RIVER FALLS, WIS. Doug Terry signed a new, three-year contract during the offseason.
This does not mean Terry, the Chiefs' fifth-year safety out of Kansas University, finally can sit back and relax at training camp.
"I don't think too many players have guaranteed contracts. You make the team, then the contract takes effect," said Terry, who has been on the NFL bubble since first signing a free agent contract in 1992.
A force on special teams who played in the nickel defense in five games last year, Terry looked like a lock to again make the team prior to the 1996 NFL Draft.
At the draft, however, the Chiefs picked defensive backs Jerome Woods and Reggie Tongue in the first and second rounds respectively.
"That didn't matter to me at all," Terry said. "From my standpoint, the Chiefs had to do what is best for them. I say, 'Here I am. I'm going to do my best for this team.' It doesn't affect my performance at all.
"I was not a guy who entered the pros with fanfare and I'm not the type who will leave with fanfare."
He is not planning on leaving soon.
"This is not about money. It is about competing. It is about pride and playing for a championship. I want to say I'm the best I can be at something and that is playing safety here," the 26-year-old Terry said.
"I look to continue playing until the fire is gone or physically no way I can do it. I don't want to have to struggle just to get out of bed."
Known for his forceful hits, Terry says he's suffered several concussions in five years.
"Hard hits ... that's something that has followed me throughout my football career," said Terry, 5-foot-11, 204 pounds from Liberal. "My nature is being a physical player."
His ability to hit hard won the Chiefs a football game last season. Terry made a devastating hit on Houston running back Todd McNair, forcing a fumble with 15 seconds left of a tie game.
Mark Collins picked up the football and raced 34 yards for the game-winning score in KC's 20-13 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.
McNair, now a Chiefs' running back, had two hands on the football at the time of the fumble.
"He had it protected. I think my helmet caught him on the side of the head. He blinked and went limp," Terry said. "We talked about it in the offseason. He said, 'Good shot.' We have mutual respect for each other."
Terry is not the kind of player who will gloat about a big play.
"In the course of the season you do some things wrong, too," he said. "You take it for what it is worth, one play."
Chances are KC coach Marty Schottenheimer will remember that play when making final cuts this year. Perhaps not.
"There are no guarantees. I've still got a lot to prove," Terry said. "More than just making the team, I'd like to get back a starting role (he was a starter in 1993 before suffering a knee injury). That was a lot of fun. I'd like to experience it again."