The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired tight end Kellen Winslow via a trade on the first day of free agency, and now the team is making sure Winslow will remain a Buccaneer for the foreseeable future.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Winslow to a new six-year contract. General manager Mark Dominik said Winslow was a player the organization wanted to continue to build around.
"We felt like Kellen has committed to the organization for the last month and a half," Dominik said. "He has a lot of attributes we look for in a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. He's been a leader on the field. He's an extremely talented football player that we got a first hand look at in mini-camp, and obviously we've seen over the years. He and his wife have already gotten themselves involved in the community.
"All of those things just made us feel comfortable about doing this deal and we're excited about it. Anytime you trade multiple draft picks, especially something as high as a second-round draft pick, you the player to be around the organization and a part of the organization for years to come. I think Kellen decided he wanted to be part of Tampa Bay as well."
Winslow had two years remaining on his contract, which was scheduled to pay him base salaries of $4.5 million and $4.75 million in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, Winslow's deal is worth $36.1 million and could be worth as much as $42.1 million if incentive clauses are reached. Winslow is due base salaries of $5.17 million and $6.725 million in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2011, Winslow will reportedly earn $8.29 million in base salary.
ESPN's Pat Yasinskas is reporting that $20.1 million of Winslow's new contract is guaranteed.
The Bucs landed Winslow in a trade that sent their 2009 second-round pick and 2010 fifth-round selection to Cleveland on Feb. 27.
Winslow, 25, participated in the first day of Tampa Bay’s three-day mini-camp this week, but opted not to practice in the final two days.
Although he has missed significant playing time during his five-year career due to injuries, head coach Raheem Morris said earlier this week that Winslow’s absence from the voluntary workouts was not health-related. His new deal suggests Winslow’s absence could have been contract-related, although his 67-year-old father-in-law also went missing last Wednesday before being found Saturday.
Winslow missed all of the 2005 season with a knee injury he sustanted while riding a motorcycle. Some in the league have said that Winslow will not have a long career because of that injury. Dominik does not share that view.
"We feel very comfortable with where Kellen is health-wise," Dominik said. "The last three years, Kellen has not been down because of his knee. He had an unfortunate high ankle sprain last year to cause him to miss games, but prior to that, he caught over 80 balls in each of those two seasons. He hasn't missed any time because of his knee over the last three years. We're excited about having Kellen on-board."
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Winslow entered the league as a first-round pick in 2004. He has caught 219 passes for 2,459 yards (11.2 avg.) and 11 touchdowns and made one Pro Bowl during his playing career. In 2007 he had one of the best seasons ever for a tight end in NFL history. He had 82 receptions for 1,106 yards and five touchdowns. It was only the 14th time in NFL history that a tight end had 1,000 yards receiving in a season.