QB Green, RB Holmes happy in their new home
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Trent Green is once again a starting quarterback. Kansas City is no longer the only team in the NFL without a starting quarterback.
Everybody around Arrowhead Stadium was all smiles Saturday, one day after the quarterback-challenged Chiefs finally worked out a deal to pry the man they wanted out of St. Louis.
"We feel so fortunate to have him," offensive coordinator Al Saunders said. "He is a tremendous young man."
About eight hours after the draft began, the Chiefs finally got to make a pick. Without a first- or second-round selection, they waited until the third round and took Syracuse defensive tackle Eric Downing as the 75th overall selection. Five minutes later they acquired Florida State wide receiver Marvin "Snoop" Minnis.
Since Elvis Grbac unexpectedly opted for free agency in February, the Chiefs had on-and-off negotiations for Green, who lost his starting job in 1999 when he went down with a knee injury and Kurt Warner emerged as a star.
Week after week while St. Louis and Kansas City talked trade, Green experienced a special kind of agony.
Would he stay with the Rams and continue to caddie for Warner? Or would he go to the Chiefs and be reunited with coach Dick Vermeil as the starter?
"The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions, not knowing if I was going to have to spend another year as a backup or get an opportunity to start," Green said. "But at the same time, it was sad to leave St. Louis. But that's just the way life is and the way things play out."
On Friday night, the Chiefs finally came to terms with St. Louis, giving the Rams their first-round draft pick, the 12th selection overall, for Green and the Rams' fifth-round choice. In addition, the Rams agreed not to match the offer sheet Kansas City had extended to wide receiver/kick returner Tony Horne.
The trade left the Chiefs without any picks until the third round, where they had two. They also had extra picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds.
Green, 30, saw action in eight games last year after Warner was injured in a loss to Kansas City. He was 145-of-240 for 2,063 yards with 16 toouchdowns and five interceptions. His average of 8.60 yards per attempt was second in the NFL only to Warner's 9.88.
"I've been around two great quarterbacks in my career ... Joe Montana and Dan Fouts," said offensive coordinator Al Saunders. "And I really, truly believe Trent Green has the qualities of those people. Great courage, great ability."
Vermeil signed Green to the Rams as an unrestricted free agent from Washington in 1999. Injured in the preseason, he spent the entire year on the sideline after undergoing knee surgery.
The surgically repaired knee required another procedure about six weeks ago and he is not expected to be fully ready until training camp in July.
"We have plenty of time," Vermeil said. "He's got a lot of years left in his career. If it's the middle of training camp, if it's before training camp, if it's the third league game, sooner or later he will be our starting quarterback and play very well."
Shortly after filling their quarterback need Friday night, the Chiefs signed free-agent running back Priest Holmes, addressing what many felt was their second-worst weakness.
"Our coaching staff evaluated the unrestricted free agent running backs that were available and we rated Priest the No. 1 guy," Vermeil said. "When we spent some time with him, our respect for him grew immediately, the way he handled himself, expressed himself, his relationship with his players."
Holmes, 5-9, 205, played in 48 games in four years with Baltimore, rushing 459 times for 2,102 yards and 10 touchdowns. His best year was 1998 when he rushed for 1,008 yards. Something else that made him attractive to the Chiefs were his 88 receptions for 585 yards and one TD.
He will join fullback Tony Richardson in what will be an almost entirely revamped backfield.
"There's a term called the three-headed monster," Holmes said. "When you have that is when you have a quarterback, you have a running back and wide receivers. And any time you can kill them slow and you can kill them fast.
"With the quarterback and wide receivers we have here, we can definitely kill them fast. At the same time, we're going to kill them slow with Tony Richardson and myself."
Minnis, 6-1, 170, led Florida State with 63 catches for 1,340 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior year. He did not play in the national championship game after being declared academically ineligible.
"This guy doesn't drop many footballs," Chiefs wide receivers coach Charlie Joyner said. "He's a good football player."