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NFL

Buffalo's leading rusher agrees to an extension

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 18, 2003

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Running back Travis Henry agreed to a one-year contract extension that will keep him with Buffalo through 2005.

Buffalo's second-round pick two years ago, Henry had a breakout 2002, finishing fifth in the league with 1,438 rushing yards, the fifth-best single-season performance in team history.

The deal, which includes a signing bonus, was confirmed Thursday by Henry's agent, Greg Johnson. The restructured contract also includes several incentives and will pay Henry a base salary of $1.25-million in the final season.

Also fullback and special-teams captain Sammy Morris accepted a one-year contract offer. Morris will make $605,000 in his fourth season with the Bills and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Henry's original four-year deal was to pay him a combined $1.65-million, not including incentives and bonuses.

"I think it's a win-win situation. It works for both," Johnson said. "(Henry) just wanted to feel like he was being rewarded for a good year."

While providing Henry additional security, his agent said the new contract sets the potential for a more lucrative deal once it expires.

The Bills declined to comment, citing their policy against discussing player contracts.

Last season, Henry ran for 13 touchdowns, tying Cookie Gilchrist for second-most in a season. O.J. Simpson holds the record of 16 set in 1975.

Henry also proved an adept receiver with 43 catches for 309 yards and a touchdown. He made his first Pro Bowl appearance in February, replacing injured Kansas City running back Priest Holmes.

His only drawback last season was committing 11 fumbles, which the Bills believe they can correct.

Morris was limited to mostly special teams the past two seasons but had a promising 2000 as a rookie, when he had 341 yards rushing and five touchdowns and 268 yards receiving and a touchdown.

BRONCOS: Running back Mike Anderson had arthroscopic surgery to remove torn cartilage from his right knee and is expected to recover in 3-4 weeks.

CHARGERS: Team president Dean Spanos said it won't take long to decide on a successor to general manager John Butler, who died of lymphoma last week. Assistant general manager A.J. Smith, who will run the draft, is the top candidate.

JETS: Linebacker Kenyatta Wright, who was out of the league last season, signed. In 27 games with Buffalo, he had 47 tackles, 11/2 sacks and a blocked kick. Terms were not disclosed.

TITANS: Linebacker Peter Sirmon was re-signed to a four-year contract. ESPN.com reported it's worth $8.45-million, including a $1-million signing bonus.

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