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.”