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Tony Gonzalez signs with Chiefs

Aug. 30, 2002 at 8:30 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs will have their biggest offensive weapon in time for the regular season.

Tony Gonzalez, regarded as the NFL's best tight end, Friday signed the Chiefs' one-year tender offer.

Designated as the club's franchise player, Gonzalez's deal is worth $3.05 million. He now will negotiate a long-term deal with the club.

"I think I let them (management) know that I'm committed to a long-term deal," Gonzalez said. "That's what I want, make no mistake. That's what I'm after. I want to be a Chief. I want to be a Chief for life."

"We're very happy to have Tony Gonzalez back with the Chiefs although he never left," Chiefs president Carl Peterson said. "More importantly, I have talked to (Tony's agent) Tom (Condon) and Tony said we will negotiate in good faith going forward from here."

A three-time Pro Bowler, Gonzalez has had an active offseason, including a stint playing for the NBA's Miami Heat in a summer league.

In his first season in coach Dick Vermeil's system, Gonzalez's production dropped from 93 to 73 catches last year. The 1997 first-round pick has 334 catches for 3,958 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career.

Kansas City opens the regular season at Cleveland.

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