Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Chiefs Might Give Up Sack Leader for George

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Chiefs Might Give Up Sack Leader for George

Article excerpt

Jeff George for Neil Smith, straight up. The Kansas City Chiefs

will take the deal if they can get it.

Which says a lot about quarterbacks in the NFL.

It says a lot about free agency, too. The Chiefs will do about

anything to get George when free agency begins Friday. They'll

beg, borrow and restructure contracts -- and hope they can clear

enough room under the salary cap to sign the NFL's most

noteworthy malcontent.

It looks like an odd fit. The Chiefs are a solid organization,

not prone to controversy. Falcons coach June Jones, given a

choice last season between possibly saving his job and releasing

George, released George.

That's controversy, yet George is so talented -- and NFL

quarterbacking so weak -- the Chiefs are willing.

George wants $30 million at least for five or six years. That

puts the Chiefs against the salary cap. They want to sign

linebacker Derrick Thomas before Friday, and they want a

receiver, too.

That means Smith -- the team's all-time sack leader -- likely

will sign elsewhere. He doesn't want that. He and Thomas are

friends, and the 1990s' best sack tandem. No matter. Free agency

isn't about loyalty.

The Chiefs need a quarterback, and George is all that's out

there, aside from Elvis Grbac and Heath Shuler -- an

inexperienced unknown and a bust. So, the Chiefs will take the

deal if they can get it -- a malcontent for one of the best

players in their history.

Let free agency begin.

A look at the Top 10 unrestricted free agents:

1) George. The Colts gave up on him. The Falcons did, too. Yet,

he is one of the most talented passers around, so much so the

Raiders and Chiefs are trying to clear room under the cap for

him.

2) Jerome Bettis, RB, Steelers. Acquired in a trade, he earned

free-agent status by rushing for 1,200 yards. …

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