AFC West: Jarrad Page

Owners meeting odds and ends

March, 22, 2011
3/22/11
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the Detroit Lions are appealing the tampering case against them. The league ruled that the team tampered against an unnamed Chiefs’ player (reportedly former safety Jarrad Page). The Chiefs and Lions switched places in the fifth round of next month draft and the Lions were docked a seventh-round pick. The Chiefs will now pick ninth in the fifth round and the Lions will pick 23rd.

New Denver coach John Fox likes veterans and he likes to run the ball. Perhaps he can look at two current Miami running backs who may soon be two former Miami running backs.

Fox likens the Duke to the King.

I was told that a transcript from Oakland coach Hue Jackson’s press briefing Tuesday will be available Wednesday. I’ll pass along any pertinent information.

Kansas City coach Todd Haley still isn’t saying who will call the plays this season. Expect Haley to be involved in the duty, whether he confirms it or not.


AFC West evening notes

February, 24, 2011
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Denver Broncos are considering pursuing safety O.J. Atogwe.

The St. Louis Rams cut Atogwe on Friday after six seasons. The Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills are two other teams that have shown interest. The Atogwe talks may not move fast, but the Broncos could end up bringing him in for a visit.

Denver is expected to make major changes on defense. There is a chance Denver won’t bring back Brian Dawkins because of his high price tag.

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz indicated that Detroit will appeal their tampering charge. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was found guilty of tampering with a Kansas City Chiefs player, believed to be former safety Jarrad Page. The Chiefs will now draft No. 9 and the Lions will draft No. 23 in the fifth round. Detroit was also docked a seventh-round pick.

New Denver coach John Fox and new Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera embraced when they ran into each other at the NFL combine on Thursday. Rivera, the San Diego Chargers' former defensive coordinator, replaced Fox in Carolina.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Chargers are prepared to place the restricted free agency tender tags on Eric Weddle and Malcom Floyd.
The good news for the Kansas City Chiefs is that they won their tampering case against the Detroit Lions.

But the reality is, the Chiefs didn’t benefit much from the victory.

The NFL announced that the Chiefs and Lions will swap fifth-round picks this year. Instead of drafting No. 23 in the round, the Chiefs will pick ninth. Detroit also lost a seventh-round pick. Both teams can appeal the decision. You’d think a tampering victory would be worth more than 16 draft slots. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs asked for better compensation.

The case reportedly stems from Detroit defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham's pursuit of Kansas City safety Jarrad Page while Page was under contract with the Chiefs. Cunningham was the former defensive coordinator in Kansas City and Page, who was holding out from the Chiefs at the time, has since been traded to New England.

The premise of this story is much juicier than the actual payoff. But, I guess moving 16 spots near the end of the draft is better than nothing for Kansas City.

Chiefs turn Page on unhappy safety

September, 4, 2010
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It’s not like many people in Kansas City where thinking about Jarrad Page much these days, anyway.

Now, the book is officially closed on Page.

ESPN.com is reporting that the safety was sent to New England for a conditional draft pick. It was clear all summer that Page would not play for Kansas City again. He held out for the entire preseason, and the Chiefs never really cared. They moved on with rookies Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis at the position.

Page signed his restricted free agency tender on Friday. Still, it was clear the Chiefs had no intention of keeping him.

Some can reason that Page won his fight with the Chiefs because he got what he wanted: a trade. But the Chiefs can also feel like they won. They got value for a player who didn’t want to be part of their program and a player who they easily moved away from.

Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli likely won’t trade every disgruntled player in the future, but if he feels it will help the team, he won’t hesitate to jettison players.

Report: Jarrad Page signs tender

September, 3, 2010
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Safety Jarrad Page has signed his restricted free agency tender with Kansas City, NFL.com reported.

The site reports Page still wants to be traded and he hasn’t decided when he will join the team, but he likely won’t show up before next week. The team can start fining him each day if he doesn’t show.

It will be interesting to see how Kansas City reacts. With Page signed, it could take a way a spot on the 53-man roster. Kansas City has been operating without much worry that Page was not there. The team moved on with rookie satieties Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis.

Kansas City could trade Page. But it will have to be a deal that makes sense for the team. General manager Scott Pioli will be very careful not to make this situation look like Page won. Pioli doesn’t want to send a message to players that they can hold out and get their way.

Because the Chiefs have already moved on without Page, this development will not put him in a position of strength.
Some early AFC West notes to digest:

The San Francisco Chronicle suggests backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski’s spot on the 53-man roster could be in jeopardy. I’d be surprised. Gradkowski is beloved by his coaches and teammates. I just don’t believe he would lose a spot on this team because of an injury. He was too valuable last season when he played.

Meanwhile, in the same article, the Darrius Heyward-Bey “fatigue” issue is being addressed. A lot has been made of this issue this week. Heyward-Bey missed four days of practice because his coach, Tom Cable, said his legs are tired after a long offseason and training camp. It’s a tad strange because every player in the league works hard. I’m going to withhold judgment on this one. But if it continues, it could be an issue. The Raiders are counting on Heyward-Bey whether he’s tired or not.

The rumors persist that the Detroit Lions will make a play for Kansas City holdout safety Jarrad Page. I can’t imagine why the Chiefs would object to a trade if the price is decent. The Chiefs simply don’t care about Page’s holdout. They are moving forward at safety without him.

Meanwhile, Kansas City owner Clark Hunt is in favor of the league adopting an 18-game schedule. Why wouldn’t he? All owners want it. More games, more money.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has an interesting story on how the defensive backs in San Diego feel better without Antonio Cromartie. I often heard Cromartie was a troublesome influence in the Chargers’ secondary room. Combine his inconsistency and his off-field demeanor and it’s easy to see why the Chargers feel better about Cromartie being a New York Jet.

The Broncos are reportedly close to signing the little brother of standout linebacker D.J. Williams.
ESPN.com NFL Power Ranking (pre-camp): 27

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Sure, Scott Pioli and Todd Haley would rather their Kansas City Chiefs program was further along than it is as they approach the second preseason game of their second summer at the helm.

But they know it’s a long process. And the process is taking shape.

“I’ve been a part of great teams,” said Pioli, who was an executive in New England during its glory years. “We’re not there, but I’m encouraged. I feel better than I did this time last year.”

Pioli and Haley, whom Pioli hired as a first-time head coach in 2009, knew it would be a challenge when they took over a Kansas City team that won a combined six games in 2007 and '08. The Chiefs were not much better last season, finishing 4-12, but the team did make strides late in the year.

“I knew last year wasn’t going to be easy or fun or smooth or comfortable,” Haley said. “And it lived up to expectations. ... But we were building a program and trying to change things. We’re doing it our way.”

As a result, Pioli and Haley have seen progress this offseason and so far in camp.

“It’s apples and oranges,” Haley said. “I really like what we’re seeing. We still have a long way to go and we haven't done anything yet, but we are seeing the pieces come together in this program.”

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Josh D. Weiss/US PresswireMatt Cassel threw for 2,924 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
That’s all the team’s brass can ask for from this young, intriguing team.

THREE HOT ISSUES

1. Is quarterback Matt Cassel getting better? It’s difficult to say quite yet. The word is that he has been better at times during camp, but he didn’t do much against Atlanta in the first preseason game. It’s time Cassel is unleashed and given the chance to show what he can do. The team is being very careful with him. Cassel has better weapons this year. With a better supporting cast, Cassel should be better in his second season in Kansas City. But we just haven’t seen it yet. His ability to lead Kansas City will very likely, once again, be a major storyline heading into the regular season.

2. What’s the influence of the two new coordinators? We are seeing a more disciplined, organized Kansas City team this camp. Much of the reason is because Haley is in his second season and everything usually flows better in a second season of a new era. Haley also acknowledges the presence of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel helps. The two veteran coaches, who were a big part of New England’s dynasty days, give valuable experience to Haley’s staff and bring a real presence to this team. This is a young team that has responded well to the top-notch coaching. The Chiefs are still very much a work in progress, but Weis and Crennel are helping bring this program up to speed.

“I think we have more continuity this year because of who we added to the staff,” Pioli said. “We all have history together.”

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesTamba Hali had 8.5 sacks in 2009, but the Chiefs need to get more of a consistent pass rush.
3. Where’s the pass rush coming from? We don’t know yet and that is worrisome. How are the Chiefs going to be a real contender if they don’t have a legitimate pass rush? This has been a problem in Kansas City since Jared Allen was shipped to Minnesota in 2008. We all know the Chiefs didn’t want to sign Allen to a long-term deal and we know the Chiefs got a decent bounty in return for him, but the truth is the pass rush has been almost non-existent since he left. In Allen’s first year away, the Chiefs set an NFL record for the fewest sacks in a season with 10. Last year, the pass rush was anemic as well. The lone legitimate pass-rusher on the team is Tamba Hali. He often hurries the quarterback, but he has little help. There haven’t been many people in training camp to stand up and show Kansas City they are ready to help Hali either. Thus, this may continue to be a major weak spot in Kansas City.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Many Kansas City fans were in an uproar when Thomas Jones was listed as the starter on the camp depth chart. Jamaal Charles looked like the league’s next star running back when he finished with 1,120 yards last season after becoming the starter at midseason. Jones was signed as a free agent this offseason to complement Charles and to keep him fresh. Still, having Jones at the top of the depth chart was an indication that Charles could be buried. Don’t worry about it, though. Despite the surprising depth-chart look, Charles will get plenty of carries. This should be a dynamite pair.

“I really like where this running game is going,” Cassel said. “A good running game is a quarterback’s best friend and I think it can really help us.”

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

One of the reasons the Kansas City front seven has yet to establish itself is the lack of impact made by the team’s last two first-round picks. That can be a killer to the team. Glenn Dorsey was the No. 5 overall pick in 2008 and Tyson Jackson was the No. 3 overall pick last year. Both are starters, but neither player has had a major impact. These are supposed to be cornerstone players. If Dorsey doesn’t get it in his third season, when will he?

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesThe Chiefs expect rookie Eric Berry to make an immediate impact in the secondary.
OBSERVATION DECK

  • The Chiefs’ rookie class has the camp buzzing. Safeties Eric Berry (first round) and Kendrick Lewis (fifth), running back/receiver Dexter McCluster (second), cornerback/returner Javier Arenas (second) and tight end Tony Moeaki (third) have all stood out. Each of those players has a chance to make major contributions right away. This has a chance to be a dynamic group.
  • After spending much of last season in Haley’s doghouse, linebacker Derrick Johnson is still not working with the first team. Still, Johnson is too talented not to have a role on this team.
  • This has been a physical camp. Of the team’s 27 camp practices, 25 have been in pads. There’s no doubt Haley wants to make this one of the most physical teams in the league.
  • Receiver Dwayne Bowe looks to be in decent shape. Bowe has had his issues under Haley, but he seems to be working fairly hard as he is about to enter a pivotal season in his career.
  • Keep an eye on defensive tackle Derek Lokey. He could play a big role.
  • Backup quarterback Brodie Croyle had looked pretty good in camp before suffering an arm injury. It wouldn’t be a shock if there is some interest from other teams in the former starter if he can return to health fairly soon.
  • The Kansas City offensive line is improved, but right tackle Ryan O'Callaghan has struggled some. It could be a problem area.
  • The Chiefs love the big leg of second-year kicker Ryan Succop. He missed two 53-yarders at Atlanta, but the team has no problem letting him rip on long attempts.
  • Restricted free-agent safety Jarrad Page is staging what is the league’s quietest holdout. Nobody seems to care, the Chiefs included. They have clearly moved on with the youngsters at safety. Page could be dumped for a low draft pick at some point.
  • Arenas could push third-year man Brandon Carr for some playing time at right cornerback. Arenas is good in man-to-man coverage, which the Chiefs like. Carr is more of a Cover 2 guy.
  • The Chiefs have practiced the Wildcat some. With players such as Charles and McCluster available to operate it, this could be a very nice occasional wrinkle for Kansas City to use.

Evening AFC West notes

August, 7, 2010
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The agent for Kansas City Chiefs holdout safety Jarrad Page is publicly saying the team is being vindictive in its handling of Page. He is a restricted free agent, who did not sign his tender.

This situation is very strange. Page is staying away and the Chiefs just don’t care. They have moved on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs eventually trade Page. Or they could just let him sit. Again, there is not a lot of time being spent thinking about Page in Kansas City.

New Oakland defensive tackle John Henderson says “I got it all, baby.” Oakland doesn’t need it all from Henderson. If he can give the Raiders 20-25 quality plays a game and help stop the run, his signing will be worthwhile.

The Denver Broncos will honor running back Floyd Little as he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night. His induction speech will be shown live during Denver’s scrimmage, which is open to the public, and the team will wear decals of Little’s No. 44.

The Chiefs signed offensive lineman Dan Santucci and cut running back Tervaris Johnson. Santucci likely has an uphill battle to win a roster spot.

You pick it responses

June, 25, 2010
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We had a runaway winner in the AFC West storyline feature this week.

Readers thought Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour signing his franchise tender (he did so after Oakland ended the off-season program, which he didn’t attend) was the story of the week. The other candidates in a slow week was Denver claiming running back Kolby Smith a day after Kansas City cut him and Kansas City safety Jarrad Page reportedly asking for a trade.

I agree with the readers. The Seymour story was big. He is a big part of Oakland’s plans in 2010 and having him prepared to go to his first training camp with Oakland is significant.

Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:

Will from Harrisburg, Pa.: In regards to the biggest AFC West storyline of this week: It has to be Seymour signing his tender. I always assumed he would at some point, but now is better than the week before camp begins. Sure, he wasn't at the OTAs and other club events, but I doubt missing that time will affect him in September. Remember, his arrival in Oakland last year came late, and with alot of questions. I don't feel he played his best last year, but he wasn't horrible like other aquisitions the Raiders made in the recent past; Hall comes to mind. This team may just take the division.

DJ Mbenga from the Golden State: I feel like the story is less about Seymour signing his franchise tag (he was going to do it eventually), and more about him not yet agreeing to a long-term deal with the Raiders. In my opinion, the Raiders have got to lock Seymour up for at least two years, preferably three. He's a proven winner/leader, has an incredible work ethic, and still has enough gas in the tank to make an impact for several more years. The guy constantly commands a double team, which will free up others in the Raiders' improving front 7. Al Davis will eventually get Seymour inked for a few more years at an expensive price. Before or during training camp, it doesn't really matter as long as we lock him up.

Ben from Shawnee, KS.: This biggest story out of the 3 has to be Jarrad Page wanting to be traded. He has little value on the market coming off a season where he finished injured, and the seasons before he has been so inconsistent with his play. He would be considered the most veteran player in the KC secondary, which has been tremendously upgraded with the additions of Berry and Arenas and even Lewis. Now the Chiefs will most likely start 2 rookie safeties, which puts a lot of the shoulders of the young guys.

Coty: Seymour signing is the bigger deal, why? Well are Smith and this other guy even relevent? Seymour is a talented DE and is going to help make Oaklands DLine stout with the addition of John Henderson and soon to be added Haynesworth...ok I am dreaming but if some reports are true and Haynesworth can be had for a 4th or 5th? Man Seymour signing is all that much more important, imgagine Seymour, Haynesworth, Henderson, Kelly on the DL with Houston, and Shaugnessy, Bryant, Groves rotating in? That takes Oaklands biggest weakness a year ago and makes it a strength. Signing Seymour is the first piece to that puzzle.

Tommy from Fresno: It’s the Seymour story. He’s moving on with the season and so are the Raiders. It’s a new day in Oakland.
The candidates are:

Seymour signs tender: Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour signed his $12 million-plus franchise tender after missing Oakland’s entire offseason program.

Kolby Smith switches AFC West teams: After being cut by Kansas City, promising, but oft-injured running back Kolby Smith was claimed by Denver.

Page asks to be dealt: Kansas City safety Jarrad Page reportedly has asked to be traded. He didn’t sign his restricted free–agency tender. The Chiefs appear to be moving on from Page.

Pick your story of the week and hit my mailbag with your thoughts. I will post some of your responses later in the week.
In an Insiders piece on ESPN.com Insider, Len Pasquarelli looked at the how Tim Tebow will fit in on Denver’s 45-man roster early in the season. Last week, Denver coach Josh McDaniels said he hasn’t made up his mind yet, but he is leaning toward keeping two quarterbacks active on the game-day 45-man roster.

I still get the feeling that Tebow will be part of the game-day mix no matter how it shakes out. Denver drafted him to use him, even if it’s in special packages in the early stages of his career.

A source close to JaMarcus Russell said the former Oakland quarterback has no plans to play in the UFL despite the efforts of the Omaha franchise. Russell is solely focused on getting a job in the NFL.

Chiefs safety Jarrad Page reportedly has asked to be traded. He is a restricted free agent who didn’t sign his tender by the deadline this week. The Chiefs have moved on from Page. He likely wouldn’t fetch much on the trade market.
The Broncos signed their fourth draft pick and their highest pick to date by inking center J.D. Walton on Thursday.

Walton was a third-round pick, the No. 80 player taken overall. The Baylor product has a chance to start on opening day. By signing early, Walton will have every opportunity to earn the starting job. Denver waived fullback Kyle Eckel and rookie defensive lineman Jaron Baston.

The Kansas City Star looks at the Jarrad Page situation. I get the feeling this is going to end with Page leaving Kansas City. But it really doesn’t matter much because it appears the Chiefs are moving on without Page.

The Chiefs’ website believes the team is primed to soon start signing some of their draft picks.

Miami extended the contract of linebacker Tim Dobbins for two years. He was acquired from San Diego in the Ryan Mathews draft-day trade.
We’ve discussed Albert Haynesworth ending up in the AFC West earlier this offseason. Yet, with him asking for a trade, I’m sure the subject is going to come up again.

The only team in the division he would fit with is Oakland. The other three teams use a 3-4 defense and that’s a chief reason why Haynesworth wants to leave the Redskins.

Oakland uses a 4-3 defense. Still, the Raiders have added several defensive players this season who are good fits in a 3-4 defense, so they may use the alignment some this season.

Still, Al Davis looks at every opportunity and we all know he is willing to take chances. I bet Oakland watches film of Haynesworth because the Raiders will add anyone who they think can help. Still, it may be a tough call for the team, especially since it added defensive tackle John Henderson.

Football Outsiders have an interesting look at salaries in anESPN.com Insider piece Insider. There are some interesting AFC West angles here.

The Chiefs canceled their last organized team activities session. Next time the Chiefs hit the field will be in training camp. This is not unusual. If coaches feel like they accomplished everything they wanted to in the spring, they often throw their players a bone. That’s what Chiefs coach Todd Haley is doing here.

Like the situation in San Diego with Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson, it looks like Chiefs safety Jarred Page is heading for a big pay cut. Unlike in San Diego, the Chiefs really won’t care if Page stays away. He likely won’t play in Kansas City this season unless there is a major change of heart by both sides.
Tra Thomas worked with the first-team offense in San Diego during theChargers’ organized team activities workout. Thomas, 36, signed with the Chargers on Wednesday.

That’s why he was brought in for. Thomas is the starter at left tackle and the team's insurance policy as long as Marcus McNeill stays away.

Mel Kiper breaks down the AFC West in this Insider piece on ESPN.com Insider. Kiper has some interesting thoughts on what rookies he thinks will help their teams.

The Kansas City Star describes safety Jarred Page’s chances of making the Chiefs’ roster as “remote at best.” He is a restricted free agent, who has not signed his tender. He started five games in 2009. Kansas City drafted safety Eric Berry with the No. 5 overall pick this spring.

Former San Diego defensive lineman Leonardo Carson has been given a long prison sentence for drug charges.
The Kansas City Star reports that guard Brian Waters is at the team’s organized training activities Monday. He joins linebacker Mike Vrabel, who had said he planned to attend this year’s session.

Both Waters and Vrabel did not attend OTAs last year. Vrabel didn’t attend because he was adjusting to his sudden trade from New England. Waters was upset with the team’s new brass last year.

However, it seems both players have worked out their issues. Like Vrabel, Waters is a leader. Having him happy is key for the Chiefs. The newspaper reported that restricted free agent safety Jarrad Page was the only player not to attend Monday.

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