Work in Sports
Report: Chiefs' Thomas no longer under contract
Posted: Thursday January 27, 2000 03:51 PM
The Kansas City Star reported Thursday that according to information it obtained from the NFL Players Association, Thomas voided the remaining two seasons on his contract by reaching certain playing incentives in 1999.
The Associated Press could not immediately reach Chiefs officials for comment.
Thomas would have been eligible to become a free agent on Feb. 11, when his contract expires, had the sides not come to a new agreement before then, the newspaper said. The expiring contract gave the Chiefs an option to add years onto Thomas' contract by giving him a $3 million signing bonus.
Bob Moore, the Chiefs' director of public relations, told the newspaper that owner Lamar Hunt, president and general manager Carl Peterson and the Chiefs "would do the right thing by Derrick Thomas."
"It's an inappropriate time to be talking about the salary cap and such matters," Moore said.
He said Peterson and Thomas' agent, Leigh Steinberg, have had conversations about the matter.
It was not clear how Thomas' injuries affect the Chiefs' salary-cap situation. The Chiefs still had to account against future salary caps for at least $2.5 million of his original signing bonus.
If Thomas' contract were still valid, he would have counted about $4.175 million against their salary cap in 2000.
In the spring of 1997 Thomas signed a seven-year contract worth about $26.9 million, including a $7.5 million signing bonus.
Last January, the sides renegotiated a deal that dropped the final two years of that contract and included some playing incentives for 1999 that could void the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
Thomas, 33, was in serious but stable condition Wednesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami after undergoing surgery on his spine. He was injured Sunday when his car left an icy road in Kansas City as he and two companions were on their way to the airport. One of his companions was killed.
Thomas could be transferred to a rehabilitation facility in about two weeks. He already has begun working with therapists.