AFC West: Brian Waters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The retirement of guard Brian Waters shouldn't pass without reflection. Waters played 11 outstanding seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs and was so good he should eventually be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Waters
Waters might not get into the Hall, as he was overshadowed in many of those seasons with the Chiefs by Willie Roaf and Will Shields. But ask some of the opponents who played against those great Chiefs offensive lines. Many will tell you Waters was the best of the bunch.

If Waters is never honored in Canton, it shouldn’t diminish his achievements with the Chiefs. Whether he was their best lineman or not, Waters was truly an incredible player and deserving of more than the six Pro Bowls he eventually played in.

He was also a huge reason the Chiefs were so good on offense during the Dick Vermeil seasons. How many times did the Chiefs run a sweep with Priest Holmes and lead blockers such as Casey Wiegmann, John Tait and Tony Richardson had nobody to clear from his path because Waters and the others had already taken care of all resistance?

The Chiefs were scorched publicly on the eve of training camp in 2011 when they released Waters, but in reality they were merely doing what he asked. Waters was fed up playing for coach Todd Haley and wasn’t going to play for the Chiefs anymore.

The Chiefs freed him up to play one season for the New England Patriots, who reached the Super Bowl that year, and one for his hometown team, the Dallas Cowboys.

His best seasons, though, were played in Kansas City. That’s where his career should truly be celebrated whether Canton gets around to it or not.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Guard Brian Waters made five trips to the Pro Bowl when he played for the Chiefs. He left abruptly prior to the 2011 season when Waters decided he couldn’t play any longer for then coach Todd Haley and asked for his release. The Chiefs, who had young Jon Asamoah waiting to get into their lineup, obliged him with his release.

Waters
Waters returns to play in Kansas City for the first time since on Sunday when the Cowboys are at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs have had two mostly miserable seasons since the departure of Waters and while it’s a stretch to say one development directly caused the other, it’s not to say that the loss of Waters, a good player and strong locker room leader, was a factor in the Chiefs’ decline.

Waters was a link to the great offensive lines of the early 2000s, when the Chiefs had Hall of Famer Willie Roaf at left tackle and an eventual Hall of Famer, Will Shields, at right guard. When Waters departed Kansas City, he left a legacy behind.

Branden Albert was struggling to establish himself as a competent NFL left tackle during Waters’ final seasons in Kansas City. He has finally arrived at that point, but may not have gotten there without a nudge or two and some wisdom in the early years of his career from Waters.

“He was a great teammate and you can’t say enough about what he did for me back then," Albert said. “He taught me to stay within myself, not try to do anything extraordinary, that I could only be the player I was supposed to be.’’

Albert is now the senior member of a young offensive line. At 28 and in his sixth NFL season, Albert is not old or experienced enough to be viewed by teammates as a sage, but his fellow linemen have no better source for advice.

So he’s trying to fill Waters’ old role as mentor for younger linemen, including rookie Eric Fisher, the right tackle and the first pick in the NFL draft. In doing so, Albert often considers the advice he received from Waters.

“I hated to see Brian leave," Albert said. “It’s something he had to do. That’s the nature of the business. I’m happy for him. He’s a great player, a great mentor, a heck of a player. The fact he gets to play in his hometown, Dallas, I’m happy for him. Hopefully he can contend for a title.’’

AFC West notes

February, 6, 2012
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Here are a few notes from around the AFC West:
  • The Boston Globe reports former Kansas City guard Brian Waters will take a few weeks to decide whether he will retire. Waters was an anchor on New England’s offensive line this season after being cut by the Chiefs during the summer.
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Washington will consider signing Kansas City quarterback Kyle Orton in free agency. The Chiefs have expressed interest in re-signing Orton and allowing him to compete with Matt Cassel for the starting job.
  • A Kansas City columnist is not sold on the Chiefs’ decision to hire Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator.
UPDATE: The Chiefs have formally announced the hiring of Daboll. Here are my thoughts on the hire when it was first reported.
Waters & RoafBrian Bahr/Getty ImagesGuard Brian Waters (54) is rooting for his former teammate tackle Willie Roaf (77) to be elected into the Hall of Fame.
Brian Waters couldn’t be happier with his decision to join the New England Patriots.

But as the 12-year NFL veteran prepares for his first Super Bowl, he will allow himself to reflect about his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. In the early part of the last decade, the Chiefs were considered to have the best offensive line in the NFL. Along with Waters, the unit was anchored by fellow guard Will Shields and left tackle Willie Roaf.

While Waters will be in Indianapolis this week to prepare to face the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, Shields and Roaf will be awaiting to see if they will be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Shields and Roaf are among the 17 finalists for election into the Canton, Ohio museum. The vote will be held Saturday, the day before the Super Bowl.

Waters didn’t need to be reminded of the connection.

“I’ve already thought about it,” Waters said in a phone interview. “It’s going to be a special time for all of us. We all have an opportunity to accomplish something we’ve all worked so hard to get. I’m really glad I’m able to share this week with those guys. We were a special group.”

It has to please Chiefs fans to see that Waters is carrying a piece of his Kansas City past with him as he readies for the biggest game of his life. Waters will go down as an all-time great Chief. After as signing as free agent in 2000 (the undrafted Waters was on Dallas’ practice squad in 1999), Waters became a stalwart in Kansas City. He made six Pro Bowls as a member of the Chiefs, including last season. Extremely charitable off the field, Waters won the prestigious NFL Man of the Year award in 2009.

However, Waters was cut by the Chiefs during the summer. Waters said it was a mutual decision that worked out well for both sides. There were rumblings that the Chiefs no longer thought Waters was a starting-quality player and that’s why he was cut. Waters said he never got that feel. If there were any questions about Waters’ abilities, he answered them in New England. He made the Pro Bowl again and he was widely considered one of the best guards in the NFL at the age of 34. He was dominant in the win over Baltimore in the AFC championship game.

Five weeks lapsed between Waters being cut in Kansas City and him signing with the Patriots. Waters said there were times when he wondered if he wanted to continue his career, but a lack of offers wasn’t a problem. “The phone rang every day,” he said. Once the he got the right call, Waters grabbed his shoulder pads.

“This was the right play place for me,” Waters said. “I’ve enjoyed this year so much it’s been a very smooth transition for me and now we get the chance to play the game that I’ve always wanted to play in.”

Could Waters imagine hoisting the Lombardi Trophy a day after his close friends punch a ticket to Canton?

“That would be unbelievable.”

Final Pro Bowl thoughts

December, 28, 2011
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Here are a few more thoughts I have on Tuesday’s Pro Bowl selections:

I’ve heard a lot in the past several hours since the AFC Pro Bowl team was announced that Philip Rivers was an undeserving selection on the team and Tim Tebow may have been snubbed.

I have a difficult time believing either theory.

Rivers is one of three quarterbacks to have made the AFC team -- joining New England’s Tom Brady and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.

Yes, Rivers had a down season for him, but he also did accomplish some nice things. He has thrown for 4,314 yards, which is the second most in the conference behind Brady. Rivers did thr0w 19 interceptions, but he threw just two interceptions in the final five games.

It may have not been Rivers’ best season, but his selection to the Pro Bowl roster is not farfetched.

Tebow is the No. 2 alternate behind Cincinnati rookie Andy Dalton. There is a solid chance he could make it to Hawaii because quarterbacks often bow out.

I think Tebow should be thrilled with his slotting. He simply didn’t play even and do enough to be among the top three quarterbacks in the division. He took over as the starter in the sixth game, and at 7-3 as the Broncos’ starter, has them on the cusp of the division title. He hasn’t been Pro Bowl-good, though.

Meanwhile, Brian Waters has made the Chiefs looked bad. Waters was cut this summer because the Chiefs thought he was over the hill.

After being a late addition to New England, Water has played brilliantly and he earned his spot as a Pro Bowl starter at the age of 34. Waters is a class act and he is a leader. He was a locker-room favorite in Kansas City and he is a favorite in New England as well.

AFC West notes

November, 16, 2011
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Denver linebacker Von Miller is back atop ESPN.com’s Rookie Watch after a dominant performance at Kansas City on Sunday.

Former Kansas City Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters will face his former team Monday as a member of the New England Patriots. The Chiefs cut him because his performance slipped, but he's getting rave reviews for his strong play as a Patriot.

ESPN.com’s Page 2 continues to have its fun with reformatting team logos.

ESPNChicago.com wonders whether former Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler is the better player. They meet for the first time since 2008 in Chicago on Sunday.

Oakland running back Darren McFadden, receiver Jacoby Ford and defensive lineman Richard Seymour are not practicing Wednesday and they are likely going to be questionable to play Sunday at Minnesota.

Here is a look at how to try to stop the Tim Tebow-led option from an AFC East perspective in anticipation of the Jets’ visit to Denver on Thursday night.

Evening AFC West notes

September, 28, 2011
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After the Raiders’ practice, Oakland coach Hue Jackson gave a full list of the team’s injuries. There are a lot of names on it. We won’t know until later on the full extent of the injury report.
  • Former Chiefs’ and current Patriots’ guard Brian Waters talks about Richard Seymour, who’ll face Waters and the Patriots as a member of the Raiders on Sunday.
  • Oakland running back Darren McFadden was named the AFC player of the week. He averaged 9 yards per carry in Oakland’s win over the Jets.
  • The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Chargers’ tight end Antonio Gates said it will be difficult for him to play Sunday against Miami, but he hasn’t given up hope. Again, I wouldn’t be surprises if Gates doesn’t play until after the Chargers’ Oct. 16 bye.
  • Two Titans were fined for their actions against the Broncos. Both players had some interesting things to say about the fines.
  • There are some AFC West connections on the preliminary list of candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The class will be elected in February with a few cut downs in the coming months.

Joyner: Raiders are for real

September, 28, 2011
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KC Joyner knows football. He knows trends and he can crunch a number with a maestro’s touch. Joyner doesn’t think the Oakland Raiders are going anywhere … other than, perhaps, the playoffs.

In an Insider piece, Joyner explains why he thinks the Raiders are a legitimate contender. Here is a passage from the piece:
After doing detailed game tape and metric analysis, it is clear this team is not the same old Raiders. In fact, it looks like a bona fide playoff contender.

It’s good stuff and completely believable. The Raiders are alive and well.

In other AFC West nuggets Wednesday:

ESPN Boston looks at the Richard Seymour of the Raiders from a Patriots perspective. He was traded to Oakland in 2009. The Patriots visit Oakland on Sunday.

The Chiefs did a tight end swap again. They cut Anthony Becht and re-signed Jake O’Connell. Two weeks ago, they re-signed Becht and cut O’Connell.

The Chargers hope a new bill signed by the governor of California could help keep them in San Diego.

Offensive coordinator Bill Muir is keeping his gig as the playcaller in Kansas City.

Oakland running back Darren McFadden is back on ESPN.com’s MVP Watch.

Former Chief and current Patriot Brian Waters recalls previous trips to Oakland. You must check out this link. Guaranteed chuckle.

A Carolina reunion in Denver?

September, 4, 2011
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Carolina has reportedly waived defensive end Everette Brown, according to Sirius NFL radio. The Panthers traded a future No. 1 pick in 2009 (yes,the same thing Denver did with flameout cornerback Alphonso Smith that year) to take Brown in the second round. It will be interesting to see if the Denver Broncos (coached by former Carolina coach John Fox) claim Brown. Denver has the No. 2 claiming priority in the league behind Carolina. Thus, the Broncos will get first crack at Brown. For a team looking for the right mix on defense, I could see the Broncos making this move if Fox believes Brown can play.

In other AFC West related-news Sunday:

Well, we can forget the notion that Brandon Meriweather could reunite with Scott Pioli in Kansas City. The safety has signed with the Bears. He was cut by New England on Saturday.

As a result of the 53-man roster Saturday, the Chargers are the third oldest team in the NFL. Signing veteran defenders Takeo Spikes, Bob Sanders and Na'il Diggs (who was added Saturday) certainly helped add to the Chargers’ age tally. Rebuilding Denver is the youngest team in the division.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that former Chiefs guard Brian Waters has agreed to terms with New England. Waters, a face of the organization for the past 11 years, was cut in Kansas City this summer. Best of luck to Waters, who was always generous with his time with me in the Chiefs’ locker room.

There were some interesting numbers-related nuggets gleaned from the 53-man rosters. The Raiders have among the fewest linebackers (six) in the league. Kansas City is tied for the fewest amount of offensive lineman (seven) while San Diego is tied for the most linebackers (10) in the league. Perhaps these numbers are indications of where teams could look to add or look to cut from in the next few days.

Could Scott Tolzien be claimed?

September, 3, 2011
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The San Diego Tribune put out an interesting nugget. It says it’s no sure thing that undrafted rookie quarterback Scott Tolzien will make it onto the San Diego Chargers’ practice squad. The paper thinks he could be claimed.

It reports that the San Francisco 49ers likes Tolzien. San Francisco is looking for quarterbacks and Tolzien played well against them in the preseason finale. Teams usually don’t think undrafted free agents are going to be claimed, but a quarterback who had a good summer could be a different story.

If Tolzien does get claimed, the Chargers will likely look to add a young quarterback to the practice squad behind roster players Philip Rivers and Billy Volek. We’ll find out Sunday when teams can claim players who were cut Saturday.

In other AFC West-related news at the end of a busy, day in the division:

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports former Kansas City Chiefs guard Brian Waters tried out for the New England Patriots. It was his first reported visit since he was cut earlier in the summer.

The Oakland Raiders will practice at night this week in preparation for the "Monday Night Football" game in Colorado against the Denver Broncos. Kickoff is set for 10:15 p.m. ET.
We held our AFC West chat earlier Thursday. Below are some highlights:

Denver

Ryan from Denver: Any potential surprising cuts in store for Denver?

BW: Second-round 2009 pick Darcel McBath and fourth-round 2009 pick David Bruton (both safeties) could be on the chopping block.

Kansas City

Sweet Weaz from Essexville, Mi.: Bill, how's the Chiefs O-line shaping up with Jon) Asomoah and (Jared) Gaither? I've liked what I've seen from their offense the last two years.. and hope that it continues to mature

BW: They like Asomoah a lot. He was the reason why the Chiefs moved away from Brian Waters. Gaither will likely start if he is healthy. He played last week which was a good sign.

Oakland

Keith from New Jersey: Is it close to the time to start talking extension with Darren McFadden?

BW: Good question, Keith. McFadden and Johnson came into the league at the same time. Johnson has been great his entire career. McFadden came on strong last season. If McFadden has another huge year this year, he could ask for a new deal. But remember, McFadden was the No. 4 overall pick in 2008 and Johnson went later in the first round, so McFadden has already been paid a lot. But it soon could be time to think about the second deal.

San Diego

Billy from SD: Does Darryl Gamble and Bryan Walters make the cut?

BW: It will be close for both guys. Walters may have a better chance. Gamble could be a practice squad guy although it would be a well, a gamble, to expose him to the waiver wire.

Camp Confidential: Chiefs

August, 19, 2011
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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Been looking for post-lockout, smashmouth NFL action?

Hope you didn’t come to Chiefs camp during the past three weeks.

Kansas City's training camp wasn’t the most exciting place in the NFL. The Chiefs started very slowly, only going to pads last Sunday. The team’s starters did virtually nothing in a 25-0 loss to Tampa Bay last Friday night. Coach Todd Haley said he may take the same approach this Friday at Baltimore.

It’s a lockout-caused plan for Haley as the Chiefs take the big-picture approach and begin their AFC West title defense.

Haley was concerned about the length of the lockout and didn’t want to rush his team into action because of the lost time. He wants this team to be fresh for the season. Other teams have crammed in as much physical play as possible. Haley, known for his physical camps in his first two years in Kansas City, is taking a much different approach.

At this point, he said, getting his team conditioned to make up for lost time is more important to him than practicing hard. Haley said he will concentrate on heavy football drills toward the end of the preseason to ensure the team stays as healthy as possible heading into the regular season.

The coach is taking some heat for taking the cautious approach. Many fans are concerned that the Chiefs will not be ready when they open the regular season against visiting Buffalo on Sept. 11.

“I’m sticking to my convictions,” Haley said. “This is what is best for this team. I believe we will be ready for the season.”

The Chiefs picked up the intensity in practice this week, but they will not turn their starters loose until the third preseason game. There is even a chance that the starters will play in the final preseason game, which routinely doesn’t happen around the league.

“This is the approach Coach Haley wants us to take,” Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel. “We are fully behind him.”

THREE HOT ISSUES

1. Work with the quarterback: Cassel’s development is still the No. 1 priority for this team, and camp time is essential. There is no doubt that Cassel progressed last season, but he fell off at the end of the season and now has to get used to working with new quarterback coach Jim Zorn after a one-year stint with Charlie Weis as a his offensive coordinator. Weis now has the same job at the University of Florida. Cassel and Zorn lost valuable time due to the lockout. However, they are said to have built a good relationship and gotten comfortable working together this summer.

[+] EnlargeMatt Cassel
Kirby Lee/US PresswireChiefs quarterback Matt Cassel will have plenty of options when distributing the ball this season.
2. Spread the ball around: The Chiefs are spending this camp getting their varied passing-game weapons in order. This can be a dangerous passing offense and this camp is being spent on how to best utilize it. Cassel has many directions in which to look. It starts with No. 1 receiver Dwayne Bowe, but the Chiefs have given him help by drafting Jon Baldwin in the first round and signing slot receiver Steve Breaston, who played for Haley in Arizona and caught 77 passes in 2008 under Haley’s guidance. Add tight end Tony Moeaki and running back/receiver Dexter McCluster and there are a lot of options. Figuring out the best way to utilize all of them is what camp is for.

3. Figuring what’s best for Charles: It has driven many Kansas City fans crazy that the Chiefs don’t give Jamaal Charles more carries. Thomas Jones had 245 rushing attempts last season, while Charles had 230. Jones fell off toward the end of the season, but Charles was spectacular. He had 1,467 rushing yards, second in the league. The Chiefs want to increase his numbers but also want him to stay fresh and healthy, so don’t expect his workload to fly through the roof. To help both Charles and Jones, who will likely get 8-10 carries per game, the Chiefs signed former Baltimore fullback Le'Ron McClain, who runs the ball more than the average fullback. The Chiefs are working all three backs during this camp to figure out the most advantageous carry distribution.

ARE THEY GOING TO JARED?

The Chiefs’ camp got interesting last week when the team picked up former Baltimore left tackle Jared Gaither. Known as an above-average left tackle, Gaither missed all of last season with a back injury. The Raiders considered signing him early in camp, but they passed because of his back.

The Chiefs signed Gaither during camp and he is now practicing with the second team. If his back holds up, there is a strong chance he could move into the starting lineup and send Branden Albert to right tackle. Albert, a first-round pick in 2008, has been a decent but not great left tackle. The Chiefs have long considered making him a right tackle, where many scouts think he’d flourish. If he moves to right tackle, Albert would replace Barry Richardson. If the massive Gaither (6-foot-9, 340 pounds) is healthy and motivated, this could be a significant move for Kansas City.

CHIEFS MAY NEED TO BACK IT UP AT QB

The Chiefs are keeping a close eye on backup quarterbacks Tyler Palko and rookie Ricky Stanzi during camp. The two struggled in the preseason opener last week. If they continue to struggle, Kansas City could potentially consider bringing in a veteran backup such as Jake Delhomme to be the No. 2 quarterback. Still, Stanzi, a fifth-round pick from Iowa, should be a lock to make the team. Palko will have to increase his production to survive the final cuts.

OBSERVATION DECK

  • The team loves the addition of nose tackle Kelly Gregg. He has been a leader, has been working hard in camp and has been a positive influence on young players, including draft pick Jerrell Powe.

  • The Chiefs are working on increasing their turnover numbers on defense. They had the eighth-fewest takeaways in the NFL last season.
    [+] EnlargeKansas City's Jon Baldwin
    Denny Medley/US PRESSWIREFirst-round draft pick Jon Baldwin, along with new acquisition Steve Breaston, are expected to make an impact this season.

  • Baldwin was hampered by some minor issues. Camp observers said he struggled early in camp getting off the line of scrimmage, but the coaching staff is confident the No. 26 overall pick in the 2011 draft will catch up quickly. Baldwin had a reputation for being difficult in college, but the Chiefs haven’t seen any of indications of that and are more than satisfied with his attitude.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed that Baldwin is doubtful for the rest of training camp after a locker-room fight with Jones. Baldwin’s incident occurred after the Chiefs brass praised his attitude. This event has to be alarming for the team.

  • Veteran backup Jerheme Urban has been running with the first team with Bowe as Baldwin and Breaston get acclimated. Don’t expect that to last. Baldwin and Breaston were brought in to play a lot of snaps.

  • Haley has paired veterans with rookies to help the younger players through camp. The players room together, and Haley often matches up players from opposite sides of the ball to help team continuity.

  • Veteran Andy Studebaker has been working with the first team at outside linebacker opposite star pass-rusher Tamba Hali. The Chiefs are going to use several players to pressure the quarterback, but Studebaker has a chance to have a key role while rookie Justin Houston learns the team’s system.

  • McCluster has been working mostly out of the backfield as Haley suggested he would in May. Still, expect McCluster to line up at receiver some as well. The Chiefs are looking to create as many matchup problems as they can with McCluster, especially on third downs.

  • Rookie DE Allen Bailey has a chance to contribute right away as a pass-rusher. He has been working diligently in that area in camp.

  • Rookie offensive lineman Rodney Hudson has been looking good. The second-round pick could play at guard and at center.

  • The team also likes the progress of second-year guard Jon Asamoah, who has a chance to shine in the aftermath of the release of Brian Waters.

  • Former San Diego inside linebacker Brandon Siler is making a push for major playing time. He is a solid talent who also helps on special teams.

  • Linebacker Cameron Sheffield has played well. And he could be a contributor. He missed all of last season after suffering a neck injury in the preseason.

  • One undrafted free agent to watch is Temple linebacker Amara Kamara. He has caught on to the defensive scheme very quickly.

  • Cornerback Jalil Brown, a fourth-round pick out of Colorado, has been impressive and has a chance to be contributor in some packages and on special teams.

AFC West mailbag

August, 6, 2011
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Weekend mail call:

Michael from Long Beach wants to know what I think about Ryan Mathews’ slow start to camp.

Bill Williamson: It’s been a tad worrisome. He didn’t pass a conditioning practice at the beginning of camp that most San Diego players had no problem passing. The running back admitted he could have conditioned his legs more during the lockout. And he has missed some time with a reported toe injury. This is a big year for Mathews. The Chargers need to get something out of the No. 12 overall pick in 2010. He showed flashes a rookie but durability was an issue. There’s no excuse for him not to be in premium shape. It’s early and he has time to get ready for the season, but the team is surely keeping its eye on him.

Brian from San Diego wants to know what I think about Oakland draft picks Denarius Moore (receiver) and David Ausberry (tight end).

BW: They looked decent when I was at the Raiders’ camp early in the week. I think Moore, a fifth-round pick from Tennessee, has a better chance of helping early. I’m not sure if he will have the same impact Jacoby Ford had as a rookie last year, but we may see him get a chance. He seems polished and he gets open a lot. He's been a star of camp. Ausberry, a seventh-round pick from USC, is moving to tight end from receiver. He is big and fast. But he will be a work in progress and it’s unlikely he will be ready to make a huge impact as a rookie.

Aaron from Syracuse wants to know if I think Brian Waters, who was recently cut by the Chiefs, could end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

BW: I read your email and you make a good case, Aaron. He was part of some great running offenses and he led the way for Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. But guards usually have to be extremely dominant to make the Hall of Fame, especially guards without multiple Super Bowl titles. He made five Pro Bowls and he was named All-Pro twice since joining the Chiefs in 2000. Waters has a good reputation and he could get some votes, but it may be difficult for him. Former Kansas City guard Will Shields, however, could easily go in on his first ballot next year. He was named to 12 Pro Bowls in 14 NFL seasons and he was All-Pro nine times.
Sports Illusrated’s Peter King said Nnamdi Asomugha took less money from the Eagles than he would have gotten elsewhere because that’s where he wanted to land. Meanwhile, New York didn’t take kindly to Asomugha spurning the Jets for the Eagles.

ESPN’s Ashley Fox thinks Asomugha could help the Eagles to the Super Bowl this season. Sounds about right.

In other AFC West nuggets on an early Saturday afternoon:

The Denver Post thinks a Kyle Orton trade to Miami is dead because Orton can’t come to a contract accord with the Dolphins. Here’s an opinion that says the deal will still get done.

There is competition at right guard in San Diego.

Second-year guard Jon Asamoah has a chance to start after the Chiefs cut long-time stalwart Brian Waters.

Drew Brees loves having Darren Sproles in New Orleans.

The Chiefs don’t think tight end Tony Moeaki will be out of practice for long.

The Raiders are getting a good look at whether tackle Jared Gaither is healthy or not. If so, he could soon be signed.

After a rocky year, San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson says he feels at “home” with the Chargers. The question is, will it be his home after this season?

The Raiders reached out to their fans in a video to say thanks for hanging in during the lockout.

NFL.com is reporting former Denver tight end Daniel Graham is visiting the Steelers.

The Chiefs signed former Northwestern receiver Zeke Markshausen. He was in the Bears’ camp last year. He will have a difficult time making the roster.

A good ride for Waters in K.C.

July, 28, 2011
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I heard rumblings this summer that the Kansas City Chiefs would cut Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters, and I’ve heard rumblings from scouts that his skills have eroded some.

But it did come as a bit of surprise to receive the email from the Chiefs that they cut Waters on Thursday. He was a bright light for the organization and the community. He was a classy player and a classy guy off the field.

He was a leader of that team, and I thought the Chiefs might stick around for one more season with Waters. But it’s clear the Chiefs want to transition to some younger players on the line. Jon Asamoah, taken last year, could join veteran guard Ryan Lilja as a starter. Second-round pick Rodney Hudson also could push for guard time as veteran Casey Wiegmann plays one more year at center.

Asamoah and Hudson are good, young players the Chiefs need to look at. Plus, Wiegmann and Lilja will provide veteran leadership, so I think they withstand Waters’ departure. But his presence will be missed in the locker room. He was a pro’s pro.

Waters said his release was mutual (probably because he wants to remain a starter) and he is looking to continue his career elsewhere. I think Waters would be a good fit for a rising young team that needs help on the line.

Oakland, anyone?

Perhaps I wrote that selfishly. Waters is one of my favorite interview subjects and I’d love to get a chance to continue working with him. Wherever he goes, I’m sure he’ll be missed in Kansas City and appreciated for his service there, on the field and in the community, for the past 11 years.

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