McAlister's new deal pays off immediately

Raven gets $17.5 million in bonuses next 2 years

October 17, 2004|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Chris McAlister's recently signed seven-year contract with the Ravens makes him one of the NFL's highest-paid cornerbacks, giving him $17.5 million in bonuses the next two years.

The Pro Bowl defensive back received an initial signing bonus of $10 million and will earn a second-tier option bonus of $7.5 million this offseason.

The deal, which was signed by McAlister last week, falls just short of the one given to the Denver Broncos' Champ Bailey, who became the league's richest cornerback earlier this year when he signed a seven-year, $63 million contract which included an $18 million signing bonus.

Based on the bonus money and his annual salary, the total payout for McAlister is estimated around $55 million. McAlister's base salaries are $535,000 (for 2004), $965,000 (2005), $5.5 million (2006), $6.5 million (2007) and $8 million each (2008-2010).

McAlister, 27, had been named the Ravens' franchise player the past two seasons, which essentially kept the former first-round pick off the free-agent market.

"He was fairly compensated but he was willing to take less to finish his career in Baltimore," said Mitch Frankel, McAlister's agent.

"After two years of negotiating, it was great to get it resolved. Mr. Bisciotti [Steve, team owner] gave [general manager] Ozzie Newsome and [chief negotiator] Pat Moriarty the authority to work through the issues."

Said coach Brian Billick: "I'm happy for Chris, I'm happy for us. He's one of the best corners in the league and we're glad to have him."

The Ravens, who are 3-2 at their bye, will reconvene today at their new training complex for their first practice since beating the Washington Redskins, 17-10, on Oct. 10. They host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

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