Baxter gets $10.5M bonus

Updated: March 4, 2005, 8:52 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Cleveland may have lost the original Browns to Baltimore, but the new Browns got one back Friday.

Gary Baxter
Cornerback
Baltimore Ravens
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
88 73 15 2 2 1

They stole Ravens cornerback Gary Baxter, who almost re-signed with Baltimore on Wednesday. Baxter signed a six-year $30 million contract Friday night that included a $10.5 million signing bonus.

Baxter's signing with the Browns ended a weird week in which he planned to stay in Baltimore. Negotiations moved along well enough that Baxter was ready to sign the contract after his agent, David Dunn, agreed to terms.

Once Baxter looked at the contract, there was a problem. He thought he was getting an $11 million signing bonus. He saw $7 million on the sheet.

After that, Baxter started shopping his services and ended up going to Cleveland and getting a deal.

Baxter spent the past four seasons with the Ravens. He had 282 career tackles, three sacks and five interceptions.

He's a big cornerback who is also physical enough to play safety. He's 6-2, 204 pounds.

"Gary Baxter has very good size for his position, with tackling and coverage skills," Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel said. "His tenacious play and extra effort is also impressive. Gary's experience on a dominant defense and the attitude he brings to the game will certainly enhance our efforts on the defensive side of the ball."

He was second round choice in 2001.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer