Chiefs & Johnson Reach A Fork In The Road

alton rexCorrespondent IApril 6, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 30:  Larry Johnson #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game on November 30, 2008 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Well, I guess we've finally reached the big decision with Larry Johnson. Is it only a fork in the road, or is it the end of the road?

The Chiefs won their case with the NFL's special master over LJ's guaranteed money.

Because Goodell suspended LJ last year for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, the special master ruled KC does not have to pay the $3.5 million roster bonus he will be due if he's on the opening day roster this year.

Do not expect an instant resolution to this situation just because we have a decision. In fact, don't be surprised if the Chiefs don't say or do anything right away. We already know how little the new brain trust likes to talk.

As to making a decision or taking action before they have to? Only if the doing improves the Chiefs.

Like many of you, I lust for news and information about my team, MY team gal-dern it!

But KC has until sometime in August to cut or trade LJ or pay him the money.

Now lots of things can happen between now and then to help make a trade possible, including big injuries to other players making the need for another team to get a Larry Johnson a higher priority.

While I do expect KC to part ways with Larry Johnson before the end of the pre-season, I really do think an outright release will be the last option.

Finally, there's one other option we should not forget. Larry could offer to renegotiate his contract. He could convert some of the guaranteed money to performance incentives.

Lost in all of the recent stuff is the fact LJ fired his agent late last year and hired a new one. That creates possibilities we may not be aware of. At least it opens the door to them.

Offering to renegotiate would benefit him in three important ways;

1) It would tell the Chiefs he really is trying to make a change, and he really wants to be a Chief. A desire Pioli and Haley have repeatedly stated is a high priority to them.

2) It sends a message to potential trading partners he's finally come to Jesus and won't be the liability he has a rep for.

3) A smaller cap hit makes it easier for everyone, including the Chiefs, to take a risk.

So, the decision from the special master moves the whole situation forward, just don't expect it to mean a final resolution is going to happen this week, this month, or even next month

The only thing I expect is for Pioli and Haley to take as long as they need to in order to make a great decision which benefits the Chiefs.

God! it's great to feel that way! Maybe Chiefs fans everywhere are finally putting the memory of King Carl to bed -- in a grave!