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Bills give veteran DT Stroud two-year contract extension

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Marcus Stroud's fresh start with the Buffalo Bills has paid off as the veteran defensive tackle was rewarded with a two-year contract extension potentially worth $16.5 million.

Stroud's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his client has signed an extension that includes $12 million in guaranteed money. Stroud, coming off his first season in Buffalo after being acquired in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, had two years left on his existing contract and now is signed through the 2012 season.

The eight-year NFL veteran and 2001 first-round draft pick out of the University of Georgia could earn up to $28 million over the next four years, if he achieves all of his bonuses.

The Bills didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the deal.

Named a Pro Bowl alternate last season, Stroud finished with 45 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. It was a solid comeback by a former three-time Pro Bowl selection who had been limited by injuries the previous two years and deemed expendable by the Jaguars. The Bills gave up two draft picks -- a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder in 2008 -- to acquire Stroud.

"This has turned out to be a really positive thing for Marcus," Rosenhaus said. "It's been a blessing. He's one of the leaders of the team. And even with the two years left on his contract, he was rewarded with a contract that's consistent with the best defensive tackles in the league."

Though the Bills missed pass rusher Aaron Schobel, who was out with a foot injury for much of last season, Stroud provided needed bulk to what had been an undersized defensive line. The Bills' defense finished 14th in the league in yards allowed last season, an improvement from 31st the previous year.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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