Former Chief Donnie Edwards: ‘I never wanted to leave Kansas City’

The business of football changes the dynamics of every team in the NFL, and the Kansas City Chiefs have had their share of movement determined by front-office decisions.

Former Chiefs linebacker Donnie Edwards earned All-Pro honors twice as a San Diego Charger, but told Chiefs Wire’s Ed Easton Jr. about how much he loved his time in Kansas City.

“Kansas City and Arrowhead Stadium, that’s my home,” Edwards explained. “There’s one Kansas City, which is my town. They adopted me when I was 22, 23 years old. They took me in, right? So they’re the ones that’s my foundation, right? And I tell you, I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to leave Kansas City. I just signed a new contract. But as I told you, when you have a new coach come in, they have a different mentality.

“Dick Vermeil came in, and he’s all about offense. So we have to take the money away from the defense and put it on the offense. These are things that you can’t control. But I never wanted to leave Kansas City. I want to make sure that it is known. I think everybody knew that because the city didn’t want me to leave; I didn’t want to leave, but it’s out of my control.”

From 1996 to 2001, Edwards was an impact player for the Chiefs, and after being unable to agree on a new contract, he was released, moving on to an AFC West rival.

“I got released and picked up by Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers, who brought me in [in] 2002,” Edwards continued. “Being in the AFC West, I gotta face my team twice, and it’s one of these deals where you didn’t break up with the person, and they broke up with you. So, I didn’t stay in the relationship, but it wasn’t up to me because I got broken up with. It’s not a good feeling right now when you give it to me. I think all of us have been in relationships, but it’s not a good feeling.

“I’ll never forget going back to Arrowhead back in 2002. And I was a Charger, and I’ll never forget the honor that the fans of Kansas City gave me when I went back there because I know it doesn’t happen. I know how fans are for sure, especially if you leave, but I think there was a different feeling about what I’ve done in the community and the rapport I have with the fans at Kansas City.”

Before returning to Kansas City for the final two years of his career, Edwards had his best statistical seasons with the Chargers but always kept Chiefs Kingdom in mind.

“When I was with the Chargers, we beat the Chiefs, and I believe I got an interception at the end to seal it,” Edwards said. “After the game, I was in the shower, and someone told me, Hey, get out of the shower, get ready to get dressed. Someone wants to say hello to you. So I got dressed, and I went out there.

“The owner, Lamar Hunt, came to me and said hello and thank you for the years at Kansas City—just that respect. I will never forget that because here’s the team’s owner, and even, after a loss, come into the opponent’s locker room to shake my hand and say thank you. I will never forget that because that shows the quality of the organization of the Kansas City Chiefs, and it was very special.”

To learn more about Donnie Edwards’ work with military veterans, visit the Best Defense Foundation’s website.

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire