"It's a nice extension," Brooks said. "I'm glad it's over with. Now I feel I can totally concentrate on football, and it couldn't be at a better time for us, coming off a two-game losing streak. We need to get a win tomorrow night against a very good football team. Now that this over with, I can go in and totally focus on that and get ready for the season."
Brooks' new contract runs through the 2006 season. He accepted one-year contract extensions in 1997 and 1999, and had two more years left on his original contract.
"Derrick's contributions not only include his great play on the field, but also the positive impact he makes in our community," Buccaneers general manager Rich McKay said. "At this time of year, the focus should remain on football and this extension allows us to do that."
Brooks held out of camp for the first 10 days of training camp to show his displeasure over slow contract extension talks. Brooks had his contract extended by one season in 1997 and 1999, but never got the opportunity to cash in on a big signing bonus.
After being promised a long-term contract extension, Brooks was passed over by the contract extensions of strong safety John Lynch, defensive end Marcus Jones, the re-signings of cornerback Ronde Barber and right tackle Jerry Wunsch and the arrival of new free agents wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, quarterbacks Brad Johnson and Ryan Leaf and defensive end Simeon Rice.
"I'm glad we're able to work through this," Brooks said. "Once some of the major details were out of the way, it was just a matter of making it fit well where everyone could be happy. I'm just happy we can move on."
Part of Brooks' motivation may have been rooted in the fact that he wanted to make sure that he had his contract extension before the team doled out big signing bonus money for running back Warrick Dunn, who will be a free agent in 2002.
The 28-year old Brooks has been voted to four consecutive Pro Bowls (1997-2000) and has been named to the All-Pro team the past two seasons (1999-00). In 2000, Brooks was named Tampa Bay's Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive season as he led the team in tackles for the third straight year.
Since becoming a Buccaneer in 1995, Brooks has accumulated 942 career tackles, which ranks second all-time in franchise history. He has also recorded 11 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 5.5 sacks nine interceptions, 60 passes defensed and one touchdown. Brooks has also become a model of durability, starting every game over the past five seasons and playing in 96 games (93 starts) over his career.
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