Sounds like the KC Chiefs are doing just fine so far without stud running back Larry Johnson. The feature back of the Chiefs continues to be a holdout while the rest of his teammates take the field for KC, and while he is sitting at home, thinking a new contract is in order, his backup, the returning Priest Holmes, gains more and more confidence. Clearly Holmes is going to continue to become even more of a fan favorite as Johnson holds out, and many think that the Chiefs will start looking more carefully at trade options if Holmes plays well in camp early on.
As far as the contract for Johnson, he currently has one, and that’s enough for GM Carl Peterson, who does not appear to be in that big of a hurry to jump on the phone with LJ’s agent to make a new deal. As for the comeback of Holmes being a ploy just to get Johnson to show up, that’s not the case according to Peterson. “We have been in touch with Priest over the last couple of months,” Peterson said Friday. “He has indicated to me that he is very excited about coming back and playing football for the Chiefs.”
When it came to LJ, Peterson was frank when it came to the stance that the team will take with him. “Specific to Larry, we would like to have him here but very candidly it’s not necessary that he’s here right now. We’ve got a lot of young running backs that I and the team want to look at. Then I think we all know that we’re going to have a little bit older running back getting in here tomorrow. Priest Holmes wants to play football and he should be on the field tomorrow morning. He will be in a physically-unable-to-perform status as about three or four of other players are. We want to bring him along slowly, make sure he doesn’t get hurt, and gauge where he is with his football conditioning.”
So for now, Johnson and his 416 carries and 1789 yards can sit at home. As for Holmes, his last full season as a Chief he ran for 1420 yards and 27 TD’s back in 2003. I am sure that the Chiefs would be more than happy with 1,000 yards and 12 TD’s from the returning Holmes. And while he has a long way to go, the team clearly feels better about having him back now that Johnson is still sitting at home waiting hoping the Chiefs will call with a contract extension. Sit back and relax Larry, it’s going to be a long summer sitting while the Chiefs get ready for the 07 season.
Click below to hear Chiefs GM Carl Peterson talk about Johnson: