Tampa Bay running back Earnest Graham felt he deserved a new contract after he rushed for 898 yards (4.0 avg.) and 10 touchdowns in place of injured running backs Cadillac Williams and Michael Pittman in 2007.
A former undrafted free agent out of Florida, Graham hired agent Drew Rosenhaus to negotiate a new deal with the Bucs. After skipping all of Tampa Bay's voluntary workouts, Graham reported to the team's three-day mandatory mini-camp last month and said he was confident his contract situation would resolve itself.
He was right. Bucs general manager Bruce Allen and Rosenhaus hammered out Graham's new deal in Tampa on Sunday. The end result led to Graham inking a new, three-year contract extension worth $10.5 million on Monday.
But Graham will still have to work his way on to Tampa Bay's 53-man roster in order to see any of it.
PewterReport.com has learned that Graham's new deal did not include a signing bonus or any guaranteed money or incentives.
Graham, 28, was scheduled to earn $605,000 in base salary in 2008. His new deal calls for Graham to earn $1.5 million in base salary this year. Graham is also scheduled to earn a $1 million roster bonus upon reporting to training camp on July 25.
The Bucs offense finished the 2007 season ranked 11th in rushing, which was the highest a Gruden-coached ground attack ever ranked in Tampa Bay since his arrival in 2002. Graham played an integral role in helping to accomplish that feat.
Graham's base salary is scheduled to jump up to $2 million in 2009. He is also scheduled to receive a $500,000 roster bonus.
In 2010, Graham is set to earn $2 million in base salary and scheduled to receive a $1 million roster bonus.
The final year of Graham's contract calls for him to earn $2 million in base salary. He is also scheduled to receive a $1.105 million roster bonus in 2011.
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