Kennison wants new deal


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Jan 22, 2006
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Kennison wants new deal
Chiefs’ receiver unhappy with contract and indicates he may leave camp if he can’t get raise or his release.
The Kansas City Star

Halfway through a six-year contract he signed in 2003, the Chiefs’ Eddie Kennison might have been able to live with the terms of the deal scheduled to pay him $2.1 million this season.

But offseason research by his agent, John Hamilton, showed Kennison to have the 45th-highest 2006 salary among the NFL’s 64 starting wide receivers. One of Kennison’s closest peers in terms of age and recent performance, Dallas’ Terry Glenn, recently received a lucrative contract extension.

Closer to home, the Chiefs just signed free-agent cornerback Ty Law to a five-year, $30 million deal.

Suddenly, Kennison’s contract isn’t as attractive, and this week he decided to do something about it.

Kennison said he would report to training camp with the Chiefs in time for the first practice Friday at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. But he also indicated he might leave camp at some point if the Chiefs don’t either give him a new contract with a raise or release him.

“I will cross that bridge when I get to it,” Kennison said. “I will go to camp and work as hard as I’ve been working. I won’t have any bitter or sour attitudes in camp. …

“But when I signed my last contract with the Chiefs, I think we all know that if I hadn’t performed to expectations, I wouldn’t be here anymore. Well, I played beyond those expectations. Now it’s time for them to step up and compensate me for my performance compared to the guys in my peer group.

“I would hope the Chiefs would put me on waivers if they don’t want to step to the plate.”

The loss of Kennison would be a huge blow to the Chiefs. Kennison, who had more than 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last two seasons, is their only established wide receiver.

Samie Parker, the other starter, has shown promise — but between injuries and inconsistencies he hasn’t put together a full season. The other receivers are Dante Hall, whose value to the Chiefs has been as a kick-returner, and a collection of unproven younger players.

Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson did not respond to a request to answer questions on Kennison’s situation.

Kennison, who joined the Chiefs in 2001, is quietly becoming one of the franchise’s all-time receiving leaders. He ranks in the top 10 in virtually every major career receiving category. Only Kennison and Carlos Carson have put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Kennison received about $6.6 million, including a signing bonus of $3.2 million, in the first three years of his current contract.

“The problem is that when Eddie signed that contract, the Chiefs had already paid Johnnie Morton to be their No. 1 receiver,” Hamilton said. “Eddie’s contract was not set up for him to be the No. 1 guy. It was set up for him to be the No. 2 guy. That deal is OK but not great with respect to a No. 2 receiver, but not a No. 1 receiver.”

Morton, a big-money free-agent addition in 2002, flopped and was released last year. Meanwhile, Kennison not only outplayed Morton, but his contract figures are being blown away in the current market.

For example, two players with inferior statistics to Kennison recently received exorbitant free-agent contracts. New England’s David Givens signed with Tennessee for $15.3 million over the next three seasons while Pittsburgh’s Antwaan Randle El signed with Washington for $11.2 million over the next two.

Kennison’s current contract calls for him to receive about $4.8 million over the next two seasons and $8.2 million over the next three. Kennison last season had more catches (68), yards (1,102) and touchdowns (five) than either Givens or Randle El.

“We can’t ignore what the marketplace has done,” Hamilton said.

The Chiefs might be hesitant to give big money to a 33-year-old wide receiver. If that’s their stance, it’s understandable. Kennison is at an age when players at his position tend to lose their skills rapidly.

“That is what they’ve told me is their concern,” Hamilton said. “But there are ways to give them some protection in case Eddie’s production falls way off.”

The Chiefs’ signing of the 32-year-old Law added to Kennison’s frustration

“I know Ty Law,” he said. “He’s a friend, and I’m excited he’s here. But, yeah, it’s a source of frustration. When you’ve been a part of an organization for some time, I think those guys in that organization need to be taken care of first.”

Kennison and Hamilton first contacted the Chiefs in the spring. Talks have been ongoing but fruitless.

Kennison initially thought about not reporting for camp. After discussions with his wife, Shimika, and Hamilton, Kennison decided against it.

His decision to report doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in it for the long haul.

“I have a responsibility to this organization and the 53 guys I dress with, so it came up quickly that I was not going to miss camp,” Kennison said. “I’m not a selfish, flashy kind of guy. I just want the world to know what’s going on with my situation.

“I love being a Kansas City Chief. I want to be here for the rest of my career. The Chiefs have not said they won’t take care of me. Carl has indicated to my agent they are willing to do something. We just need to get to a point where both parties are happy. Obviously, we’re not to that point yet, and I don’t think we’re even close.”

CrossBones said:
Hey Eddie, meet Jerry Porter. :rolleyes:
You got that right...damn Prima Donna Wr's just need to shut up and play :mad:
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