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Gruden gets 2-year extension

Bucs coach will get about another $9-million out of a deal that takes him through 2008.

RICK STROUD
Published February 3, 2004

TAMPA - Nearing the anniversary of leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl title, coach Jon Gruden agreed to a two-year contract extension.

The contract, which had been in the works since December, reportedly was finalized last week and would keep Gruden with the team through 2008. It does not, however, give Gruden more authority over personnel matters.

General manager Bruce Allen, the former senior administrator with the Raiders who worked with Gruden for four seasons in Oakland, is the Bucs' top football executive.

It's likely, however, Gruden already has more input in the football operation, having been instrumental in replacing Rich McKay with Allen. McKay, who took the GM post with the Atlanta Falcons, frequently clashed with the Bucs coach over personnel matters.

According to ESPN.com, the extension is believed to be worth about $9-million in "new money." Gruden originally signed a five-year contract worth $3.6-million per season. His salary will remain at that level until 2006, when he will earn $3.9-million. He will be paid $4.3-million for 2007 and 2008, making the total seven-year package worth $27-million. Gruden, 40, has compiled a 22-13 record with the Bucs in two seasons. He went 15-4 in his first season, resulting in a victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

But this season under Gruden, the Bucs slumped to 7-9. It was the first losing season in Gruden's NFL coaching career, which includes a 40-28 stint in four seasons with the Raiders.

Gruden was unavailable for comment, and the Bucs would not confirm the team had reached an accord.

BROOKS TO MISS PRO BOWL: Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks withdrew from Sunday's game in Honolulu because of an illness in his family. He is the second Tampa Bay player to pull out of the game, after defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who has foot and ankle injuries.

Brooks will be replaced by Cowboys outside linebacker Dexter Coakley, who will be making his third Pro Bowl appearance, dallascowboys.com. reported.

Coakley has more than 100 tackles in each of his first seven seasons and is the only player in team history with five or more consecutive seasons of 100, according to the Web site.

Coakley is the fifth Cowboy on this year's squad, joining offensive tackle Flozell Adams, guard Larry Allen, defensive tackle La'Roi Glover and free safety Roy Williams.

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