Woody leaves champion Patriots
ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reports that Woody signed a six-year, $31 million contract. He received a signing bonus of $9 million, believed to be the most upfront money ever paid an interior offensive lineman, and will have total compensation of $11.5 million for the 2004 season.
Woody was considered one of the best available free-agent linemen and most speculation had him signing with the Dolphins.
"I expect to win right now," Woody said. "That's what I really care about right now, is winning. I see this team's commitment to win."
The Lions on Friday also agreed to terms with cornerback Fernando Bryant on a six-year, $24 million deal with a $7.25 million bonus. Bryant, a free agent from Jacksonville, will be counted on to start opposite Pro Bowl player Dre' Bly.
The team planned an afternoon news conference at its Allen Park headquarters to announce the signings.
Offensive line and cornerback were two areas the Lions said they would target during free agency.
The Lions (5-11) moved quickly this offseason in hopes of improving, just as they did last year. The Lions signed Bly a year ago from St. Louis soon after the free agency began.
Woody, a 320-pound guard, played five years with the Patriots. He has missed only two regular-season games in his career, but was sidelined for the AFC title game and Super Bowl with a knee injury. The Patriots plugged in journeyman Russ Hochstein with no apparent falloff.
Bryant, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, has played with the Jaguars for his five seasons in the league.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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