Edwards returns to Chiefs

Packers inquired about linebacker Donnie Edwards on Thursday

So much for the Green Bay Packers landing Donnie Edwards. The free agent linebacker will return to the Kansas City Chiefs this season after signing a three-year contract today.

Edwards deal is reportedly worth $13.5 million, including $7.5 million in guaranteed money, PackerReport.com has learned.

Edwards, who turns 34 on April 6, played the last five seasons in San Diego and the first six seasons on his career in Kansas City. Packers coach Mike McCarthy, an assistant coach with the Chiefs in 1996 when Edwards was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, spoke highly of the linebacker this morning at Fan Fest in Green Bay.

"I thought Donnie was an exceptional athlete, high quality person," McCarthy said. "He's been very successful. I'm a big fan of Donnie Edwards."

This San Diego native reportedly never quite felt at home with the Chargers, so he tested the market in free agency and landed with his former team.

With 2005 first-round pick Derrick Johnson playing outside and recently signed free agent Napoleon Harris playing the middle, the versatile Edwards will move to the outside.

Edwards' signing means Kawika Mitchell probably will not be retained. The same is probably true for last year's starting weakside linebacker, Kendrell Bell.

The Chiefs have been active in free agency, adding Harris, tackle Damion McIntosh, and long snapper Jean-Philippe Darche. The Chiefs brought Edwards to Kansas City on Friday after reaching an agreement on the general terms of a new contract. The Packers were believed to have contacted Edwards' agent Tom Condon on Thursday about the linebackers' services.

The Packers may be seeking a veteran to take the place of recently released William Henderson, who served as a key special teams player and leader in the locker room, though, McCarthy said that is not necessarily the case.

"We're not going to bring in a guy just for that," McCarthy said. "He has to be fit, and obviously, there are a lot of factors involved with a player from a free agent standpoint. Does he fit with what we do and how we do it? Can we make him fit and adjust? There's the financial side of it. Those are the factors that go into that decision."

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