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 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -The quarterback swears he'll be playing somewhere else come September and the defensive end isn't letting a pending suspension stop him from complaining he is underpaid.
When the head coach isn't angrily scolding the media, he's insisting he is an honest man no matter what the disgruntled quarterback might imply.
As far as general manager Carl Peterson is concerned, just about everybody seems unhappy with him, especially media critics who blast away on a daily basis. But it's not true that he's fled the country. He's only in Scotland for the birth of a grandchild.
The month of May has been anything but merry for the Kansas City Chiefs. If the normally short, laid-back practices of the spring are this tumultuous, what chaos and controversy must loom in the autumn?
``This is the offseason. Are you kidding me?'' coach Herm Edwards exclaimed this week while parrying with reporters.
``We will have a starting football team when we go to Houston (for the Sept. 9 season opener). They'll be the best 46 guys in my opinion who can help us win games. Period.''
But if only it were that simple. For many reasons beyond his control, Edwards is finding the sledding rough as he goes about retooling one of the NFL's oldest lineups and patching up quarrels between players and the front office.
The biggest irritant, for both the quarterback and the coach, is the presence of Trent Green.
Soon to turn 37, the two-time Pro Bowler figures he's not in the long-range plans for a team which Edwards has said needs to get younger.
So he and his agent worked a deal with Miami after, Green says, Peterson assured him the club would make a trade if he found a team that wanted him.
But Peterson and the Dolphins have been unable to agree on compensation, leading to the absurd situation of having a quarterback taking practice snaps this week with what will probably soon be ex-teammates.
``It's very strange,'' Green says. ``I don't even know my role.''
What's infuriated Edwards have been implications he has not been truthful when he said Green would be given a fair chance to win the starting job.
``If a situation changes down the road, that doesn't mean that I didn't tell the truth,'' he snapped at reporters after one practice. ``The one thing I do is tell the truth. Maybe some people can't accept that. If the situation changes, don't get it twisted like, `He said this and now it's this.'''
Edwards was so angry at one local radio sports talk host, he led him away from the group and got in his face, gesturing forcefully as the startled young man backed away.
But if Green is upset with Peterson for not pulling the trigger on the Miami trade, Jared Allen is absolutely furious with the sometimes-confrontational general manager. In a move that could only be termed a public relations disaster, Allen went public last winter with his demands to be traded shortly after he was arrested for a second DUI.
Predictably, he's been suspended for the first four games of this coming season and Peterson has refused to yield to his contract demands.
But after having dinner and a heart-to-heart talk one night in Las Vegas with Edwards, Allen signed a one-year tender and reported this week. He's slimmed down, in good condition and promising to make no waves.
But he's also angry at Peterson.
``I don't have anything to prove to the Chiefs. I'm going to go out and play the same way I've been playing for the last three years, and that will take care of itself,'' he said.
``My teammates and Herm. That's why I'm here,'' he said. ``This is one of my favorite coaching staffs I've ever played for.''
Amid this backdrop, contract negotiations are also heating up between Peterson and the agent for Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson. Nobody is predicting a smooth ride.
But to Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters, all the behind-the-scenes maneuvers are just a part of ``the shrewdness of this organization.''
``They've always been very shrewd business types,'' he said. ``I don't think they've ever gone out and taken many risks on players. They always stay tight to their business plan.''
So does that bother the players?
``It bothers you when it's your time to get paid.''

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