Full extension: Dolphins' McMichael to get $18 million
The Miami Dolphins on Thursday evening reached an agreement with fourth-year veteran Randy McMichael on a contract extension that runs through the 2009 season, and makes him one of the NFL's highest-paid tight ends, ESPN.com has confirmed.
The four-year extension is worth slightly more than $18 million in "new money" and includes $8.92 million in bonuses. In terms of recent contract extensions at the tight end position, the deal, on average, ranks slightly behind that of Todd Heap of Baltimore, by roughly $50,000 annually. It is, though, shorter in length than Heap's six-year extension, allowing McMichael a quicker chance for a subsequent deal later in his career.
While there has been considerable discussion of an extension for McMichael, there were some difficult issues with which both sides had to contend, because of the tight end's two domestic violence incidents. In early September, McMichael pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor criminal trespassing stemming from a July 2005 incident. He received 90 days of probation and a $500 fine and the charges will be expunged from his record if he successfully completes his probation.
It is believed that McMichael, arrested twice in a 13-month period for domestic violence-related incidents, continues to undergo treatment for anger management.
Obviously, the Dolphins and agent Drew Rosenhaus were able to address any concerns regarding those two incidents. Rosenhaus, who acknowledged during training camp that he was in discussions on an extension, could not be immediately reached for comment. First-year head coach Nick Saban has been supportive of McMichael, and emphasized he believed the four-year veteran has learned a difficult lesson from the adverse publicity.
The deal will pay McMichael, one of the Dolphins' most consistent offensive performers since joining the team in 2002, an original signing bonus of $1.52 million. There are later bonuses of $4.4 million after the 2005 season and of $3 million after the 2007 season.
Base salaries for the extension years are $600,000 (for 2006), $1 million (2007), $3.5 million (2008) and $4 million (2009). Under his original NFL contract, McMichael has a base salary of $480,000 for this season. McMichael can earn an additional $1.5 million in escalators tied to on-field performance and honors, such as Pro Bowl appearances.
McMichael, 26, was a fourth-round selection in the 2002 draft and the former University of Georgia standout has been a starter since his rookie season. In 51 appearances, all of them starts, McMichael has 176 receptions for 2,024 yards and 13 touchdowns. He had a breakout season in 2004, with 73 catches for 791 yards and four touchdowns, and all of those numbers either established or tied career highs for him.
In three games this season, McMichael has 15 catches for 150 yards and three scores.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here .
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