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Cheifs Chatter

Armchair QB:

Time for Peterson's ego to take one for the team

8/05/02

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist


Chiefs GM Carl Peterson is telling anyone who will listen that he is “one tough SOB in the negotiating room.”

Take away ‘one tough’ and ‘in the negotiating room’ and if my e-mail notes from over the weekend are any indication, you’ll get many Chiefs’ fans assessments of Peterson and his negotiating style.

Four straight seasons of non-playoff KC football have taken their toll on the patience of many in the fan base. My e-mails this weekend ran 10-1 against Peterson and most held the premise indicated in a note from PK in Leavenworth.

“Peterson got one thing right—he is an SOB. How many years is this guy going to blow off a first round pick?”

****


Time for a review of the first round selections in the Peterson era. The Chiefs have had a first round selection in 12 of the 14 years when Peterson was involved. In 1993 the pick was traded to acquire Joe Montana, and last season the pick was traded to acquire Trent Green.
Out of those 12, only 3 were signed in time for the first training camp practice.

—CB Dale Carter in ‘92.

—OT Trezelle Jenkins in ‘95.

—OT Victor Riley in ‘98.

None of those three remain with the team.

****

After a public contract battle, 1999 pick John Tait was barely signed before the season. 2000 pick WR Sylvester Morris was signed in early September and saw some camp.
Neither of these players has exactly panned out as first round picks. Tait was handed the starting left offensive tackle job last season and became the master of the ‘look out’ block by the end of last year. He has been moved to right offensive tackle as the Chiefs brought in future Hall of Fame tackle Willie Roaf to protect QB Trent Green’s backside.

WR Sylvester Morris had a respectable rookie campaign, then blew out his knee during last year's mini-camp and has yet to play a down under the Vermeil regime. Morris estimates that he is at 85% right now.

****

There are now rumblings from Peterson that ‘Ryan Sims is only hurting himself and not the team.’ He is also quoted in the Star as saying that the team has “a lot of depth at the defensive-tackle position and it would be good to see Ryan come in and compete.”

Let’s be clear—if you surrender both a third and sixth round pick to trade up two spots to acquire a guy with talent like the team evaluated that Ryan Sims supposedly has, then these statements are blatantly false.

The team is desperate on the interior defensive line and Sims needs training camp reps. He was instilled as a starter in mini-camp and will earn starter money once a deal gets completed.

****

Sure Sims is hurting himself, but the interior of the Chiefs line is also hurt. This interior line was pushed around last season and the Chiefs organization clearly realized this by using their first and second round picks on defensive linemen.

The entire team is hurt with every practice Sims is absent. No matter how much talent Sims possesses, he needs reps to learn the defense. He needs reps to get into football shape. He needs reps to help this team.

It’s disingenuous for Peterson to claim that Sims holdout won’t hurt the Chiefs. Peterson has let his ego get in the way of team needs. That is a problem. Players can’t allow this to happen, and it’s now obvious that management can’t in contract negotiations. It’s time for Peterson to back down from his tough guy image he obviously covets. It’s time to negotiate and get the holdouts in camp.

It’s time for Peterson to check his ego and take one for the team.

(CK Rairden can be reached by email at ckden@yahoo.com)