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Adam Schefter (1 Viewer)


Big deals flying around

By Adam Schefter

NFL Analyst

(April 26, 2006) -- In the days leading up to the draft, speculation isn't the only thing flying around. So are big deals.

Green Bay reached an agreement with Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson on one Wednesday, a seven-year, $52 million contract that will pay out $10.5 million in the first year and $18 million over the first three years.

Woodson's choice of Green Bay was directly related to Brett Favre 's decision to return to the Packers for at least one more season. Woodson's agent, Carl Poston, said Favre's comeback was a "key component" in his client's decision.

Charles Woodson and the Packers have come to a seven-year agreement.

Now, the week is turning into a windfall for the Packers. First they get back Favre. Then they land Woodson. And now that Favre has returned, it all but ends any of the silly speculation that Green Bay could draft a quarterback with the fifth overall pick. Nobody around the league believes it ever was a strong possibility.

The strong possibility, and likely pick, is Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk. Favre. Woodson. Hawk. Nice week for Green Bay.

But the other notable deal soon will be coming out of Houston. The Texans are on the verge of doing what so many college defenses could not -- bringing down running back Reggie Bush.

With significant progress having been made in negotiations for a new contract between Bush and the Texans, multiple sources believe a contract could be done well before Saturday's draft, maybe as early as Thursday.

Bush is expected to receive somewhere around a 10 percent increase over what the San Francisco 49ers gave last year's No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Alex Smith, who landed a six-year, $49.5 million deal.

The breakthrough in the talks is said to have come Tuesday night, during long negotiating sessions between the Texans and Bush's representatives. The Texans played the situation just right, using defensive end Mario Williams as leverage against Bush.

Plus, with the looming House-Gate controversy, Bush's people knew that if he didn't go No. 1, he likely would have slid to No. 4, the spot the New York Jets currently hold. Dropping from No. 1 to No. 4 would have cost Bush millions.

One of the ironies of the whole negotiation is that Bush has turned out to be easier to sign than Mario Williams, who expressed utter indifference at the idea of becoming the No. 1 overall pick. In fact, the idea of going to New Orleans is said to have excited Williams more than the idea of going to Houston.

Williams is enamored with the New Orleans coaching staff, wants to play in the city, and was hoping he would land there. It's no cinch he does. It's still possible that the Saints could opt for Virginia offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who is expected to go in the top four picks Saturday. But multiple general managers believe Williams is the No. 1 prospect in this draft.



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