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Walker has deal with Broncos, agent says

DENVER (May 9, 2006) -- Javon Walker is set to sign a five-year extension with the Denver Broncos, who acquired the wide receiver in a draft-day deal.

"We do have a deal in place," Walker's agent, Kennard McGuire, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

"I can't give you details," McGuire added, other than to confirm the extension was worth between $40 million and $42 million.

The Broncos have a policy of not discussing financial terms of contracts.

Walker, who is still recovering from a major knee injury he sustained in last year's season opener, is expected to sign the pact May 10. The extension will take him through 2011.

Walker, 27, is due to make $1.15 million next season and a $1 million roster bonus, part of the five-year, $7.485 million rookie contract that he signed in Green Bay after joining the Packers as a first-round draft pick out of Florida State in 2002.

Walker began seeking a bigger paycheck more than a year ago after he made the Pro Bowl following the 2004 season, when caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He hired agent Drew Rosenhaus, who said there was no way Walker could risk injury playing for slightly more than $500,000 in 2005.

Walker's summer-long threats to hold out drew the ire of quarterback Brett Favre, who said Walker should live up to his contract, which at the time had two years remaining.

Surprisingly, Walker reversed course and reported to training camp without any assurances from the Packers that they would re-negotiate his contract. Then, in the season opener at Detroit he tore a ligament in his right knee that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Walker fired Rosenhaus and hired McGuire, then announced in the offseason that he'd rather retire than play again for the Packers. General manager Ted Thompson gave Walker permission to talk to other teams and the Broncos met with him on the eve of the draft, when they determined his recovery was going well and that they could meet his contract demands.

They agreed on the parameters of a five-year extension and sent the Packers a second-round pick on April 29.

If Walker can return to his pre-injury form, he would become the Broncos' best playmaker and give them a deep threat opposite Rod Smith to open up the offense.

Walker, who has been working out in Arizona, will continue his rehab in Denver, where he'll take a crash course in the playbook but won't likely do any field work until late July.

"The target is to have him ready once we go to camp," coach Mike Shanahan said during the draft. "He is still recovering from his ACL, and I don't want to push him along too quick. He went through all the physicals with our trainers and doctors and he should be ready to go full-speed by the time we start camp."

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