Chiefs sign LB Zach Thomas
The Chiefs added another part to their defense Saturday when they agreed to contract terms with veteran linebacker Zach Thomas.
Thomas turns 36 in September, but he has made seven trips to the Pro Bowl in his 13 NFL seasons. His most recent Pro Bowl season came in 2006 with Miami, but Thomas started 14 games last year in his first season with Dallas.
His first 12 NFL seasons were played with the Dolphins.
Thomas is the second veteran linebacker acquired by the Chiefs in recent weeks. He follows Mike Vrabel, who came in the trade with New England that also brought quarterback Matt Cassel.
With the Chiefs looking to play the 3-4 defense next season, Thomas is a probable starter at one inside linebacker position. Vrabel will start at one of the outside positions.
Derrick Johnson also figures as one of the starters, probably on the inside. The Chiefs also have Demorrio Williams and recently signed veteran Monty Beisel for depth and to play on special teams.
One of the starting spots remains open. The Chiefs could fill the position through the draft and may be planning to select Aaron Curry of Wake Forest or Everette Brown of Florida State with their top pick.
Thomas, a fifth-round pick by Miami out of Texas Tech in 1996, immediately became a starter for the Dolphins. He has been extremely durable, missing only 24 games in his career because of injury.
Thomas missed 11 games in 2007, his final season with Miami. An auto accident midway through that season caused migraine headaches that led the Dolphins to put Thomas on the injured list.