[Kansas City.com] After weeks of nervous cap watching, and fears of a bloody Sunday, the Chiefs’ bloated number was poised to disappear with nary a whimper.
Pro Bowl guard Will Shields was still on the roster. So was Priest Holmes. By late in the afternoon, Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said there would be no cuts Sunday. That came hours before the NFL new year was scheduled to begin and teams had scurried to get under a salary cap that had been a moving target.
Then the target moved again. Labor negotiations in New York restarted, then stalled again, then late in the evening, the start of free-agency was postponed – again – for another 72 hours. It meant the Chiefs can wait to get below the $94.5 million cap that could rise by $10 million if a deal is worked out.
But the Chiefs are ready to get below the cap with the help of four to six players who agreed to restructure their contracts.
“I appreciate those who have been receptive to it,” Peterson said, “and obviously there have been some who have not been receptive. And then I’ve had to make a decision to say goodbye to them.”
It is believed that Holmes, a three-time Pro Bowl running back, was one of the players who restructured a deal that would have cost the Chiefs $5.33 million under his previous contract. Peterson would only say, “First of all, I really appreciate players that think about the team first and themselves second. Priest Holmes has always been that way.”
Shields’ return has also been clouded with uncertainty, and late last week he seemed pessimistic about playing in 2006 in Kansas City. Peterson reiterated that Shields would not be a cap casualty Sunday and that he hasn’t been asked to restructure his contract, which would pay him a $5.1 million salary.
Peterson has said the Chiefs are still waiting for Shields, who’s battled arthritis, to tell them he’s definitively coming back. Shields’ agent, Joe Linta, said again Sunday that Shields has made it clear he wants to play.