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Archive for Friday, July 21, 2000

Chiefs reach agreement with Szott

July 21, 2000

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— An agreement by Kansas City to allow Pro Bowl lineman Dave Szott to go home to New Jersey each Monday and Tuesday during the season has convinced the offensive guard to play one more year and finish his career with the Chiefs.

Szott has a son with cerebral palsy and he and his wife have decided a school near his home in Passaic, N.J., is the best place for him.

Szott, 32, had asked for a trade to either the New York Jets or Giants or the Philadelphia Eagles so that he could be closer to his home. He had also considered retirement.

The Chiefs had trouble moving Szott because of his $2 million salary and his age.

"I'm going to work," Szott said Wednesday as he arrived at Arrowhead Stadium to travel with the team to River Falls, Wis., where training camp begins today.

"The Chiefs have made concessions," Szott said. "You can't ignore that. They're going to let me go home on Mondays and Tuesdays. That's a bigger block than I ever would have had anywhere else. The ability to see my family more and finish my career in Kansas City outweighed what could have happened back East."

Szott said loyalty to teammates such as center Tim Grunhard also was a factor. He said advice from former Chiefs tackle John Alt was a consideration.

"I had a long relationship with John Alt, and he said 'There's something about playing your whole career in one place' and there really is," Szott said.

"I've loved Kansas City. There's been nothing but support since I came here in the seventh round in 1990. There's a lot to say about that."

Szott, who has started at left guard since his rookie season, suffered from a blood clot after undergoing minor knee surgery in the offseason. He missed the 1998 season with a torn biceps.

He remains on blood-thinning medication because of the blood clot and will be held out of contact drills during the first three weeks of training camp.

Szott said he would take part in individual drills and run and lift weights for the first three weeks.

Szott was excused from the Chiefs minicamp in May while he moved his family back to New Jersey and forfeited a $100,000 bonus.

He said this season would be his last. He is in the final year of his contract.

"This is it," he said. "I can't commute again. I could not sacrifice another year away."

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