Chiefs add to depth


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Jan 22, 2006
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Chiefs add to depth
Signing former Jet James Reed to a one-year contract helps bolster defensive line.
The Kansas City Star

James Reed shuffled his belongings in a corner locker Thursday below a handwritten nameplate.

It took about three months of waiting, but Reed finally found a home in Kansas City. Reed said late Thursday that he has signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs, giving much-needed depth to the defensive line.

Reed played for coach Herm Edwards for five seasons in New York and had his best season in 2005 with 65 tackles as a starter. But the Jets didn’t make much of an attempt to keep him, and Reed found what he considered minimal interest in the free-agent market this spring.

“I was a little shocked … and now I’m going to carry a chip on my shoulder,” Reed said. “I thought I should’ve been gone the first week. But things happen for a reason. I’m here now, man, and I can’t dwell on the past. I’ve got to make the best of my opportunity.”

It will be an interesting summer of opportunity for the defensive line. The Chiefs signed Ron Edwards in the offseason, Ryan Sims is back from a foot injury, and Lional Dalton and John Browning are returning.

Sims was the recipient of a tongue-lashing from defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham on Thursday when he appeared tired in the 90-degree heat. Earlier this spring, Edwards conceded that Sims showed up for minicamp a few pounds heavy.

Edwards said that Sims and Co. will have to be a speed defensive line and must be in top condition. They’ll play a rotation system, which makes Reed’s signing significant.

Reed watched Thursday’s workout and said he’ll be ready to practice Tuesday when the Chiefs resume their offseason schedule. A 6-foot, 288-pounder, Reed is considered somewhat undersized. He played mostly nose tackle last season.

“We’ve got him in there working out, and we’re going to see where that’s at,” Edwards said after practice. “He’s a one-gap guy who knows the system, for sure. He’s been in it for quite some time, and (he’s) a pretty good player. Good on special teams, a good, solid football player.”

•Willie Roaf wasn’t at Thursday’s workout, and Edwards said the 11-time Pro Bowl left tackle is tending to family issues. Starting right tackle John Welbourn also was absent because of personal matters.

Edwards said he didn’t know if Roaf would be back next week for the voluntary workouts.

“He can stay as long as he needs to stay,” Edwards said. “It’s really a blessing, in a way, because now these young guys who we think are the backup guys can get a lot of reps with the first group again, so that’s good to see.”

•Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said Thursday that the club has agreed to terms on two-year contracts with free-agent guard Tyler Lenda and wide receiver Scott McCready. The club also agreed to a one-year deal with fullback J.R. Niklos
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