Running back Willis McGahee has a new team and a new contract.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the deal, which included $15 million in guarantees. That guarantee comes in the form of a $7.5 million signing bonus McGahee will be paid now and guaranteed option bonuses of $6 million in 2008 and $1.5 million in 2009. Beyond that, McGahee receives base salaries of $595,000 in 2007 (final year of original deal), $605,000 in 2008, $620,000 in 2009, $3.6 million in 2010, $6 million in 2011, $6.5 million in 2012 and $7.2 million in 2013.
The deal follows Buffalo's decision to trade the disgruntled McGahee to the Ravens for a third- and seventh-round pick in this year's NFL draft and a third-rounder in 2008. McGahee had one year remaining on his contract with the Ravens, but had expressed unhappiness with playing in Buffalo.
The Bills were similarly unhappy with McGahee over the past year. He failed to show up for offseason workouts last year under new coach Dick Jauron. He also frustrated the coaching staff by not knowing his assignments and failing to pick up blocks in pass protection last season.
According to one Bills staffer, a member of the coaching staff had to signal the play to McGahee specifically during the season to explain to McGahee what to do.
Nonetheless, Baltimore showed no fear in trading for McGahee and offering him the new deal.
"The Ravens really stepped up to make this happen," Rosenhaus said. "Willis is extremely happy and this is going to be a great situation for both sides."
According to one source, Baltimore's confidence stemmed from McGahee having friends and mentors such as Ed Reed and Ray Lewis on the team. All three played at the University of Miami and have worked out together in the past during the offseason.
Already this offseason, Rosenhaus has negotiated two substantial contracts for running backs. This week, he worked out a four-year, $20 million deal for Thomas Jones with the New York Jets after Jones was acquired from the Chicago Bears.
McGahee was a first-round pick in 2003 despite suffering a serious knee injury during the national championship game against Ohio State that year. He sat out his first season rehabilitating the knee, but has since rushed more than 1,000 yards in two of his first three seasons on the field.
He came up short of 1,000 yards this season after missing two games with a rib injury. Overall, McGahee has rushed for 3,365 yards and 24 touchdowns.
- Drew Rosenhaus