Kansas City Chiefs Release Brian Waters, Will Miss Community Work and Leadership

James AdkinsCorrespondent IIJuly 29, 2011

As the rest of the Chiefs were reporting to training camp on Thursday night, the Chiefs and 34-year-old All-Pro guard Brian Waters were announcing the end of an era.

On Thursday, the Chiefs turned rumor into reality when they released Waters from the team.

Waters, who has spent the past 11 seasons as a member of the Chiefs, harbors no ill will towards the organization that rescued him off the scrap heap back in 2000 and converted him into one of the best guards in team's history.

Although his play had declined in recent years, most noticeably since the retirement of fellow guard Will Shields, the leadership supplied by Waters in the first two seasons of the Todd Haley era will be missed the most. More than any one down he played on the field, his locker-room presence was instrumental in helping a young Chiefs squad ascend back to the top of the AFC West.

Like the retired Shields, Waters will also be greatly missed off the football field within the community. As Shields was in 2003, Waters was recognized by commissioner Roger Goodell in 2009 as the NFL's Man of the Year for his charitable work in the Kansas City area.

While it is doubtful that Waters, who lives full-time in Kansas City, will move out of the area anytime soon, it remains to be seen which Chief will pickup the torch and run with it when it comes to work in the community.

So on the field, what does the release of Waters mean to the Chiefs?

The answer is simple: It means the Jon Asamoah era has officially begun. And if the legacies of the men who started before Asamoah the past two decades is any indication, the Chiefs offense won't miss a beat.