Two-time Pro Bowler Michael Strahan signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the New York Giants Monday, making him the NFL's second-highest-paid defensive player.
Only Dallas cornerback Deion Sanders will make more than Strahan, averaging $10.3 million annually, provided he plays more than 70 percent of the Cowboys' defensive plays.
"If he (Sanders) is not healthy, Michael will be (the highest paid) for a little while," Tony Agnone, Strahan's agent, said at the University at Albany after the contract was signed.
Under the terms of the largest contract in Giants' history, Strahan will receive a $12 million signing bonus. The 27-year-old who has recorded 29 sacks over the past two seasons will earn $400,000 in salary this year. He will get $4.6 million in 2000 and then $7 million and $8 million, respectively, in the last two years of the deal.
"I am extremely happy. They made a commitment to me and I think we made a commitment to each other," Strahan said. "I am happy to be in New York. I love New York and never wanted to go anywhere in the first place. So I'm glad they were able to get an agreement."
|Michael Strahan's deal is the biggest in Giants history.(AP)|
The $8 million average salary makes Strahan the highest paid defensive linemen, moving ahead of Minnesota's John Randle, who averages $6.5 million under a deal he signed last year.
Now entering his seventh season, Strahan has become one of the dominant defensive ends against both the run and pass.
The second-round draft pick in 1993 was entering the final year of a contract he signed three years ago. He had told the Giants in the offseason he wanted a new deal done before the end of training camp.
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