The Washington Redskins and veteran right tackle Jon Jansen yesterday agreed to a five-year contract worth $23 million.
Jansen, 31, has played his entire eight-year NFL career with the Redskins. The contract includes $10 million in guaranteed money.
"The one thing I wanted to do was go into next season knowing I was going to have a good chance to play my whole career with the Redskins," Jansen said. "It was important to me that if I expressed that to Coach [Joe] Gibbs and Mr. [Dan] Snyder, they would as well."
Jansen had two years remaining on the six-year, $25 million contract he signed in December 2002. His salary cap number in 2007 was slated to be $5.85 million, but it's unclear how the new contract will help the Redskins' cap situation.
Jansen said negotiations started last offseason when he agreed to restructure his old contract to create salary cap space. Talks started again after the season between the Redskins and Jansen's agent, Rick Smith.
"Business is business, and sometimes you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel but then something gets done," Jansen said. "I really believed the whole time that something new would get done."
Smith stressed the purpose of the deal wasn't to give the Redskins cap relief.
"This was not a cap deal. It was a re-extension," he said. "It was always under the pretense that it was going to be a brand new deal."
Jansen, who will be 35 at the end of the contract, has started all 111 games of his career and has the longest tenure of any current Redskins player. He missed the entire 2004 season with an Achilles tendon injury, and a lingering calf injury sidelined him for one game last season.
"We are working hard in a lot of areas to help our football team right now, and certainly keeping our team together is a part of that," coach Joe Gibbs said in a statement. "Jon's been a big part of the success we've had on our offensive line, and we're pleased to have this deal done."
Since the end of the season, the Redskins have re-signed long snapper Ethan Albright, signed receiver James Thrash to an extension and given Jansen a new deal. The only unrestricted free agents who finished the year as starters are left guard Derrick Dockery and safety Vernon Fox.