Chiefs have agreed to terms with No. 1 draft pick Eric Fisher
By ASSOCIATED PRESSFS Kansas City
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."