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Chiefs will continue to clean house

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Chiefs will continue to clean house

Monday, September 21, 2009 | Print Entry

Adam Schefter answers reader questions nearly every day in his blog. Have a query of your own? Submit it right here.

Q: Hey Adam, when guys like Edgerrin James were out there and Jamaal Charles as the up-and-comer, why do you think the Chiefs continue to hang onto Larry Johnson? He has been very unproductive over the past two seasons and has even shown disdain for the Chiefs, even after his new contract. So, what chance do you give him of being back with Kansas City in 2010?

-- Andrew (Charleston, S.C.)

A: Short of Matt Cassel and Tyson Jackson, I don't give any of the Chiefs a high chance to be back with Kansas City next season. So far, the Chiefs already have gotten rid of 31 players who were on the team last season, and only three have resurfaced elsewhere: Tony Gonzalez in Atlanta, Jason Babin in Philadelphia and Turk McBride in Detroit. The new regime wants its players in there. Players there before were someone else's players. The biggest problem with dealing Johnson will be finding a team that will take and pay him. That won't be easy.

Q: Adam, thanks for taking my question about the 2011 NFL draft, but one small follow-up: If a team believed that there would be a work stoppage, they would not have any incentive to sign their draft picks. Why give a player a signing bonus if he's not going to contribute for a while? Will we just see a draft but no signings?

-- Darren (Pittsburgh)

A: Darren, we're headed into the Land of the Uncertain. But my guess would be that, if there were a draft in 2011, and if teams took their players, they could, and would, sign them to contracts, and just make them retroactive to when football begins. But you're really taking this potential lockout to spots that most people never even have thought of -- and hope we don't have to, either.

Q: If there was, in fact, an uncapped year, wouldn't that create a scenario with a lot of big one-year deals? Or, if you signed a guy to a megadeal during an uncapped period, would his contract somehow not be subject to a new cap enacted after the fact? Just wondering if some team (maybe my Cowboys) will go on a spending spree.

-- Eric (Dallas)

A: Eric, I don't expect to see teams go on spending sprees for a few reasons, first and foremost being that there will not be many top-flight free agents available. Teams have done a great job of retaining their key players, the ones they do not want to get away. Plus, if it gets to an uncapped year, players will need six years of experience -- as opposed to the four now -- to become an unrestricted free agent. Not many will make it that long. As an example, Braylon Edwards, Leon Washington and Shawne Merriman would be unrestricted free agents if the current salary-cap system were in place. But if it goes to an uncapped year, each of those players -- and any player with less than six years of experience -- will be a restricted free agent. And "restricted" is exactly what it sounds like.

Q: Who is under more pressure this year, Tony Romo or Jay Cutler?

-- Sarah (Columbia, Mo.)

A: Wow, Sarah, that's like asking would you rather get swine flu or hepatitis. Both are under extreme pressure. But then, most quarterbacks are. That's the way this league works, and that's why quarterbacks are compensated the way they are. To me, Romo has a shorter leash, only because Chicago just traded for Cutler, and his honeymoon should last longer -- especially if he keeps beating teams like Pittsburgh. Romo was great in Week 1, not so great in Week 2. Cutler was great in Week 2, not so great in Week 1. But if each of these quarterbacks isn't more consistent, each will be facing plenty of pressure. I do think Romo's makeup is better for dealing with it, but if Cutler plays the way he did Sunday regularly, it won't matter.

Q: Adam, How did the Lane Kiffin/Al Davis contract dispute get resolved? Were the Raiders forced to honor the contract?

-- Bob Cronin (Wellesley, Mass.)

A: Bob, these issues usually take a lot of time, and this one is no different. The league still hasn't made a decision on the case, and who knows if and when it will. The Raiders typically prefer for these things to move on the slow track and, even better, to win their case. Back in the day, Mike Shanahan won his case for back pay, and he made a point for years about how he never got paid. Fortunately for Kiffin, he didn't have to wait long for work.

Some clarity on Crabtree

I get a ton of questions on Michael Crabtree, so here are a few more clarifications on what the 49ers are dealing with:

• In order to play this season, Crabtree must sign by Nov. 17.

• After August 14, the Niners no longer were permitted to trade Michael Crabtree's rights. The next point he can be traded is at the start of the 2010 trading period -- March 5, 2010.

• And if Crabtree is not signed and he is not traded, he would go back into the draft on April 22, 2010.


• New Orleans got some decent injury news Monday. Neither running back Mike Bell nor wide receiver Lance Moore was injured as severely as New Orleans thought, head coach Sean Payton said. Bell injured his knee, Moore his hamstring, but Payton sounded as if both players could play Sunday against Buffalo.

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