Thursday, July 26, 2007

Priest Holmes Returning To The Kansas City Chiefs?

Priest Holmes to return to the Kansas City Chiefs? 
After waiting 21 months, Chiefs' fans have received the good news that they have been waiting for.  It has been announced that three-time Pro Bowler Priest Holmes will be attending the Chiefs' training camp at UWRF.

Holmes joined the Chiefs in 2001 and since then he ranks first in the NFL with an average of 97.3 yards per game and 136 yards from scrimmage.  Holmes is one of the best blockers and pass-catcher running backs in the league.  His presence on the Chiefs' field has been missed dearly.

With Holmes' return, other implications arise.  Larry Johnson has been requesting new terms on his contract even though he has two years remaining on his current contract.  It has been reported that Johnson is requesting guaranteed money in the range of $28 million.  If Johnson holds out of camp, he will be fined more then $14,000 for each day he misses.  

Both running backs are extremely talented and have contributed tremendously to the Chiefs' organization.  Johnson had been selected in the 2003 draft even though Dick Vermeil had objected.  During this draft, Holmes was in his own contract negotiations and the selection of Johnson was probably done to gain leverage over Holmes.  After being drafted, Johnson had waited impatiently for two years for his chance to take over Holmes' position.  Vermeil and Johnson had a heated relationship during this time. 

After Holmes was injured, Johnson finally got his chance to prove himself in 2005.  Johnson replaced Holmes and immediately became a premier running back of the NFL.  During the 2006 season, Larry Johnson set an NFL record with 416 carries and rushed for 1,789 yards.  These stats broke the team's single-season record for the second year in a row. 

Priest Holmes will turn 34 in October and he has been inactive for almost two years.  Before suffering his neck and head trauma injuries on October 30, 2005 during the San Diego Chargers game, Holmes had broke his hip during the 2002 season.  After his hip surgery, Holmes did return with an impressive impact by rushing 1,420 yards and scoring an NFL record of 27 touchdowns.  Holmes came back with a vengeance the first time, but will he be able to do so again the second time?

The combination of Holmes and Johnson has proved difficult to teams in the past.  They are a dynamic duo that is hard to stop.  Can they both play for the same team this year?  And if so, will they continue their success and run all over their opponents.  The Chiefs need a lot of help since Trent Green has left for Miami.  Kansas City Chiefs' fans can only keep their fingers crossed that the team will be able to utilize both Holmes and Johnson and that they will both be team players and not be selfish about their position. 

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