ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Sean Taylor signed a seven-year, $18 million deal with the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, capping an unorthodox offseason for the
No. 5 overall draft pick.
Taylor became the NFL's first top 10 pick to sign this season, even though he fired his agent shortly after the draft and didn't hire a new one until
last week. In between, he was fined $25,000 by the league for leaving a mandatory rookie symposium in June.
"I'm real happy to have all the business stuff out of the way and all the agent issues out of the way and get back to football," said Taylor, who flew
to Redskins Park from his Miami home Tuesday morning.
The details of the contract were confirmed by a Redskins official and a party involved in the negotiations, who both spoke on condition of anonymity.
The sources said Taylor will receive a $7.2 million signing bonus, and that the total bonus money in the deal - including option and roster bonuses -
exceeds $13 million.
The contract also has escalators that can make the deal worth up to $40 million over six years, while the seventh year can be voided. The escalators
are based on playing time, performance and Pro Bowl or All-Pro selections. Taylor is expected to be Washington's opening day starter at free safety.
He will join the team on the practice field Wednesday for the final day of a three-day passing camp. The first standard training camp practices - in
full pads with mandatory attendance for all players under contract - begin Saturday.
For several months, Taylor's status was uncertain because he didn't have an agent. At one point, he told vice president for player personnel Vinny
Cerrato that he was thinking about representing himself - then later added that he would perhaps have a lawyer by his side to hash out the legalese.
"We were getting anxious," Cerrato said. "I was calling him quite often: 'Let's get somebody. Sean, if you want your money, you've got to have someone
come talk to us.' "
Taylor had other adventures. He wore his shorts so baggy on his first day of spring minicamp that they kept falling to his knees, making for an
unflattering newspaper photo the next day. He also was the victim of a prank gone wrong at a later minicamp, when his vision was impaired by a pile of
shaving gel squirted into his face by linebacker LaVar Arrington. Taylor had to miss practice the next day.
Taylor declined to give an explanation for leaving the rookie symposium and suggested he might appeal the fine. He said he fired his old agent because
"it wasn't a good fit" and waited until the last minute to hire a new one because "it was really no rush."
"It's a transition," Taylor said of his eventful spring and summer. "And it's bumps and bruises through that transition, and it's how well you shake
those things off. You become a man through the whole situation, a better man."
In the end, new agent Jeff Moorad and Vinny Cerrato worked quickly to get the deal done. Cerrato flew to California for two days of talks last week,
and Moorad made a surprise return trip to Redskins Park on Monday, showing up unannounced at the front door.
"We returned the favor and are very glad that we came East and were able to conclude this in a timely fashion," Moorad said.