- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - Kansas City added another veteran linebacker to its rebuilding roster Monday when it signed free agent Zach Thomas.

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

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

In all, Thomas has 2,043 tackles, third among active linebackers. His 17 interceptions rank fifth among active LBs.

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


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