A league source has told Scout.com that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed fullback B.J. Askew to a contract extension that will make him one of the top three players at his position in both signing bonus money and in average compensation per year.
The four-year extension that was added to his current contract year makes his new deal a five-year pact worth $8.6 million. Askew will receive $2.2 million in guaranteed money, including a $2 million signing bonus. The contract includes $1 million in performance and Pro Bowl incentives.
A third-round draft pick in 2003, Askew spent his first four seasons in the league with the New York Jets where he made just six starts while appearing in 55 games. But when Askew hit the open market as a free agent in 2007, the Buccaneers quickly moved in. It was obvious that they saw him as the right player for their system.
Askew thrived in Tampa Bay during his first season, starting in nine of thirteen contests and earning the honor of being named as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2007. Although he wasn't called upon to run the ball last year for the Buccaneers, Askew pulled in a career-high 18 passes for 175 yards and made his presence known on the field as a lead blocker.
The Buccaneers are a team that has plenty of cap space this year, and it hasn't gone unnoticed by many of the team's veterans who have been making overtures about wanting a new deal to take advantage of the available money. So the club's early commitment to Askew is particularly impressive and a clear indication that they see him as a foundation player that they hope to have around for years to come since the Mike Alstott era has come to a close in Tampa Bay.
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.