Cornerback's deal worth $17.5 million over five years

Originally Published: April 21, 2005
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Working to fill another area of need before the draft, the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday reached a contract agreement with unrestricted free agent cornerback Andre Dyson, ESPN.com has learned.

The fourth-year veteran, who had played his entire career with the Tennessee Titans, was one of the last few quality players remaining in the free agent pool. He will sign a five-year, $17.5 million deal that includes a signing bonus of $3 million and a total of about $6 million in guarantees.

Dyson is the second veteran cornerback acquired by the Seahawks in the last month; former Denver cornerback Kelly Herndon, a third-year veteran and restricted free agent, started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2004. The Seahawks lost standout cornerback Ken Lucas to Carolina in free agency. Seattle also has former first-round cornerback Marcus Trufant.

Dyson, 25, chose Seattle's proposal over offers from the New York Jets and the Titans. He had visited with Jets officials over the weekend and New York made a formal offer a few days ago. Talks with the Titans, for whom Dyson started all four seasons, had been on-and-off through much of the offseason.

The Seahawks met with Dyson several weeks ago but, after securing Herndon, seemed to cool on him. When it became obvious in the last few days that Dyson would strike a deal elsewhere before the draft, the Seahawks resumed negotiations.

Given his consistent productivity, it is surprising that Dyson did not generate even more interest in free agency, particularly in the early stages of the signing period, when the cornerback position was in demand.

Tennessee has now lost both of its starting cornerbacks, Dyson and Samari Rolle, from last season. The Titans will almost certainly be forced to address their cornerback issues in the draft, possibly in the first round. They have the sixth pick overall.

A former Utah standout, Dyson was selected by the Titans in the second round of the 2001 draft. He appeared in 62 games, and started in 59 of them, including starting all 16 games in each of the past three seasons.

For his career, Dyson has 225 tackles, 16 interceptions and 59 passes defensed. He has at least three interceptions in every season and posted a career-best six pickoffs in 2004.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.