Boomer bids farewell to Kansas City

Jamie Squire - Getty

The Folk Hero has a new gig. He never scored a touchdown or sacked a quarterback, but instead grabbed the hearts and the minds of every Chiefs fan. Now he'll try to recreate that magic in Miami as the Dolphins' new fullback.

Last Thursday the Chiefs decided Grigsby wasn't worth the $915,000 it would have required to keep him in Kansas City during 2008. By Friday morning his agent had received four phone calls from prospective suitors. Grigsby received other offers, including a two-year deal from an NFC team, but felt Miami presented the best opportunity.

Grigsby flew to Miami Monday after speaking with the Dolphins' coaching staff. They convinced him the Dolphins wanted him more than anyone else, and leading the charge was former Chiefs running backs coach James Saxon.

"It's good to be wanted," said Grigsby Tuesday afternoon. "Everything started rolling right away. I had a lot of missed calls from Miami. Once I got on the phone with them, it boiled down to going to the place where I have the best opportunity to become the best player I can and stay in the NFL. Miami seemed like the place for me to do that. I guess they were showing me the most desire that they really wanted me to be there."

Grigsby, by his own admission, is an example of the classic NFL overachiever. He arrived in Kansas City three years ago via the NFL Draft with a reputation as a hard-hitting linebacker who projected as a special teams standout.

Grigsby's initial returns on defense were mixed, so this past year he switched from linebacker to fullback at the urging of Herm Edwards.

When the position change took place, Boomer told Warpaint Illustrated it was the best thing to happen to his career. The adjustment wasn't easy, but Grigsby adapted well and showed early on he could catch the ball.

As the 2007 season wore on, he became more comfortable at the position and ended up starting the last four games of the season.

But when the Chiefs brought in new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Grigsby was no longer considered a good fit. The Chiefs would have kept him around to compete and didn't think anyone else would make an offer, so they brought in former Cowboys fullback Oliver Hoyte. Boomer maintained that acquisition had no bearing on his decision to depart for a warmer climate, however.

"The fact that Kansas City brought in another fullback really had little to nothing to do with it," he said. "I'm a big believer in Herm Edwards' philosophies. I'm a big believer that Herm Edwards will win a championship and I'm a big believer in his program. I'm not scared of competition at all. They brought in another guy but that didn't really bother me at all."

"I knew they were going to bring in guys. That's his philosophy and that's my philosophy. The best way to get a guy is to create competition and let the best player win. Technically I'm going to a team that has a starter coming back, and I'm going to try to take the job from him."

If Grigsby can do that, 2008 will be a big year. He'll be an unrestricted free agent next offseason for the first time, and that business side of football played a large part in his decision. Grigsby said he had no hard feelings about the lack of interest the Chiefs showed in keeping him.

"I'm not mad at anybody for that," he said. "I had an absolutely wonderful time in Kansas City, some of the best days of my life. I'm still going to keep my house there and it'll be where I reside in the offseason hopefully. Maybe I'll come back and raise my family there someday."

"My entire life is in Kansas City. All my closest friends are there – Jared Allen, Brodie Croyle and other guys. My friends and family are there. It was the best place for family to be able to experience football with me, and we had three years of unbelievable memories. It brought us nothing but absolute joy to be able to fellowship together like that and be around one another."

And in that light, Grigsby said he appreciated the fans he connected with in his three years as a Chief. He never forgot his roots as a son of the Midwest and felt he could connect with the average ticket holder at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I feel like I got along so well with the fans because I was always one of them," said Grigsby. "I was just fortunate enough to get an opportunity to play for the Kansas City Chiefs. Before I played for them I was a fan of the players they had and NFL football in general. I just figure I'd never really forget where I came from, and people appreciated that and it allowed us to get along. Being a little bit outgoing and not being scared to rip your shirt off never hurts anything, either."

"Maybe if it all goes right I can do my thing and I'll end up back there. I never burn a bridge and I have no regrets."

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