NEW YORK — The Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets discussed a compensation package for coach Herman Edwards on Wednesday, a source familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymity.
The Chiefs, rumored to be interested in Edwards for the last two months, would have to give up draft picks to hire Edwards because he is still under contract with the Jets. Edwards has ties to the Kansas City organization and general manager Carl Peterson, and would replace retired coach Dick Vermeil.
The NFL must approve the deal before it can be official, and nothing was submitted to the league office by late Wednesday afternoon.
Giving up draft picks is nothing new to the Chiefs. Kansas City surrendered a second- and a third-round pick when it hired Vermeil, who was technically under contract with St. Louis even though he was retired. Peterson was upset about that, and though he declined to discuss Edwards at a news conference Tuesday, he did say “Any time I have to part with a No. 1 draft choice it’s painful.”
But the Chiefs might not have to if the Jets agree to take lower-round selections. That would make sense for the Jets, who need as many picks as they can get to fill holes after a 4-12 season.
The Jets maintained Wednesday the Chiefs haven’t officially contacted them. Edwards’ agent, Gary O’Hagan, said he hasn’t spoken with the Jets or Chiefs, saying, “I’m only talking to Coach Edwards.”
Edwards, who has two years left on his contract, wants an extension with the Jets so he could have more time to rebuild the team. At $2 million a year, Edwards is one of the lowest-paid coaches in the league, and wanted a raise as a reward for taking the team to the playoffs three times in five years.
Still, he maintained throughout the season and as late as Monday that he planned to be the Jets’ coach. In November, team owner Woody Johnson also said he wanted Edwards to stay.
“I’m happy to be the coach here and I’m going to be the coach here, like I said before, and that’s as far as I want to comment on it,” Edwards said earlier this week.
It appears that is no longer likely.
NEW CONTRACTS: The Chiefs signed contracts with nine players, Peterson announced Wednesday.
The players all agreed to two-year contracts, but additional terms of the deals with the Chiefs were not disclosed.
Safety Scott Connot spent this season on the Chiefs practice squad, where he also played for 11 weeks in 2004. The Spencer, Neb., native is a former three-year starter for NCAA Division II South Dakota State, where he appeared in 34 games.
Nathaniel Curry, a wide receiver, attended training camp with the Chiefs in 2005, but was released before the season. While at Georgia Tech, he played in 44 games and caught 92 passes for 1,185 yards.
Cornerback Gabriel Helms signed with the Chiefs as a free agent in 2005, but was released before training camp. The St. Louis native attended Northwest Missouri State, where he recorded 88 tackles.
NFL Europe veteran guard Peter Heyer was an international development player on the team’s practice squad this season. In the past four seasons, he appeared in 35 career NFL Europe games with the Rhein Fire.
Center Johnathan Ingram appeared in two Chiefs games in 2005 before spending the final 12 weeks of the season on the club’s practice squad. The San Diego State alum was on the team’s practice squad for the first 10 games of 2004 before ending that season on the active roster.
Wide Receiver Jeris McIntyre entered the league as the team’s sixth-round pick in the 2004 draft, and spent this season on the Chiefs development squad. While at Auburn, he played in 49 games and caught 69 passes for 973 yards with four touchdowns.
Former rookie free agent cornerback Justin Perkins is returning to the team after being released during training camp in 2005. He started 36 games at Connecticut, recording 170 tackles, eight for a loss, with 12 interceptions and 42 passes defended.
Running back McKenzi Smith, of Pasadena, Calif., played for two years at Washington State before spending the entire 2005 season on the Chiefs practice squad. He also was on the club’s developmental squad for one week in 2004.
Fullback Travis Wilson joins the team after playing as a rookie free agent for San Diego in 2004. Wilson, of Howell, Mich., started in 24 games at Kansas State, where he totaled 30 carries for 163 yards.
BILLS FIRE GM: Tom Donahoe was fired as Buffalo Bills president and general manager Wednesday in a shakeup that could mark Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy’s return to the franchise in a management role.
Offensive coordinator Tom Clements was also fired, his agent, Gary O’Hagan said.
Donahoe’s dismissal was announced by Bills owner Ralph Wilson a few days after he promised changes for an underachieving team that finished 5-11 and missed the playoffs for a sixth straight season.