<
>

Eagles send starting guard to Chiefs for picks

NEW YORK -- A day after trading up in the first round
to select Arkansas' Shawn Andrews, the Philadelphia Eagles
opened a starting spot for him by trading disgruntled left guard John Welbourn to the Kansas City Chiefs for a pair of mid-round draft
picks.

The Eagles received a fifth-round pick in this draft and a
fourth-round selection in 2005.

Welbourn has started 56 games for the Eagles since entering the
league as a fourth-round pick out of California in 1999.

But he told the Eagles earlier this month that he was
unhappy with his contract situation and wanted a new deal. When the
team refused, Welbourn asked to be dealt. He then made his
displeasure with the organization public Friday in a radio
interview, during which he questioned coach Andy Reid's recent
drafts.

Welbourn criticized the team for not re-working his contract and accused the Eagles of failing to take care of their veterans. His agent, Ed Cunningham, even went so far as to claim the Eagles are more difficult to deal with than the Communist Party in China in a Trenton Times report.

Welbourn is due to earn $1 million this season, but the average starting salary for an offensive lineman last season was $2.027 million, with a median starting salary of $1.157 million, the Delaware County (Pa.) Daily Times reported Saturday.

Welbourn told the Eagles last month that he wanted to renegotiate the seven-year, $13 million deal he signed in 2001. He told the team he wanted a contract similar to the deal the Lions gave Damien Woody to leave the Patriots this offseason, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Woody, a Pro Bowl center, received a six-year, $31 million deal with a $9 million signing bonus.

When the Eagles refused Welbourn's request, the guard asked to be traded, the Inquirer reported.

The 6-foot-5, 318-pound Welbourn could fill the Chiefs' void at right
tackle, left when John Tait signed with the Chicago Bears as a free
agent.

The Eagles traded a second-round pick to San Francisco to move
up 12 spots in the first round and selected Andrews on Saturday, but Reid said the selection had little to
do with Welbourn's unhappiness.

The 6-4, 366-pound Andrews was considered by many to be the best
run blocker in the draft. He has the size, power and strength to
play right tackle in the NFL, but might fit best as a power
guard because he has trouble handling speed rushers.

Reid indicated Saturday that Andrews would be
used at guard.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.