Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Strahan bags new deal: seven years, $46 million


NFL notebook

The Associated Press

        EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Defensive player of the year Michael Strahan agreed to a seven-year, $46 million deal on Monday that will allow the NFL's single-season sack holder to stay with the New York Giants.

        The deal came three days before the Giants' season opener against the San Francisco 49ers and just six months after an angry Strahan declared that this would be his final season with the team after a proposed $56 million deal fell apart.

        “I am very happy I will be in New York and that I am going to stay here,” Strahan said at a hastily called news conference. “I feel great to know this is where I started my career and this is where I will finish my career.”

        The 30-year-old Strahan will receive a $6.4 million signing bonus. A total of $20.9 million of the contract will be guaranteed over the next three seasons, including $5.5 million in salary this year. The defensive end will earn $32 million over the next four years, the same amount the 10-year veteran earned under a four-year contract he signed in 1999.

        The new deal will free $1.25 million in salary-cap space for the Giants this year. More importantly, it won't tie up cap space in the future because the guaranteed money can be prorated over the life of the contract.

        Strahan will only count $4.2 million against the salary cap next year. He will count $10.9 million against the cap this year.

        Strahan can't sign the contract until the NFL Management Council approves some language in the deal and insurance clauses.

        BEARS: Quarterback Jim Miller's sprained right ankle is healing, and he said he'll be ready to start when Chicago plays the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday's season opener in Champaign, Ill.

        BROWNS: Quarterback Tim Couch, sidelined the past week with a sore right arm, thinks he will be ready for Cleveland's regular-season opener Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

        Kelly Holcomb will start for the Browns if Couch can't play due to the injury.

        JAGUARS: Jacksonville signed 10-year journeyman quarterback Kent Graham to add some veteran experience behind Mark Brunell.

        PANTHERS: Carolina coach John Fox said that 14-year veteran Rodney Peete will start Sunday's opener because Chris Weinke has yet to grasp the offense and Peete will give the Panthers a better chance to beat the Baltimore Ravens.

        VIKINGS: Minnesota agreed to terms with veteran linebacker Greg Biekert, who was cut by the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

       



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