Chiefs Add Some Beef

With left tackle as one of their most pressing offseason needs, the Chiefs acted fast and signed the second-best player on the market, agreeing to terms on a six-year deal with veteran Damion McIntosh.

The Chiefs had indicated they would not be a big player in the early stages of free agency, but that changed on Saturday when they signed McIntosh, a former Dolphin and Charger, to a contract that will secure his starting spot on what will be a revamped offensive line.

It's been difficult for the Chiefs to find anyone to replace the great Willie Roaf, who announced his retirement before the start of mini-camp last May. The Chiefs were caught blind-sided by the departure and could only manage to snare Kyle Turley in the open market.

That didn't work out, and eventually Jordan Black became the full time starter. That didn't work either, and the Chiefs knew going into 2007 they needed an upgrade.

Chiefs President Carl Peterson and head coach Herm Edwards have made it a priority to re-tool the offensive line.

"We are very pleased to have acquired the services of Damion McIntosh to play left tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs," said Peterson. "He is an established starter at that position in the National Football League who we anticipate will be a very competitive performer. Damion played particularly well against the Chiefs when we faced him in 2006."

McIntosh started in 43 games for the Dolphins in three NFL seasons. The former Kansas State standout has experience at both guard and tackle. He spent four seasons in San Diego before signing with the Dolphins.

Miami tried unsuccessfully to sign him to a long-term contract on Thursday, but talks broke down and the Chiefs contacted his agent, Brent Tessler, scheduling his first free-agent visit.

When he arrived on Friday the Chiefs worked quickly to get a deal done so he would not slip out of town without a contract in hand.

McIntosh was the second-best left tackle on the open market behind Leonard Davis, who the Chiefs contacted on Friday. Davis is expected to get a handful of offers in the stratosphere of $50 million, however.

McIntosh certainly has far more experience than Davis and has been successful with both the Chargers and Dolphins in multiple offensive systems. That bodes well for him in Kansas City. He has good size and, though he's not Willie Roaf, he's certainly an upgrade from Jordan Black, who just seems to be playing out of position at tackle.

With this signing Black likely won't return to Kansas City. Currently he's been in contract talks with the St. Louis Rams, but at the moment the two sides have not completed a deal. The Pittsburgh Steelers are also interested.

Now the Chiefs have to solve a couple more problems along the offensive line. All-Pro right guard Will Shields has yet to inform the Chiefs if he'll retire or come back for one more season, and center Casey Weigmann is also deciding if he'll hang up his cleats or not. If that's the case, Kansas City could be in the market for more help along the offensive line. They'll have to solve those issues likely through the draft unless they can swing a trade with another NFL team.

In other Chiefs-related news:

LB Napoleon Harris -The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker will be in Kansas City on Saturday night and will meet with the Chiefs on Sunday. He was in Tampa on Saturday but to our knowledge didn't come to an agreement before he left town.

LB Donnie Edwards - His agent, Tom Condon, has spoke to the Chiefs about Edwards and those talks could heat up depending on what happens with Harris when he comes to KC. If the Chiefs sign both Edwards and Harris, that means Kendrell Bell will likely be cut to make some cap room.

LB Keyaron Fox - As noted in other publications, linebacker Keyaron Fox is NOT a restricted free agent. He signed a four-year deal in his rookie season so he is under contract with Kansas City for 2007.

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