KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Morten Andersen, the second-leading
scorer in NFL history, was told Friday he has lost his job to a
kicker 18 years younger.
"A tough decision. A risky decision," Kansas City Chiefs coach
Dick Vermeil said.
The 44-year-old Andersen has scored 2,259 points since breaking
into the NFL with New Orleans in 1982. Only Gary Anderson has
"Morten Andersen I think will kick in the league," Vermeil
said. "If he's not kicking in the league and our decision ends up
not being a good decision, we'll bring him back."
Vermeil said the Chiefs would contact other teams to help
Andersen get another opportunity.
Kicking for the Chiefs will be 26-year-old Lawrence Tynes, who
is coming off two successful seasons with the Ottawa Renegades of
the Canadian Football League. Tynes failed to unseat Andersen two
years ago in the Chiefs' camp.
Andersen made his only field goal attempt in the preseason, a
28-yarder, but his range was clearly not as great as Tynes'.
Vermeil also said Friday that rookie tight end Kris Wilson, who
figured prominently in this year's plans, would be out at least
half the season with a broken left fibula.
Wilson, a second-round draft pick from Pittsburgh, was injured
in Thursday night's game at Dallas. He had been impressive in
training camp and now joins Marc Boerigter on the team's list of
Boerigter went on injured reserve this week with a knee injury.
Vermeil also said Steve Cheek, who was acquired earlier in the
week from Houston, would replace Jason Baker as punter. Cheek
kicked well in the Dallas game, his only appearance for the Chiefs
in the preseason.
Baker, who punted for the Chiefs last year, had been
inconsistent and clearly lost Vermeil's confidence.
Baker's failure also affected Andersen, Vermeil said, because
Baker had been counted on for kickoffs. But Tynes, with a much
stronger leg, will now be needed to kick off.
"And that had a trickle-down effect to Morten Andersen,"
Vermeil said. "I haven't properly prepared Morten Andersen for the
kicking off situation. We didn't because we didn't want to drain
his leg. We thought he was going to be the field goal kicker."
Vermeil said Andersen, who turned 44 less than a month ago, was
very disappointed at the news.
"Keeping Morten Andersen would not have been a negative in any
way," Vermeil said. "In no way could he hurt a football team."
The Chiefs are likely to have another starter go on injured
reserve and be lost for the season on Saturday. Middle linebacker
Mike Maslowski, who has been slow to recover from knee surgery, is
not being counted on at all.
The Chiefs also said Friday they had waived six players in
preparation for the mandatory cutdown to 53 players on Sunday. They
were wide receiver John Booth, running back Ronnie Cruz, defensive
end Robert Flickinger, cornerback Willie Ford, center Jonathan
Ingram and linebacker Rich Scanlon.