The Morning Fix

At 1-4, the Chiefs looked like a team still reeling from its no-punt playoff loss to Indianapolis the year before. An 0-3 start to the 2004 season quickly dampened high preseason expectations and, even worse, the Chiefs looked more and more like the Raiders each week sloppily racking up 41 penalties that marched off 347 yards through the first five games.

If rumors are correct that the rules will return to normal, then unrestricted free agency would be available after four seasons in the league. A player with three years experience would be a restricted free agent and players with less than three years would be exclusive rights free agents. Reportedly the franchise player designation will be continued and supposedly there are new rules out there that are being negotiated involving the free agency process.

When the NFL went to the lockout, the Chiefs had 24 players in their orbit without deals for the coming season. Under the old rules, here’s how they would break down:

“I’ve tried to stay away from the highs and lows of this thing,” Cherry said. “You’d hope that players and owners could come together but there’s got to be realism on each side. As you grow the revenue pool, everybody should be able to share in that. Thelast (collective bargaining) agreement was a great agreement for the players because when the economy turned south and profitability for ownership went down, they didn’t have to share in that. There was no skin in the game for the players.

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