Jayhawks’ Reid to sign with Chiefs


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Jan 22, 2006
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Jayhawks’ Reid to sign with Chiefs

The Kansas City Star

LAWRENCE — The Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year is coming to Kansas City — and the Chiefs didn’t even have to draft him.

Kansas linebacker Nick Reid, probably one of the top defensive players in Jayhawks history, told The Star late Sunday evening that he plans to sign a free-agent deal with the Chiefs as early as today.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Reid was not selected in the NFL draft despite winning third team All-America honors while leading KU in tackles with 112.

“My agent is still working out the details,” Reid said, “but, as far as I know, it’s going to happen.”

Asked whether he was irked about being passed over in the draft, Reid said: “I’m going to try to cut loose and knock someone’s head off if I get the chance.”

Two other players from KU’s highly touted defense — cornerback Charles Gordon and defensive end Charlton Keith — also went undrafted but signed as free agents. So did wide receiver Mark Simmons, KU’s all-time leader in receptions.

Kansas was the only Big 12 school that didn’t have a player selected during any of the draft’s seven rounds.

“I felt like the whole Big 12 got disrespected,” said Keith, an all-league player who recorded a school-record 21 tackles for loss in 2005. “Some of our top guys went late and some didn’t go at all. We compete at one of the highest levels, but we got treated like we’re a Division-One-Triple-A conference.

“We can be down about it, or we can go out and prove people wrong.”

Keith will get the chance to do just that in Cleveland. He said he signed a free-agent deal with the Browns on Sunday rather than accept an offer by the Chiefs. Keith said the Browns offered him more money, adding that Cleveland is only 15 minutes away from his native Akron and, more important, his 3-year-old daughter.

“The Browns stuck their hand in the cookie jar when Mom wasn’t looking, and they pulled out a really good cookie,” Keith said. “I’m going to take some golden cleats out to that practice field and click them and make something happen.”

Gordon, according to agent Kenny Zuckerman, has already signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

Gordon tied for most interceptions in the nation in 2004 and played at wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner at KU. He left school early to turn pro.

Simmons, who will double as a return specialist, said he signed with the San Diego Chargers.

“I felt like there were a lot of receivers that got drafted that I know I’m better than,” Simmons said. “Still, at the end of the day, I’m just glad I got an offer. San Diego is a good fit for me.”

Just as the Chiefs are a good fit for Reid, a Wichita native.

He watched Sunday’s draft from his sister’s home in Atlanta. Despite the frustrations of the weekend, Reid couldn’t have sounded more upbeat as he prepared to board a Kansas City-bound plane Sunday evening.

“The Chiefs are the team I was hoping to be with all along,” Reid said. “I’ve been a Chiefs fan for a long time. Now I’ve got to get out there and show what I can do. I want to show everyone what they passed up on.”

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