Browns sign Andra Davis to five-year extension

Updated: December 15, 2005, 6:56 PM ET
Associated Press

BEREA, Ohio -- Linebacker Andra Davis signed a five-year contract extension Thursday as the rebuilding Cleveland Browns locked up their leading tackler and a team leader for the future.

Cleveland Browns

Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
124 75 49 0 2 1

Financial terms were not immediately known.

Davis, who has a team-high 169 tackles through 13 games, signed a one-year maximum contract tender before this season, which pulled him off the market as a restricted free agent. Without a new deal, however, the 26-year-old would have become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

But the Browns (4-9) made sure things never got to that point with Davis, the club's fifth-round draft pick in 2002.

"I'm just glad to have it done and just focus on bringing this program up," Davis said. "Me signing I think is a big part of it. I definitely want to be part of those core guys. We're laying the foundation."

Davis has adjusted well to a new role this season as first-year coach Romeo Crennel switched the Browns to a 3-4 defense. The 6-foot-1, 250-pounder has been a solid contributor since Cleveland picked him with the 141st overall choice in '02.

"We are pleased to have Andra back," Browns general manager Phil Savage said. "We feel he is a key piece in our defense and will continue to be as we build toward the future."

Davis, who recorded a career-high 170 tackles in 2003, was leading the club in tackles last season before a knee injury sidelined him for the final five games.

He had a career-high 20 tackles in Cleveland's win over Green Bay on Sept. 18. Davis was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Browns' 22-0 win over Miami on Nov. 20.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press