One Down Six To Go … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Now that the Chiefs have finally announced the signing of a draft choice, hopefully that will slow down those red and gold devotees who think the Hunt Family is trying to go cheap.

First, the news – 5th-round choice FS Kendrick Lewis has signed a contract with the team. That was announced Tuesday.

Second, the reaction – this deal was probably done weeks ago, since the player selected ahead of Lewis and the player taken behind him signed their contracts back in mid-June. The whole dance between agents and teams over draft-choice contracts comes with the music of a slotted system of payment, usually confined to the player’s signing bonus. Any draft choice from say the third round down signs contracts where they receive the minimum salary in base pay each year. That would be $320,000 in 2010, $405,000 in 2011 and $490,000 in 2012, etc. The only negotiation point is over bonuses, including the signing bonus; that’s where the extra compensation comes into play.

Third, the context – is the reason the Chiefs don’t have more draft choices signed right now because they are trying to go cheap? Not likely. GM Scott Pioli, Director of Football Administration Trip McCracken and whoever else may be negotiating contracts for the team are going to try and get the best deal possible for the Chiefs. Because of the slotting system however, there’s really not a lot of give and take that should be going on. Generally what happens is the agent for the draft picks starts out trying to scramble the slotting system and the team simply waits for him to come back to reality. Once he does, getting a rookie contract done isn’t a tough thing to do.

Four, the reality – is the Hunt Family trying to go cheap? You bet. The Chiefs are a business and like any enterprise that’s trying to make a profit. Owners are going to attempt to acquire resources as cheaply as possible. In the case of 2010 draft choices, the Chiefs will not set any records for the fewest dollars paid to rookies. They will end up being about average when it comes to signing bonuses and the like – that’s the way the NFL system is set up. The Chiefs could be accused of not stepping up and spending money in free agency. They can be accused of not doing enough to keep some of their own free agents happy with deals over the years. But getting draft picks under contract is a different animal.

Some say they could help pump up fan interest and possibly ticket sales by getting their draft choices signed and splashed across the sports pages and sports reports. Listen, there’s only one thing the Chiefs can do to get Arrowhead Stadium rocking again and that’s win games. If all the optimism of the current off-season is not followed up with victories on the field this fall, then it will matter not when the draft picks were signed or the dollar amounts of their contracts.

Here’s the simple football facts – when the Chiefs step on the field at Missouri Western for their first practice, if there are draft choices still unsigned then it will be a problem.

Generally, the guy who is the toughest to sign is always the team’s No. 1 draft choice. In this case, that’s S Eric Berry, taken with the fifth pick of the Draft. Speaking this week at the NFL Rookie Symposium in California, Berry again said he was planning to sign a deal before training camp.

“I plan on being there for the first day of camp,” Berry said. “I’ve told my guy (agent) that from the start. We’ll get something done.”

The last six first-round picks have split evenly between players who arrived for the start of camp and those that missed time. Tamba Hali (2006) and Branden Albert (2008) were signed before camp started. Glenn Dorsey missed only two days (2008). Derrick Johnson (2005), Dwayne Bowe (2007) and Tyson Jackson (2009) were all K.C. first rounders who signed in August.


Just about half of the 255-man NFL Draft class of 2010 have signed contracts or agreed to terms with their teams. At the close of business on Wednesday that number was sitting at 119 done deals.

The highest drafted player with a contract is the first choice of the third round, CB Jerome Murphy of the Rams. No first or second-round selections have done deals.

The fourth round has been seen the most contracts as 24 of the 33 players selected have agreed to terms.


Over at a fellow named Pete Schrager has posted his list of the top 100 players in the NFL. Don’t go looking for any Chiefs on that list, as they were one of four teams that did not land a single berth on his top 100.

Not even Thomas Jones could make the list, which tells you that there’s a flaw in the list. The guy was among the most productive running backs in the NFL last year and there should have been a place for him. Jones and RB Jamaal Charles were just outside the top 100 according to Schrager’s story, which you can read here if you desire.

QBs Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady were the top three players and the Minnesota Vikings had the most players on the list with seven, followed by Dallas, Baltimore and Indianapolis with six each.

So what’s the value of this listing? Nothing. It makes for good conversation. Schrager is just another internet hack like the one writing these words. Other than the fact he covers the NFL, there’s no evidence or resume that he has some special talents to evaluate personnel.

Enjoy it for what it is – something to talk about during a quiet period of the football year.


  • CHARGERS – WR Vincent Jackson is expecting to receive a four-game suspension from the NFL for a pair of DUI arrests. The suspension could hinder Jackson being traded to another team before the start of training camp. A restricted free agent, Jackson has not signed his tender offer and says he will not report to the Chargers until the 10th week of the regular season.
  • LIONS – signed 3rd-round CB Amari Spievey to a 3-year contract – an Iowa product who will challenge for a starting job in the Detroit secondary; claimed DT Leger Douzable on waivers from the Rams – played 12 games in St. Louis last year.
  • STEELERS – rookie OT Chris Scott underwent surgery on a broken foot Wednesday and will miss three months; OT Willie Colon was placed on the injured-reserve list after undergoing surgery on his torn Achilles tendon on Wednesday.

6 Responses to “One Down Six To Go … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • July 1, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I wonder…

    If the current trend of not signing the higher draft picks too early, is the idea of handing over millions to these young guys too far from the start of training camp? Too much temptation to get into trouble while away from the team, maybe? Just a thought.

  • July 1, 2010  - colby says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised Mad Chief. Make them wait for their money. With the exception of Berry, they may have agreed to terms with all of their picks but are just keeping them poor a little while longer just to be safe. Although it doesn’t seem like off the field stuff would be an issue for most of these guys. They definitely drafted character.

  • July 1, 2010  - Justin D says:

    Guys, the reality is the big money draft guys get advanced $ from their agents. More likely, the teams would rather have that $ in their banks earning interest for that period.

  • July 1, 2010  - SG says:

    “CHARGERS – WR Vincent Jackson is expecting to receive a four-game suspension from the NFL for a pair of DUI arrests.”

    Now is he going to miss the 1st 3 or 4 games for sure (including our MNF season opener), or is there any info saying he’s going to appeal and cause a delay?

  • July 1, 2010  - Lindzey Lohaan says:

    GOOD! I’m glad Vincent Jackson is suspended. Right now it’s for 3 games, and I don’t think he will appeal and if he does, Goodell will laugh at his dumb ass. I hope he never plays again. But if he ever decides to take off his blue skirt and put on some Chief pants then I’ll accept him with open arms.

    Secondly, Pete Schrager???? LOL. He’s just pissed off because he was playing a season with the Chargers on Madden, got his ass kicked by his friends using the Chiefs and bitches and moans that it’s not real because the Chiefs aren’t even a good team.

  • July 2, 2010  - War_Paint says:

    If the Chiefs are looking to sell tickets, and Berry is intent on having his contract signed before camp, I think the Chiefs will work the rest out, so that the rest of the signings are spread out, but all done by training camp. That will keep fans interest going, without a lull (like we’re having now LOL). It will also create more of a ‘buzz’ and likely draw more attendance at camp, and will also draw more fans to buy tickets to games, if the competition level stays at a premium.
    Keep up the great work, Bob. I doubt anyone who’s followed your work, through the years, thinks your just another “Internet Hack”

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