Eagles, No. 14 pick Bunkley have 6-year, $17.5M deal

Updated: August 5, 2006, 2:13 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Eagles first-round pick Brodrick Bunkley is ready to end a 16-day holdout Friday by agreeing to a six-year, $17.5 million deal that includes $9.775 million in guarantees.

Based on playing time, the deal could max out between $25 million and $30 million, but Bunkley can reasonably expect to earn a little less than $3 million annually during his six-year contract.

Bunkley, the 14th pick in the NFL draft, missed 16 days of camp. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive tackle won't play in Sunday's game against Oakland.

The agreement with Bunkley leaves three unsigned first-rounders: Matt Leinart of the Cardinals, Donte Whitner of the Bills and Jason Allen of the Dolphins.

Bunkley's signing could speed up talks to end Allen's holdout in Miami. Allen was selected two picks after Bunkley and could reach a settlement once each side learns the details of the Bunkley agreement.

The holdout basically came down to the final year of the contract. The Eagles wanted a sixth year on the contract even though past Eagles contracts have been five-year deals. Normally, mid-first-round picks get five-year deals.

Bunkley and the Eagles reached a settlement Friday morning by giving Bunkley escalators in the final year that could escalate his final year salary to between $3 million and possibly as high as the franchise number for defensive tackles that year based on his performance and playing time.

The Eagles selected Bunkley to fill a glaring need in the middle of a line that hardly generated a strong rush on quarterbacks last season. At Florida State, Bunkley proved to be a versatile player who can rush the passer and stuff the run. He had nine sacks, 66 tackles and two fumble recoveries as a senior.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer