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Chiefs sign free agent tackle Winston, QB Quinn

Associated Press

3/17/2012 7:37:58 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs addressed their most glaring need on offensive Saturday by signing veteran tackle Eric Winston, and then added depth at quarterback by agreeing to terms with Brady Quinn.

Winston was in the fourth year of a $30 million, five-year deal when he was cut by the Houston Texas to save salary cap space. He instantly became the most coveted right tackle on the market, and Kansas City quickly swooped in to line up a visit.

Their likely sales pitch include a chance to block for one of the most dynamic running backs in the league in Jamaal Charles, play for a team on the rise, and sample some of the world's best barbecue -- Winston tweeted during his visit on Friday that Chiefs brass had taken him to Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue for lunch.

The 28-year-old Winston entered the league with Houston in 2006 and quickly moved into the lineup. He started every game for Houston over the past five seasons.

Winston will take over at right tackle for Barry Richardson, who struggled much of last season before becoming a free agent.

"Hello, Kansas City!" Winston tweeted Saturday night. "Anyone know where some good neighbourhoods to live in?"

Quinn was targeted to backup quarterback Matt Cassel, who will be coming back from a season-ending injury to his throwing hand.

The former first-round pick of the Browns started 12 games over three seasons in Cleveland, completing 52 per cent of his passes for 1,902 yards and 10 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He did not play as a backup last season in Denver.

The Chiefs have been aggressive in upgrading an offence that ranked among the last in the league in nearly every significant statistical category last season.

Earlier in the week, the Chiefs signed former Browns running back Peyton Hillis and former Oakland tight end Kevin Boss. They've also signed cornerback Stanford Routt, who was teammates with Boss last season with the Raiders.

The move to sign Winston means the Chiefs can spend the 11th overall pick in April's draft on other pressing needs, such as defensive tackle and inside linebacker.