Fassel Gets New Four-Year Deal

Jim Fassel, whose guarantee of a playoff berth ignited the New York Giants' run to a Super Bowl appearance, signed a new four-year contract Tuesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available, but Fassel reportedly will earn $11 million over the length of the contract. He earned $1.1 million last season, when Giants turned from an also-ran into the NFC champions.

The long-anticipated deal came exactly a month after the Giants were beaten 34-7 by the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

"We can now get on with the task of getting our team back to the Super Bowl," John Mara, the Giants executive vice president and general counsel said in announcing the deal in a telephone conference call.

Fassel had a year left on the contract extension he signed after the 1999 season.

"I'm excited about this," Fassel said. "This is my fifth contract in my tenure with the Giants, and they have always been fair and upfront. We have never had a problem. This one was different because of where we are.

"But I'm excited about it because this brings stability in my life with my family, and it brings stability to the Giants' organization because a lot of teams are going through coaching changes and there are doubts about this and that."

New York, which was 7-9 in 1999, won the NFC East with a 12-4 record. It beat Philadelphia and Minnesota in the playoffs to win the conference, before the Ravens ended the run.

"We had a great year and a bad day," Fassel said after the game. "It hurts right now, but I am not going to let that take away from everything that was accomplished this year. We got to the Super Bowl, but I am not going to dwell on the negative of it."

After having missed the playoffs the previous two seasons, Fassel came into the 2000 season knowing he had to get the team to the playoffs to keep his job.

New York started out 7-2. However, consecutive losses to St. Louis and Detroit at home put the season in jeopardy in mid-November.

That's when Fassel issued his now-famous guarantee to got the team going on a seven-game winning streak that included a 41-0 win over Minnesota in the NFC title game.

Fassel replaced Dan Reeves as the Giants coach in 1997 and led the team to the playoffs in his first season, losing a first-round game to the Vikings.

He now has a 37-26-1 record.

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