Bledsoe Signs $103-Million Deal
New England Patriot quarterback Drew Bledsoe signed the biggest contract in NFL history Wednesday, agreeing to a 10-year, $103-million deal that virtually guarantees he will spend his entire career with the same team.
The deal surpasses the reported 10-year, $100-million contract signed by Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre last Friday. It also gives Bledsoe a chance to do something Favre and most other athletes never could: stay with one team for their career.
“I’ve expressed over and over again my desire to play my entire career with the New England Patriots,” Bledsoe said. “It looks like that is a very real possibility.”
Patriot owner Bob Kraft said Bledsoe has a chance to be remembered in Boston like Ted Williams, Bill Russell and Larry Bird, each having played his career in the city.
Bledsoe was scheduled to make $7.6 million this season, but his contract would have counted for $9.8 million under the salary cap.
The new deal, which runs through the 2010 season, saves only about $1.5 million under this year’s cap. But, unlike some other high-profile signings, the money is spread relatively evenly over the contract--without a balloon payment that could require another restructuring in a few years.
The Dallas Cowboys decided to keep one of their own, signing free-agent linebacker Dexter Coakley to a $25-million, six-year contract. He also received a $5.5-million signing bonus.
In bringing Coakley back, Cowboy owner Jerry Jones ended an exodus that included popular, solid players such as Jack Del Rio, Ken Norton Jr., Dixon Edwards, Robert Jones, Godfrey Myles, Darrin Smith and Randall Godfrey.
Since free agency began in 1989, Dallas has lost 13 linebackers.
Free-agent kicker Joe Nedney agreed to terms with the Tennessee Titans.
The 28-year-old Nedney, a five-year NFL veteran, made 34 of 38 field goal attempts for Denver and Carolina last season. His 34 field goals ranked second in the NFL.
Denver Bronco tight end Dwayne Carswell surrendered to authorities in Pueblo, Colo., after being sought on an assault charge involving his girlfriend.
He was released on $3,500 bail after being charged with third-degree assault and domestic violence.
According to a police report, Amparo Permelia Crump accused the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Carswell of pushing her from his car after an argument early Friday.
Newly projected final costs of Cleveland Browns Stadium, which opened in 1999, are about 20% higher than the original estimate.
Mayor Michael R. White said the total cost so far is $299.8 million. The original estimate was $247 million, but overruns and other problems led to higher costs.