Originally created 03/08/06

Brooks stays a Buccaneer by restructuring contract



TAMPA, Fla. - Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks is staying with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after restructuring his contract to give the NFC South champions some salary cap relief.

The nine-time Pro Bowl selection said Monday he would like to retire with the Buccaneers and hopes the restructured deal, which freed about $5 million in cap space, will help make that happen.

"It was a real big key in doing it. Do you want to stay, or do you want to go," Brooks said, adding that he'd like to join Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon as the most accomplished players who have worn Tampa Bay uniforms for their entire careers.

Four other players, defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, running back Michael Pittman, center John Wade and tight end Anthony Becht, also have restructured their contracts to help Tampa Bay with a tight salary cap situation and position the club to be an active player in free agency.

Brooks, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year when the Bucs won the Super Bowl four seasons ago, had been due to count about $11.7 million against the salary cap in 2006.

BRONCOS: Denver defensive end Courtney Brown signed a contract extension through the 2009 season.

The 28-year-old lineman joined Denver as a free agent last year after five seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

In 13 regular-season starts with Denver, he had 38 tackles, 30 of them solo, with two sacks, two fumble recoveries and one pass breakup.

BROWNS: Free agent Jeff Chandler signed a one-year contract with Cleveland, though he'll have a tough time supplanting Phil Dawson as the club's kicker.

Chandler has played in 13 NFL games during his career for San Francisco, Carolina and Washington.

49ERS: Linebacker Derek Smith re-signed with San Francisco on Monday, staying with the club he has led in tackles for five consecutive seasons.

Smith has been the 49ers' defensive leader since signing with the club as a free agent from Washington before the 2001 season. He made at least 100 tackles in each of his nine NFL seasons, including 163 last season, according to team statistics.

With the likely departures of linebackers Julian Peterson and Andre Carter in free agency, Smith's return was particularly important to coach Mike Nolan, who coached Smith for three seasons with the Redskins.

The 49ers also re-signed fullback Chris Hetherington and backup quarterback Jesse Palmer.

CARDINALS: Arizona signed fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo to a two-year contract extension and three others to a one-year deal, the team announced Monday.

Running back Damien Anderson, linebacker Isaac Keys and defensive end Anton Palepoi signed one-year extensions.

Ayanbadejo has appeared in all 32 games for Arizona during the past two seasons, seven as a starter.