Clark Hunt was ever hopeful at last month’s NFL owners meetings that the league would put the Chiefs’ first regular-season game at the renovated Arrowhead Stadium on national TV.
That’s a big request from a team that won four games last season and 10 during the last three years. But on Tuesday, the league came through.
The Chiefs will play the Chargers on Monday night, Sept. 13 at Arrowhead to begin the 2010 season. Kickoff is at 9:15 p.m. The game will be the second half of the opening Monday night doubleheader.
The first game will feature Baltimore at the New York Jets. Both games will be shown on ESPN.
But it’s possible that another surprise could be ahead, same as when the Chiefs drafted defensive end Tyson Jackson last year with the third overall pick.
“Don’t be shocked if it’s Rolando McClain,” said Chris Landry, an NFL consultant and former scout. “It’s a safe pick.”
Reliability is among the most attractive features for a team that can afford no more draft-day busts. McClain was an All-America inside linebacker at Alabama last year. He’s 6 feet 3 and 254 pounds. He won a national championship. He excelled in the Crimson Tide’s 3-4 defense, calling the defensive signals since he was a true freshman. And he won the Butkus Award last season, the first Alabama player to be chosen the nation’s best linebacker since Derrick Thomas, the Hall of Famer and former Chiefs star.
“This is something I’m used to,” McClain said at the NFL combine. “I’m used to being the leader.
Linebacker Corey Mays, a restricted free agent, signed his one-year contract offer worth $1.759 million.
Mays was signed last year to play on special teams but became a starter after the Chiefs benched Derrick Johnson and released Zach Thomas. He was second on the Chiefs with 100 tackles.
Safety Jarrad Page is the Chiefs only remaining restricted free agent.
“The Chiefs are particularly grateful for the assistance of the Kansas City Royals, who have been extremely cooperative in the scheduling process,” the Chiefs said in a release. “The Royals … are working closely with the Chiefs to ensure that date is a great day for all sports fans in Mid-America.”
The two neighbors have pulled it off before. When the Royals hosted Game 2 and Game 7 of the 1985 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chiefs played earlier at Arrowhead on both dates.
The A’s, who play a day game at home on Sept. 12, would have to agree to switch to an afternoon start.
“We’ll be in contact with major league baseball and our opponent and see what we can come up with,” said Royals spokesman Mike Swanson. “I would imagine there have already been discussions.”
It will be the Chiefs’ first Monday night game in Arrowhead since 2004 and only the second since 2000.