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Chiefs sign first-round pick Baldwin

POSTED July 30, 2011 1:01 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Quarterback Matt Cassel throws downfield during...

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs signed first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin on Friday morning, then capped a busy day by agreeing to terms with eight unrestricted free agents, including Arizona wide receiver Steve Breaston and their own veteran center Casey Wiegmann.
Baldwin, the 26th pick overall in the 2011 draft, played 39 games at Pittsburgh and caught 128 passes for 2,337 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a senior, the 6-foot-4 Baldwin had 822 yards receiving and five TDs.
Their biggest free agent acquisition to date is Breaston, who had his best years when Chiefs coach Todd Haley was his offensive coordinator at Arizona. In 60 regular-season games with the Cardinals he had 187 receptions for 2,528 yards with seven touchdowns. He also had 113 punt returns for 885 yards and one TD.
The other players signed were all Chiefs last season: running back Jackie Battle, wide receiver Terrance Copper, cornerback Travis Daniels, safety Jon McGraw, tackle Ryan O’Callaghan and tight end Leonard Pope. The Chiefs also announced that fullback Mike Cox had signed his restricted free agent tender and defensive back Reshard Langford signed his exclusive rights free agent tender.
Baldwin signed a four-year deal with the option for a fifth. He, Breaston and Pro Bowl selection Dwayne Bowe could give quarterback Matt Cassel an array of wide receiver targets.
Wiegmann is back for a 16th year in the NFL. Going back to 2001, he has started 159 consecutive games at center and taken 10,141 consecutive snaps. That is believed to be an NFL record, but the league does not keep such statistics.
McGraw is a team leader, which becomes important with the retirement of linebacker Mike Vrabel and the release of five-time Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters. He has played in 43 games with the Chiefs.
On Saturday, the Chiefs signed free agent wide receiver Zeke Markshausen.
Markshausen (5-11, 185) went to training camp with Chicago in 2010. At Northwestern, he played in 27 games, catching 92 passes for 864 yards with three TDs.

 


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