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Kansas City likely last stop for El Centro native

March 31, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

For the past 10 years El Centro native Glenn Cadrez has made a name for himself in the NFL as a solid linebacker versatile enough to start at any linebacker position on the field or come off the bench in crucial third- and fourth-down situations to help make game-winning stances.

After 10 years in the league, the Central Union High graduate is admittedly in the twilight of his career. That still wasn't enough to stop the Kansas City Chiefs from resigning him to a one-year contract April 13.

Even though he had offers from other NFL teams, for Cadrez, staying in Kansas City was almost a no-brainer.

"Resigning with K.C. was pretty much a matter of being comfortable. I know the defense, I know the coaches and the surroundings are familiar to me," said the 32-year-old Cadrez, who last played with the Denver Broncos for six years. "Me and a couple of the older guys on the team got together and we decided that Kansas City was the right place for us. And more than likely, I'm going to finish up my career here and I'm going to do it with people I'm familiar with."

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Last season Cadrez, a two-time Super Bowl champion, appeared in all 16 games for Kansas City — including five starts — recording 39 tackles (24 solo), three passes defensed and picking off a pass. He also had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, one and a half sacks and a blocked punt while partially blocking another. He started his first of five games for the Chiefs in San Diego on Nov. 4.

Just as has been the case the past few years, Cadrez will fit into the K.C. lineup as a backup linebacker and playing on third-down situations. He said he will more than likely play between 25-30 percent of the defensive plays.

He was basically put in the same situation with Denver, but wound up in the starting lineup due to other players' injuries. While with the Broncos, Cadrez appeared in 90 games with 40 starts, recording 284 tackles (192 solo), 13 sacks and two interceptions. He added eight passes defensed, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He had his best year in 1998 when he started 15 games and recorded a career-high 105 tackles (76 solo) with four sacks as Denver won its second consecutive Super Bowl.

With Cadrez staying with the Chiefs, he could quite possibly be joined by another Imperial Valley native in the near future. With the 2002 NFL collegiate player draft coming in less than a month, the Chiefs have shown interest in Imperial native and former UCLA linebacker Robert Thomas.

"Some of the coaches on the staff have asked me about him. And I've told them that I think he'd be a perfect fit in K.C. I think that'd be cool if the Chiefs did end up drafting him," said Cadrez. "When I saw him playing at UCLA I could tell that he was a really good player. I really would love to finish up my career with him on the same team."

Whether Cadrez and Thomas end up on the same team remains to be seen, but one thing Cadrez is certain about is he is nearing the end of his playing career.

"I really see these next few years as being my last. I can't see myself playing another three years, I'll just let it all play itself out and let the chips fall where they may," said Cadrez. "I've really enjoyed myself to the fullest while I've been playing, but I think I'm close to moving on.

"We've got guys like Robert that are getting bigger, faster and stronger who have that desire and that fire in them. That's something I used to have, just like them. But when that fire's completely gone, then I think it'll be time to move on."

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