'I want to get paid'
Chiefs' Holmes ready for camp, seeks contract extensionPosted: Thursday July 10, 2003 11:29 AM
Updated: Thursday July 10, 2003 4:44 PM
But the season-opener against San Diego on Sept. 7 is another matter for the star running back. He said Wednesday that he'll sit out that game unless the Chiefs either extend his current contract, or give him a new one.
"I want to get paid," Holmes told The Kansas City Star for a story in its Thursday edition. "I'll be ready to go when training camp starts, and I'm looking forward to getting on the field and helping the Kansas City Chiefs win a championship. I think we have the kind of team that can do it."
In an interview with WHB Radio on Wednesday, Holmes requested the 50 Cent track In Da Club and joked "that's where I'll be" if he doesn't receive a new contract by the season opener.
"I understand that there are another 50-some guys that need money, so I don't want to be greedy," Holmes said. "But at the same time, I know that receiving an extension would allow me to know that I can retire as a Kansas City Chief. That is very important to me."
"I didn't come here for a two-or-three-year thing. I feel confident that the Chiefs will do what it takes to make me happy."
Holmes has developed into one of the top running backs in the NFL, rushing for 3,170 yards and 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons, along with 132 pass receptions for another 1,286 yards and five TDs.
But there have been questions about how well he can come back from the hip injury that ended his season early last December, and required arthroscopic surgery in March. Holmes, for one, is confident that he's ready, saying the rehabilitation has gone well.
"At first I pushed it because that's always been my attitude," he said. "But after the surgery, I stayed on the crutches like I was supposed to and did what the doctors wanted me to do."
Holmes believes that previous experiences with knee injuries will help him return to his old form.
"I had a sprain and an actual ACL repair before," Holmes said. "So having an injury prepares you to know that a body will respond once it gets over the healing process. It adapts. The body can do some amazing things. I feel I can come back stronger than a person who hasn't been injured before."
Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore said Thursday that the team would not comment on "speculation" in the media. Moore said the team was not holding contract negotiations with Holmes, who is signed through 2005.
Holmes' agent, Todd France, said Thursday that he intended to keep all contract talks between himself and Chiefs president and general manager Carl Peterson.
Peterson was adamant in March that he would not consider a new contract for Holmes, and the following month the team made running back Larry Johnson of Penn State its first-round pick in the NFL draft.
"I've talked about extending his contract," Peterson said of Holmes. "I'm not offering a new contract, and I'm not interested in tearing up his current contract and throwing that away."
"He signed a five-year deal. We both agreed to it."
Holmes has three years remaining on the five-year, $8 million contract, including a $2 million signing bonus, that he signed in 2001.
Including bonuses, Holmes is scheduled to be paid $2.25 million this year, $2.5 million in 2004 and $2.75 million in 2005.
Using the contracts recently signed by other top-flight NFL running backs, it's not hard to imagine that Holmes would be looking for a signing bonus of around $8 million or $9 million.
Last July, Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams signed a seven-year deal potentially worth $44 million, with a $9.3 million bonus. Last March, the Jaguars' Fred Taylor signed an extension that included an $8 million bonus. In August 2002, the Jets' Curtis Martin signed an eight-year extension that included a $10 million bonus.
And in August 2000, the Bengals' Corey Dillon signed a five-year deal worth $26.5 million and received a bonus of $10.5 million.
Holmes outperformed all of those backs the last two seasons.
"How I look at it is, I don't say: `I'm the No. 1 back so this is what I want."' Holmes said. "I say: 'Take the top three guys, divide it and let's go from there. I believe that we can get something done."'