The Kansas City Chiefs' defense, already one of the better ones in the NFL, added a new centerpiece Friday when the Oakland Raiders declined to match the offer sheet to Chester McGlockton.
A day before signing the sometimes underachieving 320-pound nose tackle, the Chiefs signed former Pro Bowl defensive end Leslie O'Neal, one of the NFL's finest pass rushers during an 11-year career with San Diego and St. Louis.
McGlockton, who has 39 1/2 career sacks, signed his offer sheet Thursday night just minutes before the 10:59 p.m. deadline, bolstering a unit that already featured nine-time All-Pro linebacker Derrick Thomas and allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season.
"It's very exciting. I can hardly wait to get started," Chief defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. "But you've got to develop your chemistry. Last year was last year. We're going to have to build for this year."
The Chiefs allowed an average of 14.5 points during a 13-3 season.
For losing McGlockton, the Raiders will get a compensatory pick in today's draft, the 31st overall, as well as the Chiefs' second-round selection, the 59th overall. They also have their own first and second picks.
The rap on McGlockton has been that he was inconsistent and moody.
But Cunningham and Coach Marty Schottenheimer are confident they can draw out his full potential. Cunningham coached McGlockton in Oakland before he joined the Chiefs' staff.
The clouds over the San Francisco 49ers have parted a little, at least temporarily, according to a published report.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told reporters in New York that current team President Carmen Policy has the DeBartolo family's permission to continue to run the club at least through 1998, the San Jose Mercury News said.
That contradicts a recent Sports Illustrated report that co-owner Eddie DeBartolo's return was imminent and would lead to the firing of Policy and return, in front-office roles, of former 49er Coach Bill Walsh and quarterback Joe Montana.
Although it is unclear how much influence Tagliabue had in keeping Policy in place, two NFL sources recently told the Mercury News the commissioner was prepared to "freeze" the team's top management structure, possibly until DeBartolo's legal entanglements in Louisiana are resolved. DeBartolo is the target of a federal probe into the awarding of a riverboat gaming license.
Dallas safety Charlie Williams, a restricted free-agent, signed a two-year contract with the Cowboys believed to be worth $1 million.
Stephen Boyd, who took over as Detroit's starting middle linebacker last season, re-signed with the Lions, as did wide receivers Tommie Boyd and Kez McCorvey. The Boyds are not related.