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Source: Chiefs in talks to hire Jets' Edwards

NEW YORK (Jan. 4, 2006) -- The Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets discussed a compensation package for coach Herman Edwards on Wednsday, a person familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymity.

The Chiefs, rumored to be interested in Edwards for the last two months, would have to give up draft picks to hire Edwards because he is still under contract with the Jets. Edwards has ties to the Kansas City organization and general manager Carl Peterson, and would replace retired coach Dick Vermeil.

The NFL must approve the deal before it can be official, and nothing was submitted to the league office by late Jan. 4.

Giving up draft picks is nothing new to the Chiefs. Kansas City surrendered a second- and a third-round pick when it hired Vermeil, who was technically under contract with St. Louis even though he was retired. Peterson was upset about that, and though he declined to discuss Edwards at a news conference Jan. 3, he did say "Any time I have to part with a No. 1 draft choice it's painful."

But the Chiefs might not have to if the Jets agree to take lower-round selections. That would make sense for the Jets, who need as many picks as they can get to fill holes after a 4-12 season.

The Jets maintained the Chiefs haven't officially contacted them. Edwards' agent, Gary O'Hagan, said he hasn't spoken with the Jets or Chiefs, saying, "I'm only talking to Coach Edwards."

Edwards, who has two years left on his contract, wants an extension with the Jets so he could have more time to rebuild the team. At $2 million a year, Edwards is one of the lowest-paid coaches in the league, and wanted a raise as a reward for taking the team to the playoffs three times in five years.

Still, he maintained throughout the season and as late as Jan. 2 that he planned to be the Jets' coach. In November, team owner Woody Johnson also said he wanted Edwards to stay.

"I'm happy to be the coach here and I'm going to be the coach here, like I said before, and that's as far as I want to comment on it," Edwards said earlier this week.

It appears that is no longer likely.

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