Chiefs agree to re-sign Wilkerson for one year

Updated: March 18, 2007, 12:51 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Continuing the momentum aimed at replenishing their threadbare front four, the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night reached agreement to re-sign four-year veteran defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson, who spent the past two weeks testing the unrestricted free agent market.

Jimmy Wilkerson
Wilkerson

It marked the third straight day in which the Chiefs addressed a defensive line that had been perilously thin before the sudden spate of signings.

On Thursday, the Chiefs signed six-year veteran tackle Ron Edwards, who returned to the team after spending the past two weeks exploring the free agent market. They followed that up on Friday with the addition of unrestricted free agent tackle Alfonso Boone, who played his entire six-year career with the Chicago Bears until becoming a free agent.

Edwards and Boone both signed four-year contracts believed to be worth about $7 million-$8 million. Wilkerson signed just a one-year contract, and the financial details were not yet available.

Wilkerson, 26, chose to return to the Chiefs over a short-term offer from Green Bay, where he had visited with Packers officials this week. In fact, it was surprising how much attention Wilkerson drew in free agency, given his modest production in four NFL seasons.

The former Oklahoma star was coveted by the Chiefs and other teams, however, for his versatility and for his effectiveness as a role player. Wilkerson can play the "under" tackle position and both end spots, and is seen as a defender who gives maximum effort despite a limited amount of snaps. He can also play on special teams.

A sixth-round choice in the 2003 draft, Wilkerson has 86 career tackles, one-half sack, 34 quarterback pressures, one fumble recovery and four pass deflections. He has appeared in 56 games and started two contests.

By signing just a one-year contract, Wilkerson will be able to add to his résumé in 2007, when his playing time could be increased, and go back into free agency again next spring.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com