now comes a report from The National Football Post that the Falcons are considering making a move for Gonzalez. Atlanta would be offering their second round pick — #55 overall — in the deal.
At this point I don’t think it’s very likely that Gonzalez is moved before the season. If the Chiefs do decide to trade him there’s no way they only get the 55th pick in the draft. At the very least you need to get a high second rounder and an additional late round pick. There have been some people suggesting Gonzalez will have a smaller role in Todd Haley’s offense because it does not feature the tight end, but we aren’t talking about your run of the mill tight end. Gonzalez can be just as — if not more — successful split out wide than he can from a traditional tight end position.