AFC West: Michael Merritt

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Kansas City Chiefs' new regime continues to part ways with members of its 2008 draft class, the final class of the Carl Peterson era.

Wednesday, Kansas City cut defensive end Brian Johnston. He was a seventh-round pick out of Gardner-Webb. Johnston played in nine games as a rookie. He had three tackles on defense and one on special teams.

He is the fourth of Kansas City's 12-member 2008 draft class to be cut since Scott Pioli took over as general manager in January. The team has also cut receivers Will Franklin (fourth round and the highest 2008 draft choice to be cut to date) and Kevin Robinson (sixth) and tight end Michael Merritt (seventh).

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Memo to any Kansas City Chiefs players who wants to stay employed: Don't get arrested.

The new Kansas City regime continued its zero-tolerance policy for players who get in legal trouble by terminating the contract of veteran backup cornerback David Macklin on Wednesday.

Friday, he was arrested for drunken driving in Virginia. Five days later, he is out of work. Last month, Kansas City cut second-year tight end Michael Merritt after he was arrested in Florida on marijuana charges.

The Chiefs clearly mean business. Get arrested, go away.

Of course, neither player was expected to play a major role on the team. Macklin played in only four games last season.

These moves make me wonder what Kansas City is going to do with Larry Johnson. He had off-field issues last season for which he was punished by both the team and the NFL. Johnson has made it known that he wants to be traded but the Chiefs have yet to make a move.

Report: Chiefs CB arrested

March, 13, 2009
3/13/09
1:44
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

It is being reported that Kansas City backup cornerback David Macklin has been arrested for drunken driving in Virginia.

Macklin is backup cornerback for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have gone younger at cornerback and Macklin could have a difficult time making the team. Earlier this offseason, Kansas City cut second-year tight end Michael Merritt shortly after his arrest on marijuana charges.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Of the Chiefs' four player moves Tuesday the most interesting one came with the decision to cut a lesser known player.

The Chiefs cut tight end Michael Merritt, along with cornerback Patrick Surtain, linebacker Donnie Edwards and backup quarterback Damon Huard. Merritt was a seventh-round pick last year.

Yes, Merritt was far from well known in Kansas City. But his release was significant because it showed the new regime in Kansas City is not going to take kindly to players who have off-field issues.

Merritt was arrested on marijuana charges last month in Florida. Now, he is a former Chief. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, Merritt wasn't expected to be a major impact player for Kansas City in 2009 and he was a low-pay, second-year player.

But a message was sent by the Scott Pioli regime. Troubled players will be dealt with severely.
The releases of Surtain, Edwards and Huard were all expected. All of the players were fairly high priced and they all appeared past their prime. They had little future in Kansas City. At least, Merritt was young. But he is now out the door.

Meanwhile, with the high profile cuts, Kansas City received about $14 million in salary cap relief and is now about $44 million under the salary cap as free agency approaches Friday.
The next player to go could be another player with off-field baggage: Running back Larry Johnson. He is expected to be traded or cut soon.

Kansas City news and notes

February, 5, 2009
2/05/09
8:33
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The head of the Fritz Pollard  Alliance told the Associated Press that the Kansas City Chiefs have complied by the NFL's Rooney Rule and have indeed interviewed minority candidates.
There have been no reported interviews. The only news to come out of the Kansas City coaching search was that the team requested permission to interview Arizona offense coordinator Todd Haley.

It is no surprise the Chiefs' search has been so quiet. When owner Clark Hunt was interviewing candidates for the general manager job that went to New England's Scott Pioli, candidates were told not to disclose that they were interviewing for the job. Thus, the same policy could in place for the head coaching job.

The Chiefs are dealing with the recent arrest of tight end Michael Merritt. Merritt, a rookie in 2008, was arrested in Florida on a marijuana charge.

If the Chiefs are going to get Matt Cassel as their quarterback it will be through a trade. New England put the franchise tag on the would-be free agent Thursday. The Patriots could trade Cassel, though. The Chiefs could be a likely candidate because of Pioli's connection and the fact that they are still unsettled at the position.

Broncos, Chiefs make moves

November, 4, 2008
11/04/08
5:44
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Broncos and the Chiefs shuffled their rosters Tuesday.

In Denver, the Broncos signed linebacker Mario Haggan, running back P.J. Pope and defensive back Roderick Rogers.

Haggan has spent the past five seasons with Buffalo and he played in 65 career games for the Bills. He was signed because weakside linebacker D.J. Williams is out for the next month with a knee injury. Pope and Rogers were on Denver's practice squad.

Pope was signed to the 53-man roster because Denver put running backs Michael Pittman and Andre Hall on the injured reserve, ending their seasons.

Denver cut tight end Chad Mustard and it added running back Cory Boyd and linebacker Tyson Smith to the practice squad. Boyd, a South Carolina product, was Tampa Bay's seventh-round pick this year.

In Kansas City, activated wide receiver Kevin Robinson and tight end Michael Merritt. Both players are rookies. Robinson was a sixth-round pick from Utah State and Merritt was a seventh-round pick from Central Florida. Both players have been on injured list.

The Chiefs could still try to sign a running back with Kolby Smith out for the season with a knee injury.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

It may seem strange that the only unsigned draft pick in the AFC West, now that Kansas City has signed top pick Glenn Dorsey, is a seventh rounder. Chiefs seventh rounder Michael Merritt remains unsigned.

However, there is a reason for it. The tight end suffered a recent leg injury. He is working out near the Chiefs' training camp and will sign his deal when he is recovered. There's no funny business. A seventh rounder is not playing hardball. The reason why Merritt isn't signed is merely a formality.

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