Turley Set to Join Chiefs

The Chiefs have not made an announcement about signing Kyle Turley, but Fox Sports and Warpaint Illustrated have confirmed that they are close to a deal with the offensive lineman. According to the report, Turley will sign a two-year deal.

The sticking point in the negotiations thus far has been Turley's unwillingness to play right tackle. He has reportedly lost almost 50 pounds and is in the best shape of his career.

With that issue resolved, Turley should compete for the starting right tackle job against Kevin Sampson. If Turley loses that battle, he could then play some tight end in short yardage situations.

Turley has made it clear to any prospective suitor that he wanted to play tight end, but that's not a position of need for the Chiefs.

When we first reported that Turley was an option for the Chiefs two weeks ago, we confirmed that Kansas City's interest in him was related to upgrading depth on the offensive line.

By adding Turley that's just what the Chiefs did.

"We are very pleased to acquire the services of a player of Kyle Turley's experience and stature," Chiefs President Carl Peterson said on Sunday. "We were very impressed with his recent workout for us and are confident he is ready to resume his NFL career. He will compete at the right tackle position for us and we believe he has the ability to perform at a high level."

Turley has battled a bad back, but he worked out at Arrowhead and appeared to be in spectacular shape. The major question now is can he bulk up enough to play the role of an offensive lineman? It's doubtful that the Chiefs would have signed him unless they were confident he could play tackle.

Another possibility could be guard. Veteran John Welbourn was absent from practice this past week. Head coach Herman Edwards said Welbourn was taking care of some personal matters.

"He's got some things he's dealing with too, all personal," said Edwards. "It's really a blessing, in a way, because now these young guys who we think are the back-up guys can get a lot of reps with the first group again."

Welbourn played right tackle for the Chiefs at the end of last season, filling in for Sampson, but his MIA status last week could be related to his contract status. Though he still has two years left on his current deal, he might want a new deal from the Chiefs. His role for the 2006 season is anything but set and the Chiefs will continue to tinker with the roster before the season starts.

But clearly, his absence made the Chiefs step up in their efforts to sign Turley.

Vice President of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich is familiar with Turley. He drafted him in the first round in 1998 when he was the President of the New Orleans Saints.

Turley will bring a mean-spirited attitude to the offensive line. He'll also be reunited with left tackle Willie Roaf, as the two played together in New Orleans.

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