Chiefs Retain Another Edwards

After securing linebacker Donnie Edwards last weekend, on Thursday afternoon the Chiefs retained defensive tackle Ron Edwards, signing him to a four-year contract.

In the last week, Kansas City has brought in a plethora of defensive lineman who they felt could make an impact on the roster next season. But after meeting with Alphonso Boone, Alvin McKinley and Dave Ball, the Chiefs felt retaining Edwards was the right move.

Last season he arrived late in free agency after five seasons with the Buffalo Bills and immediately separated himself from the rest of KC's defensive tackles. His presence allowed the Chiefs to put Ryan Sims on the second team and eventually led to the departure of Lional Dalton at midseason.

In 2006 he had one of his better statistical seasons, with 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He's a space eater, and the Chiefs felt his experience on the defensive line was paramount to continued defensive improvement.

Edwards was certainly an upgrade, and his ability to get up the field was key in KC's pass rush and run defense.

The purpose of a defensive tackle is to take on not one, but two offensive lineman. If successful, defensive ends and linebackers can shoot those gaps to get penetration in the backfield.

The Chiefs primary defensive weakness in the last six years has been a lack of production on the interior of the defensive line.

But even with the addition of Edwards the team still must find another starter. Ryan Sims will be cut on or before June 1, and reportedly the Chiefs are very close to signing former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Alphonso Boone.

If that happens, the Chiefs still have to find some depth at the position. That could be why they've brought in so many defensive lineman in the last seven days. One name the Chiefs are still interested in is Ian Scott, who also played in Chicago last year.

He visited with Denver and Green Bay but has yet to receive a contract offer from either team. He probably has the most upside of any of the defensive tackles the Chiefs have met with based on his youth, but for some reason NFL teams are not lining up to sign him.

Another player who remains a mystery is fourth-year man Jimmy Wilkerson. He also visited the Packers, but the Chiefs don't seem to be in a hurry to re-sign him. I think he's a valuable commodity for this organization because he can play any position along the defensive line.

The Chiefs have to make a move that will keep their heads above water during Jared Allen's likely four-game suspension to start the 2007 season, but the signing of Edwards, to go along with the other offseason moves, does allow the Chiefs to start thinking about whom they might select in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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