Chiefs sign LB Thomas to one-year, $2 million deal

The Kansas City Chiefs added another veteran linebacker to their rebuilding roster Monday when they signed free agent Zach Thomas.

NFL.com's Steve Wyche reports that Thomas received a one-year, $2 million contract from the Chiefs.

2008 Statistics
Games/Starts: 16/14

Tackles: 94

Sacks: 1

In an effort to fix one of the weakest positions on a team that went 2-14 last season, the Chiefs acquired Mike Vrabel in a deal that also brought quarterback Matt Cassel from the New England Patriots. Kansas City also signed veteran linebacker Monte Beisel.

Thomas, 5-foot-11 and 242 pounds, has 182 starts during a 13-year NFL career, mostly with the Miami Dolphins. He has made the Pro Bowl seven times but not since 2006. He played with the Dallas Cowboys last season and was an unrestricted free agent.

Under new coach Todd Haley and general manager Scott Pioli, the Chiefs plan to switch to a 3-4 defense. Having experienced linebackers is critical to such a switch, and both Vrabel and Thomas figure to start, Thomas on the inside.

The Dolphins selected Thomas in the fifth round (154th overall) of the 1996 draft, and he immediately became a starter and a fixture in Miami. A leader of the defense there, he made all of his Pro Bowls with the Dolphins.

Thomas' 17 interceptions rank fifth among active linebackers.

The Chiefs also waived wide receiver Will Franklin on Monday. Franklin made one start last season and appeared in 13 games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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