[Kansas City.com] Most of the remaining Chiefs backup players watched this week’s round of cuts come and go with a tremendous sense of relief, even if it lasted only a few more days.
Then there’s safety Jerome Woods, who watched the departing players leave with a sense of envy. He acknowledged asking the Chiefs to be one of them.
“I did,” Woods said. “From a business standpoint, it’s hard for them to do. It looks like I’m stuck. But you never know.”
“I know they’re doing what they’ve got to do. But the thing going through my head the last five or six months is that I want them to put themselves in my shoes: Why can’t Jerome Woods do what’s best for Jerome Woods? I don’t want people to think I’m selfish, because I’m a team player. I gave up a lot for my team over the years. What’s best for me now may be to move on.”
That thought certainly crossed the minds of the Chiefs, but as with so many decisions involving veteran players, this one is complicated by finances. Woods, fresh off his only Pro Bowl appearance, last year signed a contract that paid him a two-part signing bonus totaling $5 million.
Releasing him now, two seasons into a six-year contract, would cost the Chiefs about $3.35 million against next year’s salary cap. That’s a sum they’re in no hurry to put on their books.
So this week, the Chiefs cleared out Willie Pile and Shaunard Harts, Woods’ main competition for backup positions. Unless plans change, Woods will join William Bartee as the backup safeties.
Most frustrating for Woods is that while the Chiefs may have use for him only as a reserve, at least a few teams would take him as a starter. The Cowboys, for instance, are desperate for a safety and inquired about Woods.
“The market is out there,” Woods said.
His contract also makes Woods untradable. A trade means the Chiefs would assume a salary-cap hit this year of more than $4 million.