Chiefs reach 5-year deal with overall No. 1 pick

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to terms with
No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher on Friday, ensuring that the big right
tackle out of Central Michigan will be in training camp with plenty of
time to prepare for the season.

A person familiar with the
situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had not
announced the deal, told The Associated Press that the contract will be
for five years.

The deal is expected to be in the $22 million
range, which would put it on par with the two previous No. 1 picks to
have been signed since the NFL instituted a new rookie wage scale with
the most recent collective-bargaining agreement.

Fisher was
expected to report to training camp Friday in St. Joseph, in time for
the team’s first full-squad workout later in the day. He attended the
Chiefs’ entire offseason program, but missed three days of practice
earlier this week involving his fellow rookies.

Fisher and
another tackle, Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, were widely considered the
top offensive linemen available in this year’s draft. The Chiefs opted
to nab Fisher with the first No. 1 pick in franchise history, securing a
bookend tackle for new quarterback Alex Smith.

“Watching three
tackles come off in the first four picks, I think people knew they would
go high, but nobody was expecting that,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt
said after the draft. “It shows that a lot of teams know that you have
to win in the trenches, and we certainly feel that way.”

While he
may not be as polished as Joeckel, who went second overall to
Jacksonville, Fisher is considered to be more athletic and the Chiefs
believe he has a greater upside.

Most project him as a future
left tackle, but the 6-foot-7, 306-pound Fisher will start off on the
right side because the Chiefs opted to give veteran Branden Albert the
franchise tag.

Albert will play this season under a one-year deal
worth about $9.3 million, but his future beyond that is uncertain. The
Chiefs have expressed interest in signing the durable left tackle to a
long-term deal, but the two sides have so far been unable to close a
wide gap in negotiations.

That means Fisher could eventually
replace Albert in protecting Smith’s blind side in a revamped offense
under new coach Andy Reid.

“I just try to play football. I know
how to play football, and do what I’ve done the last four years, because
that’s what has gotten me here,” Fisher said during offseason workouts.

“I’m
just trying to play offensive line,” he said. “I really love everything
that comes with it. It’s a different territory in there. It’s a very
similar system to what I ran in college.”

Fisher is only the third offensive tackle picked No. 1 overall in the modern NFL draft.

“We
were fortunate to have a draft where there was a number of offensive
linemen who are first-round-caliber guys,” Reid said after the draft.
“That’s what we need here, and we have a good nucleus now.”