Aikman agrees to $50M, richest NFL contract

December 24, 1993|By Fort Worth Star-Telegram

IRVING, Texas -- Troy Aikman, too shackled by the burden of fame to do his own hunting for Christmas gifts, recently hired a surrogate shopper and assigned him a budget.

Attention, surrogate shopper: Add $50 million to that budget.

Aikman yesterday signed a renegotiated eight-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys that will pay him $50 million through the year 2000, a monumental contract that allows the All-Pro quarterback to:

* Become the highest-paid player in NFL history and one of the top-paid players in all of sports;

* Immediately cash an upfront check worth $11.5 million. His signing bonus is $11 million (with $2 million deferred until after the contract has expired) and his new 1993 base salary is $2.5 million.

Be certain at age 27 that he'll be tied to the Cowboys for the remainder of his career.

"It's overwhelming, like I won the lottery. It's the best Christmas gift I've ever gotten," said Aikman, who got news of the deal at 4 a.m. yesterday but awoke two hours later "wondering if [it] was just a dream."

Also signed in time to beat the salary cap-saving deadline was offensive tackle Erik Williams, who will be under contract through the '96 season with what sources said is a $7.4 million package.

"Troy and Erik are two of the cornerstones of this franchise," team owner Jerry Jones said.

Deals done before 3 p.m. yesterday, as these two were, could be structured to lessen the impact on the future salary cap.

Aikman's deal is worth an average of $6.25 million a year, which exceeds San Francisco quarterback Steve Young's previous NFL best of $5.3 million a year.

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