by Rich Cimini
New York Daily News
After two days of negotiating – and, some suspect, several weeks of unspoken flirtation – Herm Edwards has agreed to a four-year, $12 million contract to coach the Chiefs, an NFL source said yesterday.
The former Jets coach will be introduced today at a news conference in Kansas City, only one week after vowing that he had no interest in coaching elsewhere.
Edwards didn’t make the financial score many industry sources predicted – it was widely speculated he’d make $4 million annually from the Chiefs – but his new contract represents more than a $1 million a year raise. He had two years and about $4 million remaining on his Jets contract; he tripled his guaranteed money by jumping teams.
Not bad, especially after a 4-12 season. Edwards, apparently waiting for his new contract to be signed and sealed, didn’t want to comment, according to his wife, Lia.
The Jets, who gave the Chiefs permission on Friday to speak with Edwards, will get a fourth-round draft pick from Kansas City as compensation.
Meanwhile, the Jets kicked off the search for Edwards’ replacement by meeting last night with former Saints coach Jim Haslett, an NFL source said. Haslett, in New York, was expected to have dinner with GM Terry Bradway and assistant GM Mike Tannenbaum.
Bradway, who hasn’t commented publicly since the start of the Edwards soap opera, is scheduled to meet the media today at Hofstra.
The Jets’ brass also is expected to interview Rams interim coach Joe Vitt, a Bradway crony from their time together in Kansas City. Vitt was the Rams’ linebackers coach when Mike Martz became ill midway through the 2005 season.
The Jets were tentatively scheduled to meet tomorrow with Panthers running back coach Jim Skipper, a former Giants’ assistant and another Bradway buddy from their years together with the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars, but the interview could be pushed back because Carolina advanced in the playoffs.
Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, being courted by at least three other teams, also is expected to interview with the Jets, according to a person familiar with the team’s thinking.
The Jets also are looking hard at former Packers coach Mike Sherman, who some believe has the best chance of landing the job. If the Jets are being cost conscious, as some have suggested, Sherman might be attractive because he has two years and more than $6 million remaining on his Packers contract.
Former Giants coach Jim Fassel, the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, is drawing mild interest. The Jets’ trio of coordinators – Mike Heimerdinger, Donnie Henderson and Mike Westhoff – is expected to interview for Edwards’ old job.