Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS 1st Round Draft Pick walks away from Intimidation and Profanity (Tait, agents leave KC after talks break down)
Kansas City KS Star 31Aug99 L3
By Randy Covitz: The Kansas City Star
and other articles listed at the end of this summary.
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS -- The continuing saga of LDS football player John Tait took a vicious
left-turn Tuesday after a meeting in which Kansas City Chiefs
President Carl Petersen launched a profanity-laced tirade at Tait, in
an apparent attempt to intimidate Tait into signing a deal more
favorable to the Chiefs. Rather than give-in, Tait and his agent
walked out of the meeting, leaving a $4 million deal on the table.
News reports on Monday said that Tait had agreed to the terms of a
five-year deal and was looking forward to competing for a starting
spot on the team. "I believe I can come in and compete for a job,"
Tait said. "I know I've got a lot of work to do. I know what people
in Kansas City have said about me, and we'll find out who's right and
Before this week, Tait had been prepared to wait-out the season and
try again in next year's NFL draft, rather than sign an agreement he
didn't like. Tait has already missed this year's training camp for
the Chiefs and all but one of their exhibition games.
Tait and his agent, Ethan Locke, say that Petersen mistreated them in
Tuesday's meeting. "None of you guys would like to be treated like we
were treated," agent Ethan Locke said. "He used the 'F' word four or
five times when he was yelling at John and trying to intimidate him.
John's a strong Mormon. After the second one, he stood up and said
this is over."
Tait also expressed amazement over what happened, "He just lost
control there, and unfortunately, I don't know if it was meant to
intimidate me or whatever," he said. "I want a fair deal; that's all
I've wanted from the beginning."
The negotiations with the Chiefs evidently broke-down over a $90,000
bonus to be paid in the fifth year of the contract. The contract
indicates that Tait forfeit's the bonus if he doesn't complete the
contract, but Tait wants the bonus if he is unable to complete the
contract due to reasons beyond his control. Agent Locke was recently
burned on this issue, when a player he represents nearly lost an arm
in an automobile accident.
Peterson called a news conference following the blow-up and admitted
using the profanity. He also says that he called Tait's father, Alan
Tait, who lives in Phoenix, to apologize and to seek a meeting in
Phoenix to try and salvage the situation.
But Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock says that Peterson's
contacting Tait's father is all part of Peterson's negotiation
tactics, things he's seen before. "It's not surprising that King Carl
low-balled Tait until just a few days ago. Or that King Carl
[Peterson] keeps trying to circumvent Lock by dealing with Tait's
In Whitlock's view, Peterson has simply overplayed his hand, using
his normal negotiating tactics with someone that they won't work
with. "Now, I'm not a Mormon. I know very little about the Mormon
faith. But I know because of his religious beliefs Tait walked away
from football for two years. People who are walking with or believe
they are walking with God can't be bullied. It's that simple. It
takes very little research to understand you don't negotiate with
Tait the same way you negotiate with a kid whose biggest dream in
college was flexing in a new Mercedes and wearing a big gold chain."
This gives Tait an advantage, says Whitlock, "John Tait is basically
bully-proof, which makes him Superman at Arrowhead Stadium, able to
leap Carl Peterson's ego at a single bound."
Peterson underestimated John Tait
Kansas City KS Star 1Sep99 L3
By Jason Whitlock: Columnist
Paper: Chiefs, Tait Agree To Deal
Associated Press 31Aug99 L3
By Doug Tucker: AP Sports Writer