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Thursday, July 28, 2005
McAllister to become NFL's second-highest paid RB news services

NEW ORLEANS -- Deuce McAllister agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, a deal the star running back said will make him one of the NFL's highest paid players at his position.

Deuce McAllister
Running Back
New Orleans Saints
Rush Yds TD Rec Yds TD
269 1074 9 34 228 0's John Clayton reports that McAllister's new deal is eight years, $50.1 million, including $12.5 million in signing and option bonuses. The contract includes $3.1 million in escalators that McAllister can achieve in the third year based on performance to push the total to $53.2 million.

McAllister will make $14.55 million over the first two years of the deal, $18.4 million over the first three, $23.1 million over the first four and $28.2 million over the first five, Clayton reports.

"I basically know that they're putting everything on my shoulders and I'm big enough that I can carry it," McAllister said. "I want the pressure. I want the ball because I want to get us in the playoffs where we haven't been."

The Saints haven't played in the postseason since drafting McAllister out of Mississippi in the first-round in 2001.

The deal was announced a half-hour before the Saints' first mandatory meeting of training camp, although McAllister said he never planned to hold out.

"I wanted to be out here with the guys and I wanted to continue to prepare," said McAllister, who did hold out his rookie season. "I didn't want to dampen anything by being a hold out or being disruptive and basically just messing up the whole flow of what they've been working on."

Saints officials and McAllister declined to say precisely how much he would be paid, but the star running back said it would make him the highest paid player in franchise history and approach the eight-year, $60 million contract San Diego gave LaDainian Tomlinson, the NFL's highest-paid back.

"It's obviously a big deal, Deuce deserves that," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said. "We believe in him as a leader on our team. ... We wouldn't trade Deuce for any other running back."

Jammal Brown, the Saints top pick in this year's draft, did not show up Thursday night. He became the Saints' sixth top pick in a row to report late because of a contract holdout. Brown and fourth-round pick Chase Lyman, who is injured, were the only two players who did not report.

Entering his fifth season, McAllister has run for 4,194 yards. Most of that came during the past three seasons. He had only 91 yards rushing his rookie season, when he backed up Ricky Williams. Williams was traded to Miami after that season, and McAllister has not run for fewer than 1,000 yards since. He also has been a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.

With a revamped offensive line, New Orleans has sought to simplify its play book and rely more heavily on the run -- a plan tailored for the 6-foot-1, 232-pound McAllister.

"You thrive on that and I think that helped me in training, because you know you'll be getting the ball 30-35 times per game," McAllister said. "You weren't going into a game wondering whether you were going to get it 10 or 15 or 20 times. I'm a guy that wants the ball and I think this offense, this team, is committed to doing that."

McAllister's teammates have shown an admiration approaching reverence for the soft-spoken Mississippi native.

"Players around the league -- they like to see players who work as hard as Deuce and produce like Deuce rewarded," offensive guard Kendyl Jacox said. "He's going to have a monster year and we want to get it for him."