Sportsline: Chiefs' L.J. still carrying chip on shoulder
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There's increasing chatter in league circles that Chiefs tackle John Welbourn was facing a suspension for a second violation of the league's steroid policy when he abruptly retired last month.
A looming suspension was our first thought when word broke of Welbourn's decision. As he said at the time, "I decided to retire on my own terms rather than someone else's." To us, that sounded pretty darned ominous.
But we then heard that Welbourn walked simply because he wanted more money and the Chiefs wouldn't give it to him.
Now, the talk is that Welbourn indeed was staring down the barrel of another multi-game sit when he opted to walk away. If these new rumors are true (and we're not saying with any degree of certainty that they are), the decision to retire makes sense. If Welbourn is at a point where he can't be competitive without using some type of substance that falls within the scope of the steroids policy, there's no point sticking around.
Last season, Welbourn received a four-game suspension for a first violation of the steroids policy. Recently, the league increased the penalty for a second violation from six games to eight games. The changes, however, don't take effect until 2007.
I think you're right. Fantasy wise LJ is really hyped up this year. I think LT's stats will be better. LJ will get his numbers and you wouldn't do bad to have him on your fantasy team, but he's not going to get the numbers he got late last season.
As word continues to spread that former Kansas City tackle John Welbourn was facing a six-game suspension for a second violation of the steroids policy when he abruptly retired last month, we're now hearing that the Chiefs are on the warpath regarding the fact that Welbourn and his agent tried to get more money -- or a trade -- at a time when Welbourn knew full well that he'd likely miss more than a third of the 2006 season.
The Chiefs' concern, we hear, is that the teams to whom they shopped Welbourn will now regard future trade efforts with less credibility, since teams will presume that the Chiefs also knew all about the looming suspension.
Although teams contemplating a trade have access to certain aspects of otherwise confidential substance abuse and steroids policy information regarding the player in question, the efforts to trade Welbourn apparently occurred after he knew that there might a problem, but before such information would have been available to teams considering the possibility of acquiring him.