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Holmes Planning on a Comeback?

Holmes 

We might not have seen the last of Priest Holmes in a Chiefs uniform.  According to a report from 610 Sports in KC, Holmes is planning to make a comeback. If he makes a shocking return, things will be very interesting for Larry Johnson and the Chiefs. When the report broke out, a league source said it’s probable that if Holmes is medically cleared, he’ll show up sometime in the first three of four days of training camp. Three weeks ago a former Chiefs player told Warpaint Illustrated Holmes wanted to continue playing, and there was a chance he’d make his presence felt on Sundays for the Chiefs. He has three years remaining on his contract and is expected to earn $870,000 in 2007.

The surprising comeback of Holmes would stall most of, if not all of KC’s contract talks with star RB Larry Johnson. Taking this situation into consideration, Holmes ideally doesn’t fit into Herm Edwards’ strategy for the upcoming ’07 season, but he would provide a huge lift, bringing to the table a strong resume as a:  talented, experienced, and pass catching RB, giving the Chiefs an above-average backup for Larry Johnson.  He would deliver a big confidence boost to the team if he can make it as a solid third down back throughout the year for K.C., giving Johnson much-needed rest to stay fresh.  Holmes excels in third down passing situations as a versatile pass catcher and good veteran pass protector. Larry Johnson will not make it as a successful RB carrying the ball 400-420 times each season, as he did in ’06 with a mind-boggling 416 attempts, giving him over 750 carries the past two years. 

You can ask Jamal Anderson, Eddie George, and others to make sure of that, as they would tell you they had a shorter career than expected.  To help lengthen his run in the NFL and prevent a tenure cut in half, Holmes coming back to the Chiefs is the best news this off-season for a team that is getting older and declining.  Holmes, the former, undrafted Longhorn, has a career total of 94 touchdowns (86 rushing) and a rush average of 4.6.  This touchdown-making machine will turn 34 this fall (October) and will be a great help for a team that had Michael Bennett as their original third down back.  This team needs a spark on offense and Holmes could be that guy to help keep the yearly trend of being a Top 5 offense alive, giving the Chiefs a nice safety valve out of the backfield for young starting QB Brodie Croyle. 

The offense needs to stay on top of its game because of a lackluster defense that does not make enough plays.  This news won’t sit well with hold out candidate Larry Johnson, as he ponders seriously the decision to entertain the chances of making this a lengthy ordeal. With Holmes back, he needs to remain in great shape, or his value may slip, causing a short-lived return.  To make this a “worthwhile” attempt, he needs to comeback with hunger and regain his quickness and mental edge for the game. This also means trade talks with the Green Bay Packers could rev back up over the next week or two. According to a source, the Chiefs will not give Johnson a contract in the same range of the best RB in the NFL –LaDainian Tomlinson, there is no way they will cave into his big money-talking demands and requests of being the highest paid RB in the league.

The Chiefs learned a valuable lesson with Holmes and still remember that one good hit to the legs could change LJ’s career, as they saw with Holmes in ’04 and ‘05. The money Johnson calls for is far more than what Holmes pocketed in 2003 – a $10.5 million signing bonus. Johnson wants close to $25 million in cash to his wallet guaranteed, and that’s a price the Chiefs won’t pay by any means or circumstances.  It’s still a toss-up and question marks will linger around Holmes, as no one knows besides himself if he has fully recovered from the injuries he suffered in 2005, but if he does make this remarkable return he’ll get the go-ahead from the Chiefs medical staff without any hesitation.  Warpaint Illustrated has said the “incredible” Holmes will arrive soon to Training Camp over the weekend or early towards next week.


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