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Chiefs & Tait Come To Terms

Offensive tackle John Tait, the 14th player taken in this year's NFL draft, is close to reaching terms with the Kansas City Chiefs, his agent told The Associated Press on Monday.

"There's no way it's going to happen tonight," agent Ethan Locke said, "but it's close to getting done. We still have a lot of things to address, but it's a lot closer."

The Chiefs made the 6-foot-6, 306-pound Brigham Young junior the first offensive lineman taken in the 1999 draft. But negotiations stalled at the outset and he did not make an offer to the Chiefs until the eve of the opening of training camp July 31.

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Last week, after missing the entire camp in River Falls, Wis., Tait was quoted as saying he might even sit out the year and go back into the 2000 draft. But the Chiefs doubted that since Tait is 24 years old after serving a two-year Mormon mission and is already nearing his peak earning years as an athlete.

Locke denied broadcast reports that Tait was on his way to Kansas City.

"Not yet," he said. "But we are hopeful that John will be in Kansas City very soon."

Tuesday is the first mandatory cut-down day for NFL teams.

A spokesman for the Chiefs said he had no knowledge that the club was near reaching terms with Tait.

The club was hopeful Tait could provide immediate help this year at left tackle and develop into the next John Alt, who was named to the Pro Bowl twice while manning left tackle from 1984-96.

Tait was on several All-America lists his junior year at Brigham Young.

He missed the 1994 and 1995 seasons while he was on a church mission to Tennessee.

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