The Kansas City Chiefs offseason conditioning program begins today. Though the program is completely voluntary (per NFL rules), head coach Todd Haley made it very clear how important attendance at offseason programs is to the viability and development of the program.
There are three players on the Chiefs roster that are upset or have different issues with the team that might prevent them from attending today's offseason session.
Reports came out last week that Gonzalez would still welcome a trade. Many people, including us, have speculated that someone from his camp strategically leaked this story to the Associated Press.
It's his way of asking for a trade without asking for a trade. From my view, Gonzalez wants out but doesn't want to be the bad guy. Since he's apparently concerned with how the media portrays him, I fully expect him to be in attendance at today's offseason program.
Besides, while Gonzalez may rock the boat off the field at times, it's not his style to jeopardize his on the field career.
The case of Brian Waters is very curious. The onset of free agency brought us a barrage of quotes regarding a possible tiff between Waters and the Chiefs new management team. Apparently Haley had a few choice words for Waters and new point man Scott Pioli even refused a meeting with the veteran.
Of course, within days news broke that the Chiefs were involved in a blockbuster deal that brought Matt Cassel to town.
There were rumors that the Buffalo Bills were interested in trading for Waters but nothing more on it came to light. If the media reports are true, then there may be a trade market for the 34 year old left guard.
Is Waters over his issues with management? Did the Cassel trade help quell any questions about the Chiefs commitment to winning? Does Waters still want a trade?
Waters attendance, or lack thereof, will hopefully answer a few of these questions. Like Gonzalez, I don't suspect any off the field issues to directly affect Waters' on the field performance so I predict he will attend today's session.
Did you hear Johnson wants out of Kansas City? Yeah, I remember hearing a little something about that too.
Per his agent Peter Schaeffer, he will be in attendance at today's offseason program.
From my view, he's showing up simply to help facilitate a trade. He knows if he doesn't show up that any diminishes his attractiveness to other teams. Hopefully for his sake and the Chiefs' sake, LJ is finally "getting it" that publicly questioning the Chiefs' motives and desire to keep him does nothing for his value on the open market.
Johnson is scheduled to meet with the Chiefs brass on Wednesday regarding $3.75 million of guaranteed money. Click here for the details.
Owner Clark Hunt touched on all three of these players and their surrounding issues. He was pretty clear when he said the Chiefs have no intention of trading Gonzalez. But he was less emphatic when speaking on Waters and Johnson.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Hunt, Pioli and Haley are coming off four days in Dana Point, California for the owners meetings. I would suspect that if the Chiefs were going to move any of these players in the offseason, the beginnings of a deal would have begun to take shape at these meetings.
If all three players show up today, then we're back to square one with no real news. If one of more of these players don't show up, however, we'll begin to see if any of these veterans are most likely not to be a Chief next season.